In the hours leading up to their series finale against the Astros, the Yankees held their 73rd annual Old Timers’ Day ceremony and game, and no one had more fun than Hall of Fame closer — and first-time Clippers player — Mariano Rivera. Rivera emerged from the dugout to replace David Cone in the first inning, and wasted little time turning a double play on a first-pitch cutter to Paul O’Neill.
In the second, Rivera traded his cutter for a spot in right-center field, where he chased down a shallow fly ball from Luis Sojo to once again bring the inning to a close. The real fun, however, began when he stepped up to bat against Scott Kamieniecki:
Rivera pounced on the first pitch and barreled it straight into the right-center field gap, where Jeff Nelson lumbered after the ball as the Sandman circled the bases. He might have settled for a triple had the relay not ricocheted off of the cameraman, leaving Rivera just enough time to round third and cross the plate safely.
The Yankees’ esteemed closer-turned-slugging-outfielder polished off his debut with another trip to the mound, this time to face off against Bernie Williams and Luis Sojo. Williams chopped a ground ball out to short for an easy double play, while Sojo cemented the Clippers’ 3-0 win over the Bombers with a game-ending grounder.
Suffice to say, even six years into his well-deserved retirement… Mo’s still got it.