For Mariano Rivera, going last is something he was used to throughout his Major League career. That's why it was fitting to see that same thing happen in Cooperstown on Sunday afternoon.
Rivera was the last inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame during the ceremony this afternoon, and rightfully so. Not only is he the most dominant closer of all time, but the Yankee legend was also the first unanimous inductee in history.
So, with a Bernie Williams guitar solo and all, Rivera was introduced to the crowd full of Yankees fans that he addressed after receiving the honor.
"To the fans, you guys always pushed me to the best," he said. "All those New York fans, when I was at Yankee Stadium pitching I felt like I was pitching with 55,000 people next to me throwing one pitch after another. You guys are the best. Without your support, I cannot do it."
Rivera went on off script to talk about how his famous cutter came to be, something he said he tried one day for an hour to fix because he couldn't control it. Eventually, he would give into the pitch's movement, not knowing that it would be his calling card for his entire career.
He also told a story about the time he was called up to the Majors, but not as a closer. He was quickly sent back down to the farm system, however, he wasn't alone.
"[In] '95, I got the call: Made it to the big leagues," Rivera said. "As a starter like Andy Pettitte was saying. And I didn't do too good. So I had another friend with me also when they sent me down, and they sent him down with me too. That was Mr. Derek Jeter. Can you believe that now?"
Thanking as many people as he could, including his family, the Core Four, and the late George Steinbrenner, Rivera soaked in every second of his speech as much as the fans did. "The Sandman" closed out one last time telling everyone along his journey that he loves them before ending the ceremony.
During his 19-year career -- all with the Yankees from 1995-2013 -- Rivera was a 13-time All-Star that holds the MLB record for saves (652), games finished (952) and ERA+ (205). His career 2.11 ERA is also the lowest in MLB history for any pitcher that has accumulated at least 1,000 innings pitched.
The postseason is where Mo truly shined. His arsenal was even better and he was more than locked in, totaling a miniscule 0.70 ERA in 96 games (141 innings). He was a key reason why the Yankees dynasty in the 1990s and early 2000s flourished, as he collected five World Series titles, one of which he was MVP in 1999.
Rivera was the last man to wear No. 42, which was retired throughout the league in honor of Jackie Robinson.
It was inevitable that Rivera would make it in, but with his plaque made and his speech finished, Rivera will now be forever enshrined as the greatest closer to ever play the game.