New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera tips his cap in the ninth inning of his final appearance in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium, against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.
Credit Kathy Willens / ap
The announcers kept quiet, so we won't say much either.
There's video here of what it was like Thursday night at Yankee Stadium when pitcher Mariano Rivera, considered by most experts to be the greatest "closer" in Major League Baseball history, threw his final pitch before heading off into retirement. He shed several tears, as you'll see.
And staying with baseball, let's meet a man who was once closer than anyone to victory and defeat in the same game. It's 1992, the last time the Pittsburgh Pirates were in the post season. They are one out away from the World Series. Atlanta is batting. And this happened.
(SOUNDBITE OF 1992 NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES)
SKIP CARAY: Swung, line drive left field. One run is in. Here comes Bream. Here's the throw to the plate. He is - safe! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win!
It's not just sports teams that win championships. It's also their fans - whole cities of people who endure long seasons, hanging on every pitch, every touchdown, every basket, sharing in both the elation of victory and also the pain of defeat. Major League Baseball's best teams are getting ready for the playoffs next week and so are their faithful. And over the next few minutes we want to feel what it's like to be on the cusp of either a championship - or disaster.
(SOUNDBITE OF 1986 MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYOFF GAME)
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel. Bud Selig, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, formally announced his intention today to step down from that position at the end of next season. Under Selig's leadership, baseball has experienced both expansion and upheaval. NPR's Mike Pesca joins us to discuss the tenure of the man who took over as the league's acting commissioner in 1992, Mike.
The online journal TheRoot.com, which focuses on African-American politics, culture and society, recently released its list of the 100 most important black influencers between the ages of 25 and 45. The list includes several known leaders and achievers, including NPR's own Audie Cornish, and Gene Demby and Matt Thompson of our Code Switch team. But there are also religious leaders, community activists and others who may not be household names ... yet.
Oracle Team USA completed a remarkable comeback to win the America's Cup regatta, winning eight straight races. The American team, backed by Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison, beat Emirates Team New Zealand. Just a few days ago, the American team trailed the Kiwis, and were on the brink of being eliminated from the competition.
Cycling's international governing body, the UCI, will hold a presidential election in Florence, Italy, on Friday. It comes at a time when cycling is still trying to recover from the admissions of Lance Armstrong and the ever-present cloud of doping.
Just a few months ago, most Greeks had never heard of a teenager named Giannis Antetokounmpo.
At 6-foot-9, the baby-faced athlete was the towering star of a minor-league basketball team in an Athens suburb. Born in Greece to a Nigerian soccer player and a high-jumper, he was raised and educated in Athens. He only received his citizenship this May.
And then, on June 27 in New York, NBA commissioner David Stern announced that the Milwaukee Bucks had used the 15th pick in the first round of the NBA draft to select Antetokounmpo, who recently turned 19.
In San Francisco today, a dramatic winner-take-all finish to the America's Cup race. Oracle Team USA, the defending champion, completed a remarkable comeback to win the regatta, 9-8. The American team is led by Silicon Valley billionaire and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. They were on the verge of elimination to their opponent, Emirates Team New Zealand. Trailing 8-1, the Oracle team then won eight straight races, concluding this afternoon in the high winds of San Francisco Bay. Announcer Todd Harris had the call on the NBC Sports Network.