by Ted Berg)
NEW YORK — Legendary Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who retired after the 2013 season as Major League Baseball’s all-time leader in saves, games finished and ERA+, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch alongside fellow 2013 retiree Andy Pettitte at Yankee Stadium for the club’s home opener on Monday.
But though Rivera’s baseball career is over, he’s still working. Rivera will soon publish a memoir titled The Closer, as well as a special version of the book aimed at a younger audience to be released in September.
“I am excited to share my story with young readers – where I came from, my time as a New York Yankee, my family, and my faith,” said Rivera.
Obviously Rivera has a lot to share about the physical and psychological strength required to last so long and become so successful in what’s often a volatile role. But his story’s interesting beyond that: The son of a Panamanian fisherman, he did not even own a baseball glove when the Yankees first scouted him, and had never flown on an airplane or even heard of Babe Ruth.
He said his book is a way to ‘let kids know they can do whatever they can dream,” which is especially true for any kids out there that might throw devastating cutters capable of flummoxing big-league hitters for nearly two full decades.