Mariano Rivera's retirement tour makes its final regular season stop at Tropicana Field this weekend, which means it's time to see what the Tampa Bay Rays have come up with as their parting gift to the New York Yankees legend and future first ballot Hall of Famer.
Before we do though, here's a reminder that the Minnesota Twins set the standard for Rivera gifts when they crafted and presented a wooden rocking chair made from broken bats. That's still really awesome, and it probably won't be beat, but I do think the Rays had a pretty decent concept in mind when they went to work on their gift. I'm just not sure the execution matched the vision.
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) August 23, 2013
As you can see, the Rays ended up going with a Mariano Rivera sand sculpture and placed Rivera's likeness among the New York City skyline with the words "Enter Sandman" and the No. 42 carved in. According to Marc Topkins of the Tampa Bay Times, the sculpture required eight tons of sand and was built in two days by two men, Meredith Corson and Dan Doubleday of Sanding Ovations.
They obviously put a lot of planning and hard work into the project, which makes it a little more difficult to acknowledge the fact that, unfortunately, the likeness looks nothing like Rivera. And it's actually a bit terrifying.
Here's another look.
The likeness actually does look familiar. I just can't quite put my finger on who it is.
One more of Mariano in front of sand sculpture unveiled in Tropicana Field rotunda pic.twitter.com/SkkPLIpJ2q
— Erik Boland (@eboland11) August 23, 2013
It looks like Rivera likes it, and it's his opinion that matters more than anyone else. He was probably happy to learn that the Rays will also be donating $50 to his foundation for each of his 645 career saves, so that could also explain the smile on his face. Either way, Rivera now has a giant sand sculpture, which oh by the way he won't even be able to take home with him.
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