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Exit Sandman: Rivera bids goodbye to Bronx

New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera, left, hands the ball to Andy Pettitte as Derek Jeter, right, watches during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Yankees lost to the Rays 4-0 in Rivera's final home game with the team. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
September 26, 2013 7:47:58 PM PDT
Mariano Rivera said goodbye to Yankee Stadium with hugs, tears and cheers.

Baseball's most acclaimed relief pitcher made an emotional exit in his final appearance in the Yankees' home pinstripes, when captain Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte came to the mound to remove him with two outs in the ninth inning of a 4-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night.

"It's time to go," Jeter appeared to tell Rivera.

During four minutes of thunderous chanting from the sellout crowd 48,675 began, an overcome Rivera sobbed as he buried his head on the shoulder of Pettitte, who also is retiring when the season ends Sunday, and then hugged Jeter.

It was an extraordinary sight in a sport where a manager almost always goes to the mound to make a pitching change.


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