BOSTON -- Mariano Rivera said he is "happy" in retirement, with no plans to pitch again. But the former Yankees closer, who before World Series Game 2 was presented the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award, couldn't help but crack a joke.
"I'm going to give another shot in the National League," Rivera said, referencing his farewell tour in which he received gifts in each visiting stadium.
Rivera, 43, posted 44 saves this season, his 19th, to extend his record to 652. "Clearly, unequivocally, he's the greatest relief pitcher of all time," commissioner Bud Selig said.
He added, "He became the face of baseball for this generation. And he did it in a way with so much class and so much dignity and so much honor that it couldn't help but make me as the commissioner of baseball proud to think that one of our great stars of this generation represented the game so beautifully."
Rivera, given a standing ovation when honored on the field just before first pitch, smiled and said when early February comes around -- when pitchers and catchers report -- "I'm going to go as far as I can go to where people don't play baseball."
But he didn't rule out stopping by spring training. "If I'm in Tampa, I will take a little half an hour to an hour to say hi to the boys," he said. "Why not? I love them."