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Retiring Yankees great Rivera meeting with special groups at every ballpark he visits

Boston, MA - 07/20/13 - New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera (42) spent some time talking and signing for fans along the left field seats before the start of today's game. The Boston Red Sox take on the New York Yankees in Game 2 of a 3 game series at Fenway Park. - (Barry Chin/Globe Staff), Section: Sports, Reporter: Abraham, Topic: 21Red Sox-Yankees, LOID: 6.1.4119671998.
Mariano Rivera, retiring after 19 years, met at Fenway Park with a special group of people in a luxury suite then took time to talk to fans and sign autographs.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

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Mariano Rivera played his first game at Fenway Park on July 16, 1996. He was a set-up reliever then and pitched two innings against the Red Sox. Joe Girardi, who manages the Yankees now, was the catcher.

John Basmajian can’t remember for sure, but he probably was at the game that day. The guy everybody at Fenway calls “Baz” has been working at the park for 46 years selling tickets.

In the years since, surely their paths crossed. If you count the postseason, Rivera has walked into Fenway Park more than any ballpark other than the two in New York he has called home. Baz? He’s as much a part of Fenway as the Pesky Pole.

On Saturday, the two career baseball men finally met.

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