Sunday, October 13, 2013

Mariano Rivera's Last Yankee Home Game With Google Glass

Sometimes the stars align and things happen that are nothing short of magic. I was in New York City a few weeks ago and I had the chance to see Mo's last home game as a New York Yankee. I am a huge Yankee fan. I cut my toe the other day and I pretty sure there was a bluish tint to the color of my blood. Ok, maybe not, but you get the point. I have said the entire season that I would give anything to be sitting in that stadium as Mo took the mound one last time. Well, it happened. To explain how I got to that point is another blog in itself, but let's just say that at the very last minute, I had my Yankee tickets in hand, and was on the D train to the Bronx.

 I exited the station and could feel the energy of Yankee Stadium hit me like a train. It was as if we were in the World Series (Not this year, so this was as close as we were going to get). That was the atmosphere. It was electric. We all knew we were coming to say goodbye to the best closer in the history of the game, and future Hall Of Famer. We were watching a man come back from an almost career ending ACL tear. He came back to finish it this year. His way.

A man like Mariano Rivera, to me, is a true role model. He's humble, he's a family man, he's played with integrity, and has been a consistent standout on the field. How many times have you read a bad headline about Mo? Probably none. He loves the game. It shows every time he steps on the field. I could go on and on.

The game was exciting, but we all knew what we were waiting for. The call to the bullpen, one last time, make the call to bring Mo out. The time came. The crowd rose to their feet. The sounds was almost deafening. Then, he emerged.

One last trot to the mound. You could see he was taking it all in. Tens of thousands were on their feet, chanting, "We Want Mo".  I had goosebumps.

You have to wonder what was going through his mind at this moment.

A few warm up pitches

The time came for the last pitch. Mo stood on the mound for a second, the crowd on their feet, a roar filled the air. He gently tossed the ball a few times.

After doing his job and giving the fans one last glimpse of near perfection on the mound at Yankee Stadium, Rivera's last at-home game was over.

I love the above photo. The three Yankees who have been there the longest, Jeter, Rivera, and Pettitt (who also retired), went to the mound to hug their teammate. Pettitt was content to stand aside and let Mo have his well deserved moment.

And a video shot with Google Glass (not the best quality distance wise but gives you a nice idea of the atmosphere).

Meeting on the Mound

Rivera and Jeter hug

 Mo tips his hat to the fans and the players. 

 Mo wiped away tears as he exited the field

 Rivera scoops up dirt from the mound

As a woman, I felt the emotion of the moment, and I don't think that was lost on any man in the stands. I saw grown men wiping away tears. Probably because we know we're screwed now, but still, tears. :)

I am so proud as a Yankees fan to have been there that night. I don't know what Rivera plans to do in retirement, but I know we haven't seen the last of him. I hope he enjoys the time with his beautiful family and knows that he has inspired a lot of young players, new fans, old fans, and has encapsulated what a true baseball player really is. 

Good luck, Mo. We will not only miss your positive force on the roster, but also the feeling knowing when you're on the mound, and it's a close one, that we'll be okay that game. 

(All photos are copyright of Jennifer McKelvey. Please do not use without permission). 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013