Mariano Rivera throws out ceremonial first pitch at Yankees home opener

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Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera (inset) threw the ceremonial first pitch at the season opener between the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles, March 28, 2019. (AP)

Former New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, the Hall of Fame closer and all-time MLB saves leader, was back on the mound Thursday to throw the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium.

Wearing a crisp, clean pinstriped jersey sporting his iconic number, 42, a smiling Rivera trotted out to the mound, made one warmup windup with his right arm, lifted his left leg in an easy kick, and hurled a strike to catcher Gary Sanchez. The crowd cheered and applauded for the Yankee great.

In late January, Rivera became baseball's first unanimous Hall of Fame selection.

Rivera is baseball's career saves leader with 652 in regular-season play. He notched another 42—matching his jersey number—in postseason games.

The Bronx Bombers opened the 2019 regular season in the Bronx with a 1:05 p.m. game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Fans poured into the stadium after gates opened at 11 a.m. The pregame ceremonies began around 12:30 p.m.