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Yanks honor new HOFer Mo with celebration

Boone rests Judge, Sanchez on Saturday vs. Indians
August 17, 2019

NEW YORK -- Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” blared throughout Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon as the Yankees honored Mariano Rivera’s induction into the Hall of Fame with a pregame celebration. Rivera’s family and former manager Joe Torre were in attendance for the festivities. The ceremony began with Rivera waving to fans

NEW YORK -- Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” blared throughout Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon as the Yankees honored Mariano Rivera’s induction into the Hall of Fame with a pregame celebration.

Rivera’s family and former manager Joe Torre were in attendance for the festivities. The ceremony began with Rivera waving to fans as he was driven around the warning track. The Yankees also aired personal messages from former teammates Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter on the video screen. Yanks managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner then presented Rivera with a $250,000 check for his foundation, and the longtime closer gave an emotional address to Yankee Stadium.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Rivera said.

Rivera also threw out the first pitch to his son, Mariano Rivera Jr.

The ceremony caps off a summer that Rivera described as “tremendous.” In July, Rivera became the first player in MLB history to be unanimously inducted into the Hall of Fame. From there, he’s been honored multiple times, including receiving the key to New Rochelle, N.Y., where he and his family lived for most of his playing career.

“To receive an accolade like that, being in the Hall of Fame, it’s something that only God can do, and that’s why I thank God that my abilities were enough to end up in Cooperstown,” Rivera said in a press conference after the ceremony. “To be 100 percent unanimous is like the cherry on top of the ice cream.”

“To me, [being able to come back to Yankee Stadium], that’s the culmination of everything. From humble beginnings to all the way to today, there’s nothing else [as a player] I can do.”

Summer recess

Despite having his first multi-hit game since Aug. 3 on Friday night, Yankees slugger Aaron Judge wasn't in Saturday’s starting lineup in the 6-5 win over the Indians. Manager Aaron Boone said earlier in the week that he wanted to give Judge and a couple other players a rest at some point this weekend.

“I was considering [sitting Judge] yesterday,” Boone said before Saturday’s contest. “In this stretch of games, he hasn’t really had a day down. The one day he had in Toronto he had to come [in because Brett Gardner was ejected].”

New York hasn’t had a day off since Aug. 1. In the past 15 days, the team has played 17 games, including doubleheaders against Boston and Baltimore. The intensity of the Yankees’ schedule now lessens, as they have six days off the in remaining six weeks of the regular season, starting with Monday.

Also getting a breather Saturday was catcher Gary Sánchez, as backup backstop Austin Romine got the start. Outfielder Mike Tauchman replaced Judge in left field. Thairo Estrada got his second start in four days at second base, Gleyber Torres shuffled over to his natural position of shortstop and Didi Gregorius was slotted in as designated hitter.

Clearing room

The Yankees optioned right-hander Ryan Dull to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after Saturday's game, clearing a roster spot for left-hander CC Sabathia, who will be activated to make Sunday's start.

Dull was with the Yankees for two games, but he did not pitch. He was claimed on waivers from the Giants on Aug. 14.

This date in Yankees history

Aug. 17, 1933: Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig surpassed Everett Scott’s all-time record of 1,307 consecutive games played. Gehrig went on to play 2,130 consecutive games, and that record stood until Cal Ripken Jr. broke it in 1995.

Aug. 17, 1976: Graig Nettles smoked the first pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning for a walk-off home run, giving the Yankees a 2-1 win over the Rangers.