Prior to the start of the 2013 MLB season, Mariano Rivera announced on March 9 that his 19th year would be his last. As the New York Yankees visited ballpark after ballpark, opposing teams showered Rivera with gifts. Some were truly thoughtful, others were a little bit of a headscratcher. But, even with each present he received, you knew that the most memorable and difficult present of his final season was going to be one that had no monetary value. The night he stepped off the Yankee Stadium mound in pinstripes and waved goodbye to the Yankee faithful for the last time.

With only two outs remaining in the ninth inning, manager Joe Girardi sent out Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter to pull Mo from the game. Of course, Rivera wasn't struggling. He rarely struggled. However, the gesture was to give Mariano the ovation he truly deserved.

The GIF of Mo's send-off, courtesy of Erik Malinowski, perfectly encapsulates the long, emotional, rollercoaster season that Rivera has had to endure. Smiles for the game he loved turned into tears towards saying goodbye, but eventually, Mo was back to being Mo, smiling once again. It was a moment that Yankee and baseball fans alike will never forget for the rest of their lives. 

RELATED: The 50 Greatest Moments in New York Yankees History

[via MLB]