NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Shea Stadium isn’t standing any more, but the Subway Series has a special meaning to Mariano Rivera.
Two of the legendary closer’s greatest moments came in Queens. The first was when the Yankees won the 2000 World Series over the crosstown Mets. It was their third consecutive World Series victory and fourth World Series title in five years.
It was Rivera who was on the mound when Bernie Williams settled under a deep fly ball off the bat of Mike Piazza that ended the 2000 World Series.
Rivera also earned his 500th career save at Citi Field in 2009.
A number of players have expressed that the Subway Series lacks meaning in recent years. Rivera feels the Subway Series has become similar to a division game and feels it is more about the rivalry between fans.
“It’s more for the fans,” Rivera told MLB.com. “They’ve become like another team in our division, because we play them every year. It becomes another division game for us. We play them every year. It’s good, not traveling — 20 minutes travel, and we have an escort. Fans love it. I think they get good joy out of it.”
The Mets are planning to honor the retiring Rivera at his final stop at Citi Field.
“I didn’t ask for it. All I wanted to do was make sure that I said, ‘Thanks,'” Rivera said. “They are good people there that I have a lot of sympathy with. I just make sure that every time I go there I see my old guys there, say, ‘Hello’ and make sure they’re OK.
“They’re going out of their way to honor me. If they do it, I do respect that. I’m grateful for that, that they take the time, think about me and try to do something. I don’t take it for granted. For me, they’re not our rivals. It’s more the fans; the fans make it huge. I do respect what they do.”
It isn’t just the Mets who are planning to honor Mo. Teams around both leagues are paying tributes to the legendary closer and writer Bill Chuck started the #StartMo movement to allow Rivera start in the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field.
So perhaps, there will be one more stop for Rivera at Citi Field.
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