ARLINGTON, Texas -- The greatest closer in baseball history brought his farewell tour to
"What I'm getting from these tours is being able to say thank you," Rivera said Tuesday. "To people that work in the stadium, thanks. And that's what I wanted to do. I wanted to make sure that I said thank you for all those people behind the scenes that I can touch and be able to spend a little time with them."
Before Tuesday's game with the
Like any good pitcher Rivera has varied his delivery from city to city. In Tampa, he visited with veterans and active-duty soldiers at a hospital. In Kansas City he met with a family dealing with a tragic accident that injured the mother and two children while killing a third child. And in Oakland he brought a pizza to a woman who has worked in the
He will perform the same ritual when the Yankees visit
"Definitely it has been more than what I thought. Instead of them learning from me, I'm learning from them," said Rivera, 43, who is retiring at the end of the season. "Again, it's a blessing. I thank God for that."
Most teams have returned the favor, marking Rivera's record-setting career by presenting him with gifts at each spot.
When the Yankees visited
In Oakland, the Athletics gave him a yellow and green surfboard, a local wine with his uniform number and a special design engraved in it and a check for $10,042 for his charitable foundation -- the final 42 another nod to his number, which no major leaguer will wear again. Baseball retired the No. 42 in 1997 in honor of
But while Rivera declined to pick a favorite parting gift, he spoke fondly of the rocking chair he received in Minnesota. Rivera has been known to break a bat or two with his biting cutter so the
"They all are great things. Organizations put those things together so I appreciate that," Rivera said. "[But] the funniest, I think for me, is the chair. But they've all been wonderful."