NEW YORK -- Ceremonial first pitches for postseason games at Yankee Stadium are usually in the realm of greats from the history books, mixing in the likes of Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford with more recent additions like Reggie Jackson and Bernie Williams.
On Friday, the Yankees took an even more glossy page from their recent history, inviting two active players to take part. All-time postseason saves leader Mariano Rivera lobbed a toss from the mound to Jorge Posada, dressed in his full catching gear.
The Yankees wanted another moment to honor Rivera, who owns a staggering 42 saves in the playoffs and this year surpassed Trevor Hoffman (601) for the all-time regular-season lead as well. But it was also a nod to Posada, the longtime "Key Three" backstop who was supplanted as the starting catcher this year by Russell Martin and bumped to the role of designated hitter.
Posada did get behind the plate for one game this year, making an emergency appearance on Sept. 10 in Anaheim when Martin suffered an injury, but he has also strapped on his chest protector and shin guards to receive another ceremonial first pitch this season. That was on June 27, when the Yankees hosted an emotional sendoff for retiring head athletic trainer Gene Monahan at Yankee Stadium.