The Boston Red Sox honored New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera with an elaborate ceremony at Fenway Park on Sunday night that included — but was not limited to — thanking him for blowing Game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series.
After the Red Sox broke an 86-year curse nine years ago, they fittingly received their World Series ring before their 2005 home opener against the Yankees. When Rivera was introduced to the crowd at Fenway that year, fans gave him one of the loudest mock cheers you will ever hear. Rivera simply smiled and tipped his cap, which helped him capture the hearts of his most fierce rivals.
On Sunday, before what is likely to be Rivera’s last ever trip to Boston as a Yankee, the Red Sox presented with a number of gifts. They gave him a portrait of the memorable smile he wore in 2005 in addition to a couple of items from Fenway Park with his number on them. It was a fitting way for the Sox to make their mark on a farewell tour that has included incredible sand sculptures and a chair made of broken bats. The all-time saves leader has certainly earned the recognition.