EXIT SANDMAN: Riviera wins MVP in final ASG appearance
New York, NY (CNN) — In one-of-a-kind fashion, the New York Yankees 18-year veteran closer, Mariano Riviera, took to the field in the eight inning of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday night at Citi Field.
The 43-year-old right-handed pitcher announced earlier this year, this would be his last season in the major leagues.
After taking the mound, the 13-time all star relished in the applause and cheers from over 45,000 fans and players before his final Midsummer Classic appearance.
It only took Riviera 16 pitches, 11 of them strikes, to get through the eighth inning and earned him the All-Star Game's Most Valuable Player award, becoming only the second Yankee to ever earn the honor.
The "Sandman" has a career earned run average of 2.20, is the all-time saves leader with 638 and 1,151 strikeouts.
"I am honored and proud to be a member of the New York Yankees and being able to play for this city," said Riviera. "What I have to say is, thank God for that."
The Yankees return to the diamond Friday against the Boston Red Sox.