Following a 19-year career that saw him retire from baseball last fall as arguably the greatest closer of all-time, former New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera is making the jump to the Yankee Stadium starting rotation.
No, not that starting rotation. He really is gone from the game of baseball for good.
Instead, New York City FC announced on Monday that Rivera would be the very first season-ticket holder for the club's inaugural Major League Soccer season in 2015 — Account No. 42.
"I’m proud to be the first one. I’m used to being a closer, always the last one. I’m a starter now," said Rivera at a press conference announcing the club would play its debut season at the famous Yankees venue. "I’m a big supporter of the team. I wish the team the best. Definitely, you guys will have my support. And hopefully many fans will come.
"In NYC, we have a lot of people who love soccer. I always said soccer was and is still my No. 1 game. Baseball was just what I did in between."
When asked, Rivera, who was born in Panama and lived there until his early 20s, didn't completely shoot down the idea of one day buying his way into the NYCFC ownership group. He did, however, state emphatically that no such talks have taken place as of yet.
"I haven’t been approached yet, but if it comes I’d have to consider it," he said. "It would be nice to be a part of it. But that’s something that hasn’t been brought up."
And what if you're Mariano Rivera picking up season tickets to NYCFC — do you ask for a special discount, just because you're Mo? Of course you do.
"Being the first one, there were some adjustments made [on the price]," he revealed with a chuckle.