Mariano Rivera said goodbye to Yankee fans Thursday night. During his farewell, the stadium was filled with tears, hugs and cheers.
Standing on the Yankee Stadium mound for the last time, Mariano Rivera broke down in tears, while the sold out crowd cheered and chanted for four minutes. Rivera sobbed as he rested his head on Andy Pettitte’s shoulder, before turning to hug shortstop Derek Jeter.
“I mean, he was really crying,” Andy Pettitte said. “He was weeping. I felt like he didn’t want to let go, so I just kept on hugging him.”
After the game Rivera talked about playing his last game in the Bronx.
“Everything started hitting me, flashbacks, to the minor leagues and the big leagues, to this moment,” Rivera said. “I was bombarded with emotions and feelings. Everything hit. I knew that’s the last time. Period.”
Later, New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi almost joined Rivera, by nearly crying during a postgame interview, as he praised the pitcher.
“He made my job fun,” Girardi said. “He made my job easy. But probably more than that, he made all our lives better, and we’ll miss that.”