Mariano Rivera, the soon-to-retire legendary closer, has been celebrated at every turn this season — with special ceremonies at each stadium he visits on his "farewell tour" and a wonderful tribute at July's All-Star Game. You had to know his team, the New York Yankees, would have something rad in store for its own Mariano Rivera tribute day, happening Sunday.
How about Metallica?
The band's "Enter Sandman" is Rivera's theme song, played each time he leaves the bullpen and comes to the mound to close out a game. It just so happened that Metallica performed Saturday night at the Apollo Theater in New York City. Then, Sunday morning, the chatter began when a stage was being erected in the outfield and the makings of a concert were coming together. Could it be? Did the Yankees book Metallica in Mo's honor?
Looks like it. Metallica's appearance hasn't been *officially* confirmed by the Yankees, but that wouldn't make for much of a surprise now, would it? The New York media is all over it and the New York Daily News has sources saying this is happening. And then there's this photo, courtesy of the Sportscenter Instragram account that really doesn't leave much doubt.
That's just one part of the pre-game tribute to honor Rivera, who is baseball's all-time saves leader with 652 career saves (and counting). Mo's number 42 has been painted onto the field and a number of ex-Yankees are expected to be in attendance, from Reggie Jackson to Bernie Williams.
The Yankees will also be wearing caps with a special patch to honor Rivera. According to cap-maker New Era, this is the first time an MLB team will be honoring an active player on its cap.
You can bet, given the revelry surrounding Rivera this year, the Yankees have even more planned for Sunday's ceremony that we haven't heard about yet.
UPDATE: Here's the Metallica performance in video form, as well as a few other highlights from the day: