Legendary Yankees closer Mariano Rivera announced Saturday that he will retire at the end of the upcoming season. NY1's Bree Driscoll filed the following report.
One of baseball's greatest closers has begun to close his career.
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera announced Saturday in Tampa that he will retire at the end of the 2013 season.
He was surrounded by family members, teammates and Yankees top brass.
"Now is the time, now is the time," he said. "I have given everything, and the tank is almost empty."
Rivera, who was born in Panama, was signed by the Yankees in 1990 and made his major league debut in 1995. Since then, he's been a 12-time All Star and a five-time World Series champion. He was the World Series MVP in 1999 and is Major League Baseball's all time leader in saves with 608.
"I did everything within my power to enjoy the game, to do it well, to respect the game of baseball," he said. "No one can take that joy away from me. To me, there's no sadness. I would say joy. Thank God I was able to play the game of baseball so many years."
In the shadow of Yankee Stadium, fans like 15-year-old Soilo Laurencioviez said Saturday that they will miss Rivera for not only his amazing skills but also the way he carried himself when he was off the field.
"With him, you didn't hear no news about him doing bad stuff," Laurencioviez said. "Always good."
"He had a great career," said another fan. "He put a lot of work in with the Yankees, and I am proud of him. He shouldn't be disappointed with what he did."
"I am kind of heartbroken, because he is one of the greatest to ever do it. And by him leaving, it is going to be very hard to replace him. I don't think anybody's ever going to match up to Mariano."
During Saturday's news conference, Rivera was asked if he would take the path of many other players who have retired and later returned to he game. He said he wouldn't be one of them, that he'd exit professional baseball for good.