By Jack Etkin
Nearly six years later, the moment remains unforgettable and surreal to John Ryan Murphy.
Just how Murphy, then the greenest of major leaguers, came to catch the final pitch from Yankees closer Mariano Rivera and then stand, as unobtrusively as possible, and watch a most unlikely pitching change that resulted in Rivera’s emotional departure from the mound still leaves Murphy dumbfounded.
Rivera, the all-time leader with 652 saves in the regular season plus 42 more in the postseason where he went 8-1 with a 0.70 ERA, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday, the first player to be named on 100 percent of the ballots by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Murphy is a historical footnote in Rivera’s illustrious career because of what happened Sept. 26, 2013, at Yankee Stadium.
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