I just had a feeling that there would be one of those glorious little SASE's waiting for me on the counter when I got home from work today. An inkling, perhaps?.....(cheesy pun TOTALLY intended)
And there it was...
|Don't worry - I was the animal that caused THAT tear!|
I let the cards inside gently slide out into my hands.
"My God..." I whispered to no one in particular. Here's what dropped out:
|500 Saves is SO 100 Saves Ago|
|My Kind of Art|
Thank you, Mr. Rivera!
That's right - the most successful closer of all time spent a few moments to sign my cards. This wasn't supposed to happen. I focused most of my efforts on preparing requests for the more 'probable' responders off of the Bombers' and others' spring rosters. I had sent to Rivera before, during the off season in late 2007. I had mailed off a Game Program from Yankee Stadium that I had held on to since my first and still ONLY visit to the Bronx in 2000-ish. Mo was on the cover - it was going to look AWESOME.
It never came back.
That's okay. I knew Rivera was a 'big name' and that the volumes of mail he probably received would be working against me. So it was that I finished his letter a few weeks ago, with that "...might as well, because you never know" eternal optimism that I seem to be cursed/blessed with. The cards I chose were kind of random, as you can see. My choices were slim as I hadn't been back in the hobby long enough to amass too many Mo's for the collection. But I liked the layout, background and balance of the Peak Performance card from 2010. It marked a pretty solid milestone and it would look pretty cool with a signature across the front.
Same thing for the Gypsy Queen green-border parallel. I am normally indifferent to parallels but I was enamored with almost all aspects of the GQ release last year, these greenies included. This Rivera was beautiful to me as an artsy rendition of his classic delivery with a border and background color scheme that just worked. It too would look fairly solid with some ink across the middle......if I ever even saw these cards again, that is.
But here they are, and I think they turned out beautifully! These are my first autographs of Mariano Rivera.
This might very well be Mo's last season in the game he has dominated so effortlessly. Ironically, he might be handing the reigns of Yankee Closer to my latest favorite player and PC quest - David Robertson - or somebody else, at the end of this year. So this might have been the last shot before years of potential chance run-ins at shows or auctions. How poetic!
Thank you, Mr. Rivera. Thank you for your contributions to the team I live and die with every season. Thank you for your contributions to the game of baseball and all of those epic moments in your career that are memories for me. Let's make a few more!
Okay....I'm done with my drama :)
The first return for STTM1 is in the books, ladies and gentlemen! Who will be next?
Stay tuned and thanks for reading!