BALTIMORE -- The Orioles presented Mariano Rivera with his latest retirement gift as he makes a final pass through the American League, honoring the longtime Yankees closer in a pregame ceremony on Thursday night at Camden Yards.
Baltimore commissioned a sculpture depicting a baseball shattering a bat, following a theme echoed by several other clubs in paying tribute to the all-time saves leader. Rivera was hugged on the field by Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who was his first big league skipper with the 1995 Yankees.
"Definitely, I was glad that he was there," Rivera said. "I said, 'Thank you for being there, thank you for everything.' That was special for me."
The Orioles said that the sculpture was produced by Omri Armany and his son, Itamar, of The Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt-Amrany in Highland, Ill. They have produced numerous other sports-related pieces, including sculptures of Michael Jordan and Vince Lombardi.
The bronze was cast at the Alchemist Foundry in Kalamazoo, Mich., and had an accompanying plaque reading:
"Baseball's all-time saves leader who pitched 19 seasons for the New York Yankees. His numerous baseball records are surpassed only by his humility, respect and philanthropy.
"Presented by the Baltimore Orioles, in recognition of his tremendous career and the hundreds of bats he broke along the way."