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Rivera meets with Rangers Ballpark workers

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Kaylee Dollar wrote a paper on New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera when she was in the ninth or 10th grade at Wimberley High School in the Texas Hill Country.

On Tuesday, Dollar, the assistant to the outside grounds superintendent at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, met baseball's all-time saves leader, then posed for a photo and got an autographed baseball from him.

Just another day at the ballpark.

Rivera has had a sitdown with workers or fans at every visiting ballpark during his farewell tour, and on Tuesday, the Yankees closer met for about 20 minutes with members of the outside grounds complex crew -- the workers who take care of the 110 acres outside of Rangers Ballpark, from the Dr. Pepper Youth Ballpark to the TVs on the concourse.

"You guys works hard," Rivera said. "What you do isn't easy."

The Rangers and Yankees organized the event per Rivera's request. Rivera will be honored by the Rangers in a pregame ceremony Thursday beginning at 12:50 p.m.

"I'm being able to say thank you to people who work in the stadiums and the fans, and that's what I wanted to do," Rivera said.

Rivera thanked them for being a part of baseball and took questions from the group, and even asked them a few about what they did.

That's how he found out that Dollar had written the paper.

"It's amazing," Rivera said. "I don't know what she wrote, but knowing that a young lady was willing to write about my person is humbling. And to me that she picked me, that's amazing. I had a chance to meet her and chat with her a little bit, so that was good."