Generation X walked off the mound last night.
Mariano Rivera debuted in May of 1995, the same month I walked down a hill wearing a cap and gown.
Mariano pitched before the dot com boom, and during it's bust. He was the set up man for the Championship team of 1996.
Mariano and his Yankees enjoyed an amazing, wild, successful ride in the late 90's. He was the dominant closer for the World Series Champions of 1998,1999, and 2000.
Mariano was pitching in New York when the Towers Fell in 2001.
Mariano's team fell from their dominant perch that year, failing to win a World Series after winning 3 straight.
Mariano gave up the winning run in the 2001 World Series, and was credited with the loss. It was on a chop single up the middle, by an over matched team.
Mariano's Yankees made it to the Series again in 2003, but got run by a one year phenom from South Florida.
Mariano pitched while we fought in 2 long, ignored wars, that were never won.
Mariano pitched during another financial crisis, in 2008.
He closed games that same year, as our first Black President was elected.
He was a World Champion again in 2009, finishing for the iconic team, making it's slow recovery.
He tore his knee up shagging fly balls in 2012, and missed almost the whole year. He was 42 years old.
He rehabbed his knee, so he could play one last season, and go out "on his terms".
He was still an excellent closer this year. He pitched very well for a team that came up short of the playoffs.
Mariano walked off the mound last night, in tears, after hugging Derek Jeter and Andy Petite. ( Two of the guys he came of age with. One is also retiring, and one is still holding on, fighting injuries, hoping for one or two more great years)
Mariano took his curtain call, and was wildly cheered.
He sat down, and just looked out.