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Rangers honor Yankees' Rivera with Texas-style gift

The Rangers honor Yankees closer Mariano Rivera before Thursday's game in Texas.

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers were awfully kind to a pitcher who's inflicted so much pain on them throughout the years.


But when you're as good a player and person as New York's Mariano Rivera is, it makes sense.


The Rangers honored baseball's all-time saves leader before Thursday's game. Rivera, who recorded his 33rd save of the season in New York's 2-0 win later in the afternoon, is retiring at the end of the year. Of his 641 career saves, 40 have come against Texas.


In the pregame ceremony, Rivera was given a check for $5,000 to his charity foundation from Texas CEO Nolan Ryan. Former teammate John Wetteland presented Rivera with a pair of cowboy boots with his name and Yankees logo on them and Texas closer Joe Nathan gave Rivera a cowboy hat.


"Dominant. Professional. Ambassador," Texas manager Ron Washington said in describing Rivera. "Automatic. Any kind of adjective that you can find to describe him in a bright, bright, bright light. He's a very quiet guy and he just does his job.


"I did take three balls over there to get them signed but he hasn't signed them yet. I took them over there personally, but I know he'll sign them."


Washington wasn't the only one looking for a Rivera memento. Several Rangers also sent stuff to the visitor's clubhouse to get Rivera's signature.


Nathan, who followed Rivera to the mound in last week's All-Star Game and recorded the save, was glad to participate.


"It's just another way the Rangers are getting to honor him and I'm fortunate to be a part of it," Nathan said.