- President Donald Trump awarded former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Monday.
- Trump and Rivera made quite an entrance, walking out to Rivera’s theme from his playing days – “Enter Sandman” by Metallica.
- Trump praised Rivera as “maybe the greatest pitcher of all time.”
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President Donald Trump made quite an entrance on Monday as he walked alongside Mariano Rivera to present the longtime Yankees closer with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour.
Rather than enter to a tune more traditionally presidential, Trump and Rivera walked into the room as Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” played, a nod to Rivera’s entrance music as a member of the New York Yankees.
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 16, 2019
Trump praised Rivera as “maybe the greatest pitcher of all time,” and took a moment to explain Rivera’s entrance music to the gathered crowd.
“Because he put the batter to sleep,” Trump said, per The Hill. “A lot of people don’t know that, but the Yankee fans know that.”
Earlier this summer, Rivera was criticised by some for his support of Trump, saying “I respect him. I respect what he does, and I believe he’s doing what’s best for the United States of America.”
Rivera is the latest athlete Trump has presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, joining Tiger Woods, Bob Cousy, Jerry West, Roger Staubach, and Babe Ruth, all of whom have been honoured at some point during Trump’s time in office.
Rivera is the MLB’s all-time leader in saves with 652 in his career, more than 200 more than any current active player. He won five World Series championships in his career with the Yankees and in 2019 became the first player unanimously voted into the Hall of Fame.
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