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Wetteland helps Rangers pay tribute to Mo

Wetteland helps Rangers pay tribute to Mo

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Wetteland helps Rangers pay tribute to Mo

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers honored Yankees closer Mariano Rivera on Thursday with a few Texas-themed gifts before his final regular-season game at Rangers Ballpark.

The Majors' all-time saves leader received a cowboy hat as well as a custom pair of boots with his name and the Yankees logo stitched on the front. The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation also presented Rivera with a $5,000 check for his foundation. Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan, closer Joe Nathan and former Rangers and Yankees closer John Wetteland took part in the ceremony.

"When you look back, from where he started and the process of how Mariano Rivera -- not a scared kid, but a wide-eyed kid -- becomes arguably, then far and away, the greatest closer that ever lived, you can kind of see it now," said Wetteland, who was the Yankees' closer during the 1996 World Series, with Rivera setting him up.

"The thing that blows my mind is how the body holds up. We all take care of our bodies; energy in and energy out. We all tend to those things, but there are a special few that are blessed with the ability to keep going. That's something that's very special that I can't explain."

Rangers manager Ron Washington pointed to Rivera's ability to locate his cutter as the reason for the closer's success. While hitters may know the pitch is coming, Washington said Rivera has hardly hurt himself with a lack of command.

"He set a standard that I don't think anyone will ever [match]," Washington said. "He's automatic, and any other other adjective that you can find to describe him in a bright, bright, bright, bright light, that's what you do. Class act."

Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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