The Closer: My Story

The Closer: My Story

Wayne Coffey, Mariano Rivera

Language: English

Pages: 186

ISBN: 2:00266374

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The greatest relief pitcher of all time shares his extraordinary story of survival, love, and baseball.

Mariano Rivera, the man who intimidated thousands of batters merely by opening a bullpen door, began his incredible journey as the son of a poor Panamanian fisherman. When first scouted by the Yankees, he didn't even own his own glove. He thought he might make a good mechanic. When discovered, he had never flown in an airplane, had never heard of Babe Ruth, spoke no English, and couldn't imagine Tampa, the city where he was headed to begin a career that would become one of baseball's most iconic. What he did know: that he loved his family and his then girlfriend, Clara, that he could trust in the Lord to guide him, and that he could throw a baseball exactly where he wanted to, every time.

With astonishing candor, Rivera tells the story of the championships, the bosses (including The Boss), the rivalries, and the struggles of being a Latino baseball player in the United States and of maintaining Christian values in professional athletics. The thirteen-time All-Star discusses his drive to win; the secrets behind his legendary composure; the story of how he discovered his cut fastball; the untold, pitch-by-pitch account of the ninth inning of Game 7 in the 2001 World Series; and why the lowest moment of his career became one of his greatest blessings.

In The Closer, Rivera takes readers into the Yankee clubhouse, where his teammates are his brothers. But he also takes us on that jog from the bullpen to the mound, where the game -- or the season -- rests squarely on his shoulders. We come to understand the laserlike focus that is his hallmark, and how his faith and his family kept his feet firmly on the pitching rubber. Many of the tools he used so consistently and gracefully came from what was inside him for a very long time -- his deep passion for life; his enduring commitment to Clara, whom he met in kindergarten; and his innate sense for getting out of a jam.

When Rivera retired, the whole world watched -- and cheered. In The Closer, we come to an even greater appreciation of a legend built from the ground up.

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long time that He is using me for His own purposes, that He wants my pitching to help spread the good news about the Gospel of Jesus. What else could it be? It makes no sense otherwise. I never pitch for the Columbus Clippers again. On July 3, Bill Evers tells me I am going back up. I don’t jump up and down on the bed this time. I just get on a plane. Actually, several planes. I’m up at 4:30 to board a flight to Boston (the Clippers are playing at Pawtucket again) and then on to Chicago. By

hit anything. Pitchers get in zones, too, though. And I am in one, a place where you are completely committed to every pitch you throw, and you know you can put it exactly where you want. Gonzalez hit a homer off me the year before, so I know just how dangerous he can be. Unlike most sluggers against me, he also almost always makes contact; I would strike him out only one time in twenty-four career at-bats. He is a very good low fastball hitter, so I try to keep the ball up and away from the

comments from your manager and teammates. People will rip you and your kids will be teased and humiliated, and it will be a lio enorme—a huge mess. Knowing all this, if you still go ahead and take performance-enhancing drugs, you know what I think? I think you have problems. I think you have big problems. I think you are in complete denial, or reckless, or so sure that you are untouchable because you are a rich, famous ballplayer that your troubles probably are just beginning. Taking PEDs is

giving up two more runs, and when Piazza buries a Denny Neagle pitch for a two-run homer, the Mets are within a run at 3–2. Piazza comes up again in the fifth with two out and nobody on. Neagle is one out away from completing the five innings you need to get the win. Mr. T comes and gets him, and brings in David Cone, and Neagle is so incensed that he won’t even look at Mr. T. Cone is thirty-seven, an ace turned forgotten man, coming off the worst year of his tremendous career, a yearlong

we can get by them. Andy is our Game 1 guy, and he answers another big-game start with another big-time effort, giving up only three hits and a run and striking out seven. All night he is throwing his curveball exactly where he wants to. Knoblauch’s single gets us going in the second, and when Jorge pounds a ball from Mariners starter Aaron Sele off the wall in right in the top of the fourth, he hustles all the way and challenges Ichiro’s rocket launcher of an arm. Ichiro’s throw is outstanding,

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