For his final run through the stadiums and cities he has graced during the past two decades, Mariano Rivera wanted to do something special.
So before the season he and Jason Zillo, the Yankees director of communications, devised a plan that will allow Rivera to meet with team employees and/or fans at opposing ballparks throughout the course of the year.
Rivera recently met with about 25 Indians employees and fans during the Yankees' trip to Cleveland. As reported in the New York Times, the conversation was open and light. Fans asked about Rivera's best and worst memories of Cleveland as well as his favorite athlete growing up (Pele).
"That was so awesome," John Bowers, a veteran client service coordinator for season tickets, told the New York Times. "I don't recall ever hearing about anyone ever doing something like this before."
After the meeting ended, Rivera posed for photos and signed an autograph for each of the attendees.
"Wonderful, wonderful," Rivera told the Times after the event. "I just wanted to be able to say thank you to these people. I do appreciate what they do."