Metallica Performs Before Yankees Game As Send-Off To Mariano Rivera
Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera announced he was going to retire earlier this year, and he has only a few more dates left to play at Yankee Stadium. With retirement looming, the team put together a special day for the player and the team’s fans called Mariano Rivera Day, inviting Metallica to play on Sunday before the New York Yankees suited up to play the San Francisco Giants.
Metallica actually does have some significance to the closer, with “Enter Sandman” being the regular song played whenever he hits the field during a game. For this end of the era performance, Metallica showed up to rile up the crowd and play “Enter Sandman” live. During the performance, Rivera actually walked out on to the field, in a fitting homage to the baseball player’s career and a fitting end to an era for the Yankees, who are also losing Andy Pettitte to retirement this year.
It was also a big day because the team opted to retire Rivera’s jersey number, 42. This might seem a little strange since the MLB retired Jackie Robinson’s 42 several years ago on every team. However, Rivera was already wearing the number at the time and was able to keep it. The retirement of Rivera’s jersey marks the last time an MLB player will ever wear that number, adding a bit more significance to the retirement ceremony.
Still, the highlight for fans was likely the Metallica performance, which was full of energy and featured James Hetfield shouting, “This is for you Mariano” more than once. The 50-minute ceremony was action-packed and awesome, and later Mariano actually told ESPN that it will hold a special place in his heart.
“The whole thing was special. I wasn’t expecting something like that. Seeing my ex-teammates and the whole stadium packed with a lot of flags and fellow Panamanians. [There were] a lot of emotions. It was more than what I was thinking. “
There was no icing on the cake for the team, who lost to the Giants 1-2 after the San Francisco team nabbed a second run in the eighth inning. Still, catching Metallica in action is always pretty cool.