It’s Now Official: For Some Reason, River Avenue Will be Co-Named to Honor Mariano Rivera

Rivera Avenue Edited

Because Mariano Rivera has not been honored enough during the past year, he is now getting a street named after him.

Starting next season, fans taking the D train to Yankee Stadium will no longer be exiting at the “161st St. – River Ave.” stop.  Instead, fans will be arriving at the corner of 161st Street and Rivera Avenue.

According to Beth DeFalco and George A. King III of the New York Post, on December 10th, the City Council unanimously voted to co-name one block of River Avenue outside of Yankee Stadium in Rivera’s honor.

Because, why exactly?

Apparently, no one is quite sure.  The closest thing to a reason for the change came from the New York Post’s Mike Vacarro, who quite eloquently argued that “[t]here is really no good reason not to do this.”

Enter SandmanBeginning with his press conference during spring training, Rivera was constantly honored and celebrated throughout the 2013 season.  He received a standing ovation at the All-Star game and was tributed in elaborate pre-game festivities in every city the Yankees visited.  The lauding of Rivera culminated with the over-the-top, hour-long ceremony at Yankee Stadium where Metallica played “Enter Sandman” and Rivera received a plaque in Monument Park.

Additionally, despite the number of great players in Yankee history, Rivera became the first Yankee to have his number retired while still an active player.

Mariano Rivera’s career was thoroughly celebrated last season.  In fact, by the end of the 2013, the extravagant tributes and gifts for Mariano Rivera bordered on the excessive.

There is really no legitimate basis why a further honor needs to be immediately bestowed upon him.

Furthermore, if a street is going to be renamed for a legendary Yankee player, why not name it after Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, or Mickey Mantle?  What about former Yankee captain Thurman Munson or Elston Howard, who was the first African American to play for the team?  Most notably, there’s Derek Jeter, who has been the face of the Yankee franchise since his first full season in 1996.  If Rivera gets a street, does Jeter get a bridge?

While the “co-naming” of one block of the street is mostly a symbolic gesture, a valid explanation for why this ceremonial renaming was needed has never been put forth.

Rivera was a great player.  He should be, and has been, honored for his on-field performance, off-field charity work, and the class he has always exuded.

But this is all just a little too much.

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