Mariano Rivera met with approximately 20 longtime Dodgers employees before the New York Yankees took on the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday.

One to save: Mariano Rivera speaks to longtime Dodgers employees

By Steve Dilbeck |
7:40 p.m.

He walked into applause and still left with yet an even more appreciative audience. Mariano Rivera is a Yankee, which makes him a natural enemy to anyone who cares about the Dodgers.

Yet there he was, meeting privately with approximately 20 longtime Dodgers employees before Wednesday’s game, expressing his gratitude for their being there, answering questions, posing for individual photographs and handing each a signed baseball.

“It’s a privilege and honor to be here,” he told the small group. “Thank you, I know you all have busy schedules.

“But it’s important to me to be able to say thank you. We always see all the people on the field, but not those behind the scenes. I just wanted to be able to say thank you for what you’ve done for baseball.”

Rivera, universally considered the greatest closer in baseball history, is retiring after this season. Yet, in addition to the usual gifts presented by opposing teams, Rivera has made a point…