Enter Sandman. It was the song Yankees fans got all revved up for every time they heard it. It meant pretty much a guaranteed win for nearly the last two decades. Now, Yankees fans can enter from The Sandman.
All Yankee Stadium goers are familiar with River Avenue as it runs right past the stadium. Today, by adding one little letter, the greatest closer of all-time will forever be remembered. The street that runs by The Stadium will now be known as Rivera Avenue.
Mo was all smiles standing atop a ladder this morning. He would unveil the new street sign at the corner of Rivera Avenue and 161st Street. “This is way, way, way beyond baseball, definitely. It has nothing to do with baseball. I think it’s how you treat people, how you respect others and you receive the same love and respect back,” Rivera told WCBS. “Amazing. I mean, I never thought something like this would happen.”
Towards the end of the 2013 season, Mariano Rivera’s last, fans began calling the avenue Rivera Ave. According to the New York Post, some fans such as Nicole Saulter, added their own “A” to the sign and took pictures of it. When the City Council caught wind of it, they put it up for a vote and in early December of 2013 it passed that they would officially rename the avenue. After a few months of paper and leg work, today Rivera Avenue is official.
It is a humbling but well deserved honor for The Sandman. He is the all-time leader in regular season saves at 652, a number which may forever stand in this era of bullpen by committees. He also has the most postseason saves by a landslide with, most fittingly, 42. He joins only Willie Mays as the only living baseball player to have a street named after him in New York City. I’d say that’s pretty good company.