It’s been more than seven months since the idea of changing River Avenue outside Yankee Stadium to Rivera Avenue to honor the great Mariano Rivera was brought up. But on Monday…it’s going to be a reality.
“It’s an honor to have a street named after me,” the future Hall of Famer told The New York Post. “I have a lot of great memories driving down that street. My family and I are extremely grateful for this.”
For those of us who have no idea of the geography of the newly-minted Rivera Avenue. The New York Yankees’ home park sits on the corner of River Avenue and 161st Street.
Come help us celebrate Cinco De Mariano! We will be unveiling the Marian Rivera Avenue sign at 11:30am #RiveraAv
— 161stRIVERAave (@161stRIVERAave) May 5, 2014
“Mariano Rivera has been sort of a beacon for the Hispanic community,” said Dr. Cary Goodman of the 161st Street Business Improvement District. “This is a Latino neighborhood predominantly, and so it represents a changing of the guard in the neighborhood, and it also represents a recognition of the fact that the neighborhood and the Yankees are inextricably, you know, knitted together.”
“We are very excited to see that the idea is going into the practice because there is no greater role model in sports today than Mariano Rivera. This renaming of the street will be a constant reminder to generations of fans of the Mariano Rivera Standard–on and off the field,” Dan Salogub, who started the initial movement, told The Hall back in November. “As much as I would like to take personal credit, I really can’t. Without Mariano Rivera being the player he was and the man that he is, there is no campaign for Rivera Ave. I am just happy to be a part of a project that will truly Honor Mariano Rivera.”
For the record, this isn’t the first time a street in The Big Apple has been named after t a living baseball player. Last summer, a stretch of road in Harlem was re-named Willie Mays Drive after the legendary outfielder.