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VIDEO: Yankees Great Mariano Rivera Bids A Tearful Goodbye

Posted: September 27, 2013

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The greatest closer in baseball history threw his last pitch at Yankee Stadium Thursday night. Rivera, who's heading off to retirement, shed some tears as his teammates and a sell-out crowd cheered.

New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera tips his cap in the ninth inning of his final appearance in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium, against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.

New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera tips his cap in the ninth inning of his final appearance in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium, against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday. Kathy Willens

The announcers kept quiet, so we won't say much either.

There's video here of what it was like Thursday night at Yankee Stadium when pitcher Mariano Rivera, considered by most experts to be the greatest "closer" in Major League Baseball history, threw his final pitch before heading off into retirement. He shed several tears, as you'll see.

Rivera has the most "saves" ever among Major League pitchers — 652 as of Friday morning, according to BaseballReference.com.

He first pitched for the Yankees in 1995 and has been:

-- An All-Star 13 times.

-- A World Series MVP once (in 1999).

-- "Closer of the year" four times.

The Yankees won the World Series five times with Rivera as the team's closer — the guy responsible for getting the final few outs when his team is ahead. Almost 44 years old, Rivera has already had his jersey number — 42 — retired by the Yankees.

By the way, what constitutes a save? According to MLB.com:

"Rule 10.20 in the Official Rule Book states:

"Credit a pitcher with a save when he meets all three of the following conditions:

"(1) He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his club; and

"(2) He is not the winning pitcher; and

"(3) He qualifies under one of the following conditions:

"- (a) He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning; or

"- (b) He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, or at bat, or on deck (that is, the potential tying run is either already on base or is one of the first two batsmen he faces; or

"- (c) He pitches effectively for at least three innings. No more than one save may be credited in each game."

A related post from earlier this week: Yankees Bobble The Ball On Mariano Rivera Giveaway Night.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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