Mariano Rivera a fan favorite even at Citi Field

Mariano Rivera of the Yankees pitches in the Mariano Rivera of the Yankees pitches in the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. (April 4, 2013) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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Mariano Rivera's farewell tour continued Monday afternoon at Citi Field on the perfect stage: a meet-and-greet set up in front of the giant No. 42 that sits at the center of the ballpark's Jackie Robinson Rotunda.

Rivera has pledged to do this once at every stadium this season, and the questions he got at this stop were hardly a surprise. The most popular subject among the group of longtime Mets fans and employees was the 2000 World Series, with one wondering if Rivera thought -- on contact -- that Mike Piazza's long fly ball to end Game 5 had a chance to go out.

"No," he said, smiling.

Rivera brought up Benny Agbayani, and how he remembered the Mets outfielder predicting his team would win in five games. "Benny was the one that stirred up everything," Rivera said. "What I tried to say is you should never stir up things. When you play sports, if you say you're going to do it, you better do it."

Rivera's cutter does the speaking for him. He was asked if the fans could see his grip. "I can't do that," he joked. "After I retire."

Of course, he relented, gladly showing the grip that has earned him 626 saves. When it was over, the Mets fans applauded.

"It makes me feel good," Rivera said, "because they respect the game."

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