Spending a Day With Mariano Rivera
What I witnessed on Saturday was a community of love gathering around one of their own that loved the community back in so many ways.
Sure, his love Of New Rochelle was acquired during his time living there as a Yankee, a dominant closer which led him to be a World Champion , and now a unanimous Hall of Famer. Yet, you wouldn’t know he was any of that spending time around him because of his humbled and graceful manner.
I got that exact privilege thanks to Nicholas and Lence, who put on a tremendous parade and rally for #42 just a week after his induction into the Hall of Fame. The day kicked off at City Hall when New Roc Mayor Noam Bramson gave Mo the Key to the City! In his presentation, Bramson told the cheering crowd that Rivera is a “man who is admired for not only his skill on the mound, but for his decency, his kindness and humanity , faith and humility.”
After retiring , Mariano started up a church with his wife Clara in New Rochelle, and the community outreach hasn’t stopped there. He’s created the Mariano Rivera Foundation (https://themarianoriverafoundation.org) which goes around the country with initiatives like SAVE! From the record number of saves on the mound to now saving kids lives by getting them an education with Students Achieving Valuable Education, Mariano is now making his mark on the nation, while remembering his roots in Panama, the Bronx and New Rochelle!
In a day where a reliever charges the opposing visitor dugout as another Garrett did against the Pirates, Amir Garrett of the Reds I am referring to, Mariano is to this day the consummate family man and hard worker, who by the way just happened to be unanimously elected to Cooperstown!
On being honored at New Rochelle, Rivera told the crowd that over the years since 1995 while on the Yankees he made New Rochelle “part of myself”. And it shows! He shook hands and took pictures with the New Rochelle residents in a somewhat hot day and enjoyed it !
Personally, Mariano has always stopped by to say hello over the years at Yankee Stadium and to be able to congratulate him this past Saturday was quite special! On Saturday, I gained a better appreciation for his humanity and admire him for more than just being the amazing pitcher he was, but the way he meticulously operates his life in order to be successful!
Sometimes , I wish all ballplayers had the humility the unaniMOus HOFer Mariano Rivera has always had!