Quintessential Mo-Ments No. 39: From closer to opener

09/27/2013 9:04 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Before his final game at Citi Field, Mo shared a first pitch with the Mets' most legendary closer, John Franco.(AP)
Mariano Rivera hasn’t officially started a game since 1995, but in the second and final 2013 Subway Series game at Citi Field, the Mets gave Mo a chance to kick the proceedings off one last time by letting him throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

It wasn’t the first time he’s had that honor, with his most notable first pitch coming prior to Game 1 of the 2011 ALDS, but it was the first time Mo got the chance to do it outside Yankee Stadium – so to make the moment even more special, the Mets brought in one of their former closers to be the catcher in lefty John Franco, whose 474 saves still rank fourth on the list.

Mo’s first pitch to Franco was a strike, and later that night in the game, Rivera made his 1,072nd career appearance, passing Dennis Eckersley for the most games pitched by a right-hander.

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