TORONTO - Mariano Rivera sat in the old Founder’s Club before Tuesday’s game to say thanks to 26 long-time Blue Jays employees.
In his final year the New York Yankees closer has been thanking clubhouse attendants, grounds keepers and then going upstairs to meet front-office people, autograph a ball, pose for a picture and answer questions.
Shelia Stella, part of the Jays ticket office for 29 years, asked Rivera about the other side of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner?
“Mr. George was loyal to his workers,” Rivera told his captive audience. “I have so much respect for him. He put us in the best hotels, on the best flights, solved families’ problems. He was more than my boss.”
Seated alongside Yankees crack P.R. whiz Jason Zillo, Rivera told how in the last couple of years of Steinbrenner’s life the Boss would be driven around the Yankees complex, never leaving before saying goodbye.