Angell: On Mariano Rivera’s exit from Yankee Stadium

From Roger Angell at The New Yorker on September 23, 2013:

Late on yesterday’s dazzling, post-summer afternoon in the Bronx, each batter and infielder moved and ran with his own autumnal sharp-shadow cutout barely attached at the foot. The brilliant, reminding light was relentless; it never let us up, enamelling the grass at the outset, then producing late-inning gateways of alternate shadow and sun between the mound and home plate that made each pitch flicker in its flight. No, no, you wanted to say: Not so fast. Not yet. (“ONE MO TIME,” said a fan’s held-up plea.) It got late early up there, as Yogi once said, and the outcome we didn’t want arrived just the same, in spite of plaques and speeches. Mariano Rivera’s pregame “Exit Sandman” final-Sunday ceremonies at the Stadium—he’s retiring after nineteen seasons—had been awkwardly merged with Andy Pettitte’s recently announced decision to depart for good, too, after eighteen (all but three with the Yanks), but, because Andy would be starting against the visiting San Francisco Giants and was preoccupied with that, it remained Mo’s day mostly, and sweetly reassuring. Waterford crystal, the comical rocking chair, parents, family, current teammates and old ones. Paulie, Jorge, Bernie, Derek, Tino, manager Joe, Rachel Robinson (Mo, of course, the last player to sport Jackie Robinson’s universally retired uniform number, 42). Michael Kay. Speeches, smiles—Rivera won this category, hands down—and an actual surprise: Metallica, live and in person, there to play his entrance song.

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Originally published: September 23, 2013. Last Updated: September 23, 2013.