Mariano Rivera has been one of the greatest players to wear the pinstripes, but he is also one of the greatest people.

After his 2012 season ended almost as soon as it began, Rivera decided to come back for one final year. 43-year old Rivera worked with Jason Zillo, the director of communications and media relations for the Yankees on a farewell tour. Instead of Rivera being praised, he wanted to do the praising. 

In each city the Yankees play this season, Rivera spends time meeting with people who work behind the scenes at the ballparks and with special fans, not just of Rivera and New York, but fans of the game that Rivera has excelled at for 19 seasons.

As the Yanks stop in St. Petersburg this week, Rivera met with patients from the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa on Tuesday, and wanted to simply say "Thank you" to the brave men who are our true heroes. 

To read about their experiences and for more on the story, please CLICK HERE for Martin Fennelly's original article on