New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera arrived late at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night for Game 1 of the American League Championship Series after attending an afternoon funeral for two relatives who died at his home in Panama.
Rivera arrived at the park shortly before 9 -- during the top of the third inning -- and when his arrival was announced, the stadium gave a loud roar. Before the game, it was uncertain when he would arrive.
"The only thing I know is that the Yankees had a plane for him when he was ready to leave Panama," Manager Joe Torre said.
During the pregame introductions at 8 p.m. Bob Sheppard, the Yankees' public address announcer, announced Rivera's name saying, "En route to Yankee Stadium . . . " The announcement was also received with a roar.
"I'm sure what he's been through since he came off the mound on Saturday, this would be the place to really get away from sadness that he's experienced," Torre said. Victor Dario Avila, the cousin of Rivera's wife, Clara, died along with his 14-year-old son Saturday at Rivera's house. Officials said Avila and his son were electrocuted, apparently when an electrical cable fell into the water as the younger Avila was in the pool. His father dived in and died trying to save him.