September 22, 2013
Exit Sandman...history made...a legend of the mound...the greatest closer in baseball history...zen, steel, faith and delivery...let me just say, if you did not know that I am speaking of #42, Mariano Rivera, then I will assume cryogenics works and you've just been thawed out...
He made perhaps the most pressurized walk in sports to "Enter Sandman" for the last 14 years of a 652 saves, 19 year career (he took on that 'walk' in 1997, the ice in his veins spotted early) which spelled 'excellence'...and class, and poise and a frightening sense of humility. So when Metallica got the chance to deliver the classic cut live for Mariano's final Sunday game before retiring, well...you don't turn those moments down.
With amps pinstriped as well as emblazoned with the number 42, plus James and Rob sporting Metallica logo Yankee-style shirts, Rivera made the walk from the outfield to the dugouts with a shy smile, a legend being serenaded by the band who wrote his calling card tune.
The band then presented Mariano with an autographed custom amp, handshakes were swapped and Metallica then took their place on the warning track to witness the continuation of this supreme ceremonial tribute to an athlete who genuinely deserves every accolade he received today, yesterday, the day before and doubtless for years to come.
You will have noticed that I have not said a word about the opposition or the game until now, despite their special relationship with Metallica. That is because today, for this special day, it was a small detail.
Fittingly, the sun was shining...a special, special moment indeed...it was an absolute honor to feel the electricity of the legend that is Mariano Rivera on his last Sunday walk.
We salute you number 42.
- Steffan Chirazi
Click here for more photos from the day!