Commentary: 2013 MLB All-Star night belonged to retiring legend Mariano Rivera
That set the stage for the legendary Mariano Rivera. With a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the eighth inning, Leyland called for the “Sandman”.
Though Rivera has pitched for the cross-town New York Yankees since 1996, the ovation from the crowd in the New York Mets' home stadium raised goose bumps on everyone watching. Even before the closer with the most saves in the history of the game threw a pitch, he had become the man of the hour.
As he warmed up, the capacity crowd was on its feet watching the lean right-hander — who has recorded 638 career saves using his signature split-finger fastball — prepare for his final All-Star moment.
The fans roared as the “Sandman” recorded three outs against three batters on just 16 pitches. The most memorable moment of the 2013 All-Star Game had been sealed, even though there was still an inning left to play.
Rivera, 43, who has played with dominance and class for 19 years, produced what could easily be used as an outstanding closing scene if they shoot a film version of his life story.
The NL managed one more anti-climactic hit off of Texas Ranger reliever Joe Nathan, who was officially credited with the save in the AL's 3-0 victory.
Detroit Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter, referring to the legendary Rivera, said, “That was the plan, man, to win it for him. It was an honor to be behind him in this game.”
While it may have been more in celebration of his fantastic career than for his performance on this night — a fittingly dominant effort — Rivera was voted the games’ MVP.
As baseball continues to usher in the young stars of its future and celebrate the possibilities that lie ahead, it was the aligning of the stars that made this All-Star game's mark in the history books.
The brightest star of all was one of New York’s own and it was shining in the city that built professional baseball as we know it today.
Kenny Bristow is the staff sports writer for the Wasatch Wave and contributes to the Deseret News high school coverage for the Wasatch region. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. To contribute to DNews Preps for your area, enquire at 801.237.2143.
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