Hey guys, Drew back here! I have to say, writing this post makes me feel old. I started watching the Yankees in 2005, and although that was only 9 seasons ago; I've had the pleasure of growing up to watch a ton of incredible players every day. Many of them have since left the game: Jorge Posada, Randy Johnson, Gary Sheffield, Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez, and Hideki Matsui among my very favorites. Andy Pettitte had already left the game only to come back a year later. But today, most fans in attendance at Yankee Stadium recognized that Andy and Mariano Rivera would no longer grace the mound in Yankee Stadium barring a late playoff push. Andy pitched brilliantly against the Giants, allowing just 2 earned runs in 7 innings, and Mo came in for the 9th inning. Unfortunately, the Yankees offense didn't have enough in the tank to make the already memorable day even greater, but it was a fantastic day to be a Yankee fan regardless.
Among the various gifts Mariano was given were a few special honors. First, Metallica came out to perform "Enter Sandman" live, which was an idea I had thought of months ago. I thought it would be an awesome move, and sure enough the Yankee organization thought so too! Also, his number 42 was retired, which I didn't see coming at all. I knew it would happen eventually, but had no idea it was going to happen today. When his number was revealed among the Yankees legends, I couldn't help but tear up. It marked the end of a dominant era, and Mariano became the first player I've grown up with to be honored in any sort of way. It was a special moment not only for him I'm sure, but for me as well. I'll never forget it!
I haven't gotten around to writing about Mo's final season yet, but let me start by saying it has been a treat to be able to watch and discuss him pitch. He and Andy have been my favorite pitchers of all time, so saying goodbye to both of them today was bittersweet. Hopefully one day I'll be able to tell my future kids and grandkids about how a Yankees game was almost always over after 8 innings, and how one famous glare was enough to intimidate the most confident hitters.
Thank you Andy and Mo for everything you've done for the Yankees organization! I wish both of you the best moving forward with your lives and I can't wait to cheer for you both at future Old Timer's games, and who knows, maybe in Cooperstown as well!