Mariano Rivera, the long-time lights-out Yankee closer is retiring this year. The sport agreed to retire Jackie Robinson’s number 42 from all teams, and Rivera is appropriately the last player to have it. I’m properly skeptical of sports journalism regarding the personalities of players, having read Ring Lardner’s Champion in youth (for example) but as far as I can tell what you hear about Rivera is what you get, a real gentleman on and off the field, awesomely good at what he does, confident in his skills and not a tidge arrogant or jerky. Class act all the way.
Probably no recent ballplayer has administered more heartbreak and frustration to the Red Sox (maybe Dennis Eckersley). Before tonight’s game, the last between the rivals for the season, the Sox put on a ‘time’ for Rivera with gifts, speeches, and applause. Another class act, what sports is supposed to be about but too often lacks. Thanks, Mo, for the great ball, and thanks, Sox, for saying goodbye so graciously.