Originally posted on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 5/9/13

Last Friday marked the one year anniversary of the worst moment of Mariano Rivera's brilliant career as baseball's all-time saves leader.  This Friday, Rivera returns to Kauffman Stadium — the first time since being carted off the field in what looked like a career-ending injury — for a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals. Rivera tore the ACL in his right knee — during his pregame ritual of shagging flies in the outfield during batting practice — on the turf of Kauffman Stadium that fateful night before crumbling to the warning track in obvious pain. This weekend, if shagging batting practice fly balls takes Rivera to the ballpark's left-center field warning track, the non-superstitious pitcher isn’t going to shy away from the area where he collapsed last May 3 ending up with season-ending surgery in June. “Nothing will change, I will do what I love to do,’’ said the 43-year-old Rivera, who is a perfect 12-for-12 in save chances this season. Rivera, who missed the final five months of last season, said he is looking forward to being at Kauffman Stadium again. “I will thank the Lord for me being there,’’ Rivera said. “I want to see the doctor who took me to the hospital and say ‘Thank You.’ I am not going to feel sorry. I feel joy. There is nothing to regret. I might be in the same spot.’’ Rivera has been amazing so far in what was once considered an uncertain future.  He's made good on the well-documented words he said the day after the injury: "I am coming back. Put it down. Write it down in big letters. I am not going down like this." He sure did. “I don’t think any athlete, any player, wants to leave like that, unless there’s no other choice,” Rivera said. “But I did have a choice. My choice was to either stay like that, or work hard, get the surgery, get it fixed and come back. And that’s the one I took.” Rivera might have erased the ghosts of the Kansas City outfield from his mind, but the memories of the Hall of Fame pitcher's greatest moments and "Enter Sandman" will always be etched in ours.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

2016 Naismith Hall of Fame finalists announced

Hasselbeck ‘strongly leaning towards playing’ in 18th season

Pitchers to wear new protective headwear in spring training

Klay Thompson: Warriors will shoot for all-time wins record

Bryce Harper 'squashed' beef with Jonathan Papelbon

WWE has record revenue despite perceived troubles

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

CC Sabathia declares himself ‘ready to go’ after alcohol rehab

Report: Suns still want to deal Morris before trade deadline

Report: Celtics could offer best deal for Dwight Howard

Hawks 'taking phone calls about everybody on the roster'

Philly mayor calls LeSean McCoy ‘cowardly'

Report: Price might not return this season due to knee injury

Kevin Durant to the Warriors makes little sense

City of Atlanta, Braves fighting over iconic Hank Aaron statue

Brock Osweiler hopes to remain part of ‘very special’ Broncos

Kobe Bryant receives great gift from ‘media’ member

Ranking the 10 best dunk contests ever

LeBron to be immortalized with Akron Zips bobblehead

Four best free-agent destinations for Matt Forte

Five reasons Oregon will be the sexiest team in March Madness

Was Derek Fisher involved with girlfriend of former Knick?

Steven Stamkos unforthcoming on his no-move clause

Antonio Cromartie's wife is 'definitely' getting her tubes tied

Ciara: It’s getting harder to stay abstinent with Russell Wilson

The top five millennial NBA All-Star moments

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker