Ranking Mariano Rivera's farewell gifts

Hannah Foslien
Mariano Rivera was welcomed by 20 different teams along his farewell tour and he received 20 (or more) different gifts. Here is a ranking, from best to worst, of all the gifts because some were pretty cool and some were really, really bad.

  1. Minnesota Twins (July 2) - The Chair of Broken Dreams and a donation to his foundation.
  2. No one is going to beat a chair made out of bats that Mariano Rivera broke. Just think how long it must have taken to make this. How long were they keeping those bats?

  3. Cleveland Indians (May 13) - Gold record of Metallica's "Enter Sandman."
  4. A gold record from the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame with Mo's entrance music. That's pretty awesome and very appropriate.

  5. Baltimore Orioles (September 12) - Bronze sculpture of a bat being broken by a pitch.
  6. While Mo needs a statue of his own likeness, a broken bat is a close second.

  7. New York Yankees (September 23) - Crystal replica of Rivera's glove, framed replica of Rivera's number and retired-number placard, baseball-bat rocking chair and a donation to Rivera's Foundation.
  8. Retiring Mo's number while he's still playing is definitely worthy of No. 1 on the list, but giving a gift that was just a lamer copy of another kind of ruins it all a bit.

  9. Chicago White Sox (August 6) - Framed scorecard from Rivera's first appearance against the White Sox and a collage of pictures from the Yankees' 2001 trip to Chicago, their first games after the September 11 attacks.
  10. Including a scorecard all the way back from 1995 is pretty cool, and the thought of the picture collage is nice, but it is a little depressing.

  11. San Francisco Giants (September 23) - Watercolor painting and a custom guitar that's the same model used by Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett
  12. The painting is pretty nondescript, but the custom guitar was pretty cool.

  13. Detroit Tigers (April 7) - Mound dirt from both Comerica Park and Tiger Stadium, presented alongside pictures of Rivera pitching in each stadium.
  14. Giving him dirt from Comerica isn't a big deal, but from old Tiger Stadium? That's some history right there.

  15. Los Angeles Dodgers (July 31) - Deep-sea fishing rod and a donation to Rivera's foundation
  16. It's a fishing pole, but it's a really nice fishing pole. Hell, I like it.

  17. San Diego Padres (August 2) - Set of beach cruiser bicycles for Rivera and his family.
  18. Bicycles for the entire family? That's pretty cool.

  19. Oakland Athletics (June 13) - Custom surfboard, engraved bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley and a donation to Rivera's foundation.
  20. The surfboard is pretty cool, but the bottle of wine is a little weird.

  21. Texas Rangers (July 25) - Black cowboy hat and custom cowboy boots with Rivera's No. 42.
  22. Cowboy boots are an ok gift, a little too simple to really be anything memorable, but John Wetteland (and Joe Nathan LOL) gave them to him, so that's pretty cool.

  23. New York Mets (May 28) - New York Fire Department call box and mounted hose nozzle
  24. I get the fireman joke, but it seemed more like they were honoring the fire department than Mariano Rivera.

  25. Los Angeles Angels (June 15) - Painting of Rivera and the next day, fans were given certificates commemorating Rivera's Major League debut and first big league save, both against the Angels.
  26. Giving away baseball cards with factoids on Mariano Rivera is pretty cool, but the actual gift was a little lack luster.

  27. Toronto Blue Jays (September 19) - A sculpture of a fisherman catching a fish and a donation to Rivera's foundation.
  28. It was clearly thought out, but it's not that fun!

  29. Houston Astros (September 29) - Painting that depicted memorable moments throughout Rivera's career.
  30. Eh, it's nice and all, but nothing special.

  31. Red Sox (September 15) - Painting of Rivera at Fenway Park, a No. 42 from the stadium's manual scoreboard, a Fenway seat with the No. 42, the pitching rubber from the stadium's visiting bullpen and donation to Rivera's foundation.
  32. The Red Sox basically put on a show that was basically "The Red Sox Honoring Mariano Rivera" and it was a little ridiculous. That could have been the worst gift giving of them all, but they did give him the placard from their scoreboard, which was pretty cool. Everything else was just so they could show off their own players giving him gifts.

  33. Colorado Rockies (May 8) - Donation to Rivera's foundation.
  34. They didn't give any fun gifts, but they don't really owe Rivera anything since this was his first time in Coors.

  35. Kansas City Royals (May 12) - Donation to Rivera's foundation, presented by Royals Hall of Famer George Brett.
  36. No fun gift and the donation was given by George Brett, who notoriously hated the Yankees during his playing days. Also, the Pine Tar Game, so that's annoying.

  37. Seattle Mariners (June 6) - Donation to Rivera's foundation, presented by Edgar Martinez.
  38. I don't like to see teams showing Mo up with their own players, so they lose points for no gift and using a .625 career hitter to present it.

  39. Tampa Bay Rays (August 23) - Sand sculpture of Rivera alongside the words "Enter Sandman" and a donation to Rivera's foundation.

    The Rays created an ungodly creation that was supposed to look like Rivera, but it looks like a terrifying Olmec instead. Mo left the sand sculpture behind because he knew how bad it really was.

All these teams were nice to give a man who never played for them, and in a lot of instances actually cost them, gifts for no real reason at all. Still, some did better than others.

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