Let me start off by saying that I have been a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan and will be until the day that I die. I grew up watching the likes of Carl “Yaz” Yastrzemski, Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, Rick “Rooster” Burleson, Dwight Evans, Luis “El Tiante” Tiant, George “Boomer” Scott, Carlton “Pudge” Fisk and so many more. Like so many other kids in the 70′s I collected and traded baseball cards with my friends. I started attending games at Fenway Park in 1975. I’ve been to, watched on television and listened to a lot of baseball games in my lifetime. I grew up rooting against the hated New York Yankees. The likes of Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Graig Nettles, Catfish Hunter, Chris Chambliss, Ron Guidry, Bucky Dent, Goose Gossage and anyone who wore the Yankee pinstripes.
Over the last few years though I have had the privilege of watching Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte play against the Red Sox. As much as I have disliked the Yankees over the years I have to say that these players are all class acts. I will even go so far as to say that I will miss watching them play. All three are the best at what they do and with two outs in the 9th inning last night it was touching to watch Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter walk out to the mound and take their buddy and teammate, Mariano Rivera, out of the ballgame for the last time in his last game at Yankee Stadium. Mariano it has been a privilege to watch you play against my beloved Red Sox. I find it fitting that you will be the last person to ever wear the number 42 in a major league game. I have not always liked the outcomes of the games but I can truly say that it has been an honor to watch you pitch. I tip my hat to you Mo.