The 2012 baseball season is being played amid uncertainty concerning one of the game's all-time greats, as Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is widely rumored to be in the final season of his illustrious 18-year career.
What is certain, however, is that Rivera will have more time on his hands once he finally decides to hang up his cleats. Although he has repeatedly expressed a desire to spend a great deal of time with his family and his faith, Mo may have opened up a door of possibilities on Thursday afternoon at Macy's Herald Square in New York City.
Rivera, who has clearly proven that he can close out a baseball game, demonstrated his ability to close out a sale during a meet-and-greet with fans who were interested in purchasing products from the newly launched "New York Yankees" for men and "New York Yankees for Her" fragrance brand.
According to the brand's website, the "New York Yankees fragrance epitomizes the winning style of the greatest team in baseball, capturing a sporty and confident attitude."
New York Yankees for Her, "a fun, inviting scent that captures the playful spirit of the Yankees girl," is available for female fans.
"Thank you very much for having me here. All you fans, I hope you guys come out with your wallets ..." a smiling Rivera told the cheering crowd after walking in during a recorded rendition of Metallica's "Enter Sandman," the song to which he has long entered games at Yankee Stadium.
A portion of the purchase proceeds will go to benefit the Mariano Rivera Foundation, which serves at-need youth living in the closer's native Panama and in New York. Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson, also an ambassador for the brand, will see some of the earnings go to his Grand Kids Foundation charity, which helps to improve the educational experience for youth around the country.
Many products were purchased by the bevy of baseball fans who had a chance to take a whiff of the fragrance with Rivera.
Susan Logan of Manhattan, seeking a surprise 26th anniversary gift for her husband, departed Macy's with cologne, an autographed baseball and a positive impression of one of the classiest players to ever don pinstripes.
"Mariano himself seemed like a very nice guy, seemed like a sweetheart," Logan said. "He said it was nice to meet me, and I told him not to retire, as rumor has it. He smiled and laughed, and told me I had a very nice wedding band on."
Logan was not the only customer to leave the store with a smile.
"I was waiting about two hours to meet Mariano, but it was worth the wait," said 18-year-old Salvatore from Queens, who rushed to Manhattan after reading about the event in a newspaper.
"I was so excited once I got to shake [Rivera's] hand ... he's my favorite player."
Zachary Finkelstein is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.