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Red Sox to honor Mariano Rivera with pregame ceremony Sunday

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has been honored by most teams in baseball this season. He's been showered with gifts and hugs from respecting opposition throughout his final season.

This one is different, though. The Red Sox are going to have a pregame ceremony before hosting the Yankees Sunday night in Fenway Park.

We're talking about the most heated rivalry in Major League Baseball and perhaps in all of professional sports. Not that this comes as a huge surprise. After all, even Red Sox fans cheer for Rivera.

This happened earlier in the season:

Not that this was the first time Red Sox fans cheered for Rivera. Remember that when the Red Sox unveiled their 2004 World Series championship banner on the Red Sox's home opener in 2005 they were playing the Yankees.

As the Yankees were introduced, one-by-one, boos rained down from the Fenway Park stands. And then Rivera came up. And he was met with a standing ovation and wildly cheered.

This was because Rivera had blown two saves -- including Game 4, the turning point -- in the 2004 ALCS and then two more to the Red Sox in the opening series of the 2005 season.

In classic Rivera fashion, he laughed and tipped his cap to the crowd, taking it all in stride like the good sport he's always been. This likely endeared him to Red Sox fans forever, even though they'd still love to beat him every chance they get.

So Sunday night's ceremony should be a fun one for all, especially Yankees and Red Sox fans.

Boy, does that sound weird.

In conclusion:

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