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Exit Sandman: Mariano Rivera says goodbye to the Bronx

What is there left to say about Mariano Rivera? He is, by acclamation, the greatest relief pitcher in the history of the sport. He has more saves than any other reliever. His postseason credentials make him one of the most clutch performers to ever don a uniform.

On Thursday night, as he took the mound in the 8th inning against the Rays, Rivera said goodbye to Yankee Stadium and New York City -- his baseball home since 1995.


With one out in the top of the ninth inning, Rivera faced Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar -- his fourth batter of the evening. He threw two cutters, naturally, and Escobar popped the second to Robinson Cano. It was Rivera's final pitch at Yankee Stadium: four batters, four outs.


Two people emerged from the dugout to take the ball from Rivera, but they weren't manager Joe Girardi or pitching coach Larry Rothschild.

They were longtime teammates Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte.


With hugs:



A few tips of the cap:


And a standing ovation from the fans:


That was it. Rivera took a seat in the dugout. His career at Yankee Stadium was finished.


But he still had some lasting business to attend to in the Bronx: grabbing dirt from the mound and saying one last goodbye to the fans, the lights and the evening air north of 161st St.



Read More: New York YankeesMariano Rivera