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 laser-like focus that is his hallmark, and how his faith and his family kept his feet firmly on the pitching rubber. 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.
©2014 Mariano Rivera (P)2014 Hachette Audio
So much to learn, and so little time to sit down and read. Thanks Audible.
I've never been a fan of the Yankees, but always been impressed with the classy way Rivera handles himself. When I saw his book was coming out I was very eager to listen to it, and was not disappointed. His transition from life as a relatively poor kid in Panama to the New York Yankees is an astounding story. Disney couldn't come up with a more amazing life transformation. For example, he showed up for his one-day audition with the Yankees in tattered clothes with a big hole in his shoe where his toe stuck out, and no glove. He had to borrow a glove from another player to take his turn pitching.
Even after making it big Rivera remained humble his entire career. He never held out for more money, and never had big battles with his coaches or teammates. Throughout the book he continually points to his faith in Jesus as his source of strength and joy. I thought it was really refreshing to see a person who doesn't just talk the talk, and then live a life that doesn't back it up. He is a class guy through and through.
I loved listening to this book and will recommend it to everyone I know. I only wish it would have been a few hours longer, especially focusing on his pre-Yankee days.
Rivera's memoir is for the baseball fan, aspiring player, person of faith - anyone interested in understanding what it takes to remain grounded while overcoming the odds.
"The Closer" is the inspiring story of Mariano Rivera's rise from humble beginnings to worldwide fame.
The descendant of fishermen, Rivera experienced hardship and setbacks in his youth. Content with the simplicity of life in the obscure Panamanian fishing village that was home, his aspirations of becoming a mechanic may have been realized if not for the actions of a Yankee scout.
Rivera's ascent to the legendary mound at Yankee Stadium is nothing short of miraculous. Discovered at the age of nineteen, he possessed a degree of baseball experience and ability, but was no prodigy when he entered the tryouts. Like the shepherd David, Rivera was completely aware of, yet unfazed by the Goliath he faced with unsophisticated artillery.
Rivera marvels at the extraordinary achievements and benefits of his life, but places it all in context. His memoir is as much a gratitude journal as it is an account delivered with candor, humility and simplicity. When juxtaposed against the incredible, Rivera casts himself as an underdog who becomes a champion, closing games and winning successive victories for the Yankees.
Whether he is writing from the perspective of factual reporter, amazed spectator or grateful beneficiary of benefits, advantages and accomplishments, Rivera ascribes it all to a divinely ordained plan intended as an opportunity to shift the spotlight from himself to Jesus Christ, to whom he has dedicated his life and the book. Although he is forthright about his beliefs, he is not proselytizing.
The narration is the sole drawback of this production. The tone and tempo are suited to sports announcing and detract from Rivera's content in places, making it easy to miss the point. His inflection often lacks continuity with the emotions conveyed by Rivera's words, leaving them flat. A second listen or purchase of the companion book is recommended.
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Probably the top sports book, but haven't read Derek Jeter's yet! :)
No, but as a Yankee fan, having him tell Mo's story made this book perfect. Couldn't have picked anyone better. Michael Kay's voice IS the Yankees.
Listening to his perspective of all specific moments of games, I know where I was during all of those moments and how I felt, but hearing how actual players felt humanizes them and makes it real.
Must listen for any Yankee fan, you will get to celebrate all of the big wins all over again, but sadly have to live through those grueling losses as well.
I love Yankees and Mr Rivera, also a fan of Michael Kay . But 95 % of book is old stuff. The first years in his home country were ok but after AA baseball no new facts. So much is missing maybe for another book?
His trust in God and love of life at every level.
Easy to listen to
Keep family close.
Nice to listen to but not deep enough in the off camera life.
This book was a great autobiography for an excellent baseball hall of fame candidate. You'll like it whether you are a Yankee fan or not, Rivera fan or not, or a person of faith or not. It's just perfect storytelling.
Mostly the detailed account of Rivera's life before he made it to the major leagues.
There were so many memorable moments. His early struggles which he learned to put behind him to become the greatest closer of all time
When he first arrived in Tampa, not knowing a word of English. He had never heard of Hank Aaron. This very young, uneducated boy. He befriended a teammate who wanted to learn Spanish and so they each taught their native languages to each other.
Oh yes. I had trouble putting it down. Mariano Rivera is my favorite all time baseball player; I can never get enough of him.
I think Michael Kay did an excellent job of reading this book. He knows Mariano very well, and I'm sure that helped. On a personal note, baseball games will never be as much fun for me now that Mo has retired. He was such an incredible athlete and a joy to watch. He will be missed on the Yankee Stadium mound for years to come.
I already knew the greatness of Mo the closer, I kinda knew of the person he was, religious, etc, but I loved learning how he is a great family man and teammate.
I despise Michael Kay. So much so that it is hard for me to watch a Yankee game when he is calling play by play; however, he was perfect to narrate this book. See, he knows Mo and his inflection was spot on. I hate to say it, but he did the best job of all the books I have listened to.
My favorite Yankee.
I enjoyed listening to the audiobook very much even though it took a bit of work to find the Mariano's voice and heart through the co-writer and the narrator.
I've heard Mariano in press conferences. I have a bit of an idea of how he talks. I often felt that the book had phrasing that reflected a sports writer more than the athlete himself. Mariano also has a fairly strong accent that was not reflected by the narrator who sounded more like a sportscaster than a biography narrator. Not only did the narrator make no attempt at a Latino accent when appropriate, he actually mangled some Spanish names.
However, the story does reward the effort and perseverance. We get a behind the scenes look into the life, faith and skill of one of baseball's best and best-loved.
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