Heavy metal legends Metallica performed at the New York Yankees' stadium on Sunday (22Sep13) in honour of retiring baseball star Mariano Rivera.

The sportsman was feted in a special presentation prior to a game against the San Francisco Giants at the Yankee Stadium, and Metallica were there to serenade him with their hit Enter Sandman, which became Rivera's theme tune in recent years and has marked his entrance onto the pitch since 1999.

The rockers played with special guitar picks designed in the style of the Yankees' kit, and presented Rivera with gifts including a giant amp emblazoned with the world 'Sandman' and his kit number, as well as the rockers' autographs.

Sunday was also declared Mariano Rivera Day by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Rivera says of the tribute, "The whole thing was special. I wasn't expecting something like that... (There were) a lot of emotions. It was more than what I was thinking," while a post on Metallica's Twitter.com page adds, "Exit Sandman! Thank you Mariano!"