Mariano Rivera's retirement gifts, ranked

His rivals have come up with some creative ways to express their respect

Mariano Rivera has picked up more saves than any player in history. Now in his final season with the Yankees, the greatest closer of all time is picking up a bunch of retirement gifts as his farewell tour winds around the league.

Sixteen teams have presented Mo with a ceremonial gift so far. Here are those gifts, definitively ranked in descending order of originality, suitability, and overall awesomeness.

T-15) Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners: Donations to Rivera's charity
Pro: Donating to Rivera's charity is a thoughtful gesture.

Con: It's the most generic gift imaginable, the equivalent of a relative giving you a birthday gift card to JCPenney.

14) Colorado Rockies: Check for Rivera's charity
On the surface, this is the same as the Royals' and Mariners' gifts. But did Kansas City or Seattle have a giant Barney knockoff present Rivera with an oversize check? Nope. Point: Colorado.

(Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

13) Los Angeles Angels: Enormous oil painting of Rivera
The Angels, in keeping with their ethos of spending lavishly on items with little practical value (see Hamilton, Josh), gave Rivera this big oil painting of himself.

(Louis Lopez/ZUMA Press/Corbis)

12) Los Angeles Dodgers: Custom fishing pole
Because all retired people love to fish, or something. At least L.A. didn't give him a fake Hollywood star, or stick him with Dwight Howard.

(Louis Lopez/ZUMA Press/Corbis)

11) San Diego Padres: Beach cruisers for the whole family
Full disclosure: As an avid cyclist, I'm biased in favor of this one. But Rivera looks thrilled about it, and the Padres did give him enough bikes for his entire family to take beach jaunts together.

(Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

10) White Sox: Scorecards from Rivera's first game at Comiskey Park
Like the best gifts, this one eschews expensive pizzazz in favor of emotional weight. That someone, anticipating this day, held on to a two-decade-old scorecard makes it that much more heartfelt — and somewhat disturbing.

9) Baltimore Orioles: Bronzed broken bat
Rivera has broken a lot of bats in his day, so this is fitting. However, it remains somewhat high on the list because another team has a way better gift based on the same premise.

(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

8) New York Mets: Mounted fire hose nozzle and call box
The Yankees helped ease New Yorkers, and the nation, back to normalcy after the September 11 attacks. Even 12 years later, the gift is apt, particularly when you consider the "call to the bullpen" that the call box also represents.

(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

7) Oakland Athletics: Surfboard, wine
I have no idea if Rivera surfs. And the Yankees are likely going to miss the playoffs, so there will be little need for celebratory wine. Then again, a sooner-than-expected offseason for Rivera means more time get drunk and learn how to surf. Clever thinking, Oakland.

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

6) Detroit Tigers: Dirt from pitching mounds
This may be the only time in history that dirt is considered a considerate gift.

(REUTERS/ Rebecca Cook)

5) Tampa Bay Rays: Semi-realistic sand sculpture
Oh, God, the eyes, the terrifying, vacuous eyes. This should be further up the list because it's so damn creepy, but the sand/sandman pun is enough to warrant a spot in the top five.

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

4) Texas Rangers: Cowboy hat and boots
Kudos to Texas for embracing its inner hokeyness, even if the team is owned by a bunch of Texas transplants and oilmen.

(REUTERS/Tim Sharp)

3) Cleveland Indians: Gold Metallica record
Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rivera is synonymous with Metallica's "Enter Sandman." Combining the two is a stroke of genius.

2) Boston Red Sox: Fenway's #42
The Red Sox gave Rivera a handful of gifts, but one sticks out: The number 42 from Fenway Park's hand-operated scoreboard. Rivera will be the last player ever to wear that number — Major League Baseball retired it league-wide in 1997 to honor Jackie Robinson, but let Rivera keep wearing it as an homage to the Dodgers legend who broke the color barrier.

(Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

1) Minnesota Twins: Rocking chair made of splintered bats
No contest, this is the perfect gift. It combines Rivera's notorious penchant for splitting opponents' bats with a sly wink about him heading off into retirement. Good work, Minnesota.

(Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)


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