Prior to the Subway Series game between the New York Yankees and New York Mets, Mariano Rivera threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Citi Field on Tuesday.
Mets COO Jeff Wilpon personally asked Rivera if he would throw out the first pitch during a pregame presentation honoring Rivera, hours before the first pitch.
“Mariano, we’ve watched you for so many years. It’s a great honor to have you be here for the last time,” Wilpon said.
“I wish we could see you in the World Series, but I’m not sure it’s gonna happen this year,” Wilpon added.
Wilpon presented the 43-year-old Rivera with an authentic hose nozzle from a New York City Fire Department truck. Fire Department commissioner Salvatore Cassano was also on hand in the Citi Field news conference rooms, and gave Rivera a plaque featuring an FDNY call box.
“Mariano has been a great friend to the FDNY for many, many years,” Cassano said. “He’s been at many of our widows-and-orphans events. This is just a little token of our appreciation for your last visit at Citi Field.”
Rivera accepted the nozzle and plaque, and said: “That’s the real stuff, guys,” Rivera said, grinning as he hoisted the heavy metal nozzle. “I just want to say thank you very much for all this. I don’t expect this, but thank you. I definitely really appreciate it. This will be in a good place in my house.
“It will be my last game here. It has been a great career and I have enjoyed every game that I have played here. It has been great games; I’ve saved some games and blown some games here. Overall, it has been wonderful.”
Wilpon then asked Rivera if he would throw out the first pitch on Tuesday.
“I know you usually throw the last pitch, but we’re asking you to throw the first pitch,” Wilpon said.
“I will be honored to do that,” Rivera answered. “It would be my pleasure.”