River Avenue outside Yankee Stadium renamed for Mariano Rivera

Rivera Avenue

River Avenue outside Yankee Stadium renamed for Mariano Rivera

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Adding an "A" to the name of a street outside Yankee Stadium in the Bronx was a no-brainer. That's because "River Avenue" is now "Rivera Avenue" in honor of retired Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who is the all-time saves leader in Major League Baseball.

Rivera was on hand outside the ballpark Monday to personally pull a Yankees-logo "sock" covering off the green street sign in the shadow of the elevated subway tracks, which are just as big a part of the Yankee Stadium history as the pitcher is. He thanked Yankees officials, local leaders, fans, family, and God.

"I also would like to tell my wife, yeah, that this sign is for her because she put up with me for 23 years, that's right," Rivera said at the unveiling. "I would like to thank the New York Yankees for allowing me to play for 19 years with them and allow me to contribute to a beautiful community like the Bronx."

Rivera was joined by the local business association, 161st Street Business Improvement District, as well as representatives of Community Board and the City Council, which had to OK the name change.

The name change, which applies to the corner of 161st Street and the new Rivera Avenue, came relatively quickly after the idea began floating around a year or two ago. The honor is reportedly as much or more for Rivera's philanthropic activities in the Bronx and around the tristate region through his Mariano Rivera Foundation than for his signature cutter.

In the mass of fans attending the event were dozens of children from, the Head Start program at the Highbridge Advisory Council, according to the Daily News.

Rivera retired after the 2013 season with 652 saves (and another 42 in the postseason), a 2.21 ERA, 1,173 strikeouts, and five World Series rings.

"You guys, the fans, make this possible," Rivera said. "You guys allowed me to play the game I love. You guys were here for 19 years for me, day in and day out."

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