Mariano Rivera : from a poor fishing village to a legend in New York Yankees

Mariano Rivera | New York Yankees pitcher |MLB

Mariano Rivera is one of the greatest players in baseball history. In January of this year, the legendary pitcher Yankis became the first player to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by unanimous decision. NFL Therapy tells the story of the great Panamanian.

The sports winter of 2019 turned out to be incredibly informative - here are the Super Bowl, and the all-star weekend of the main basketball and hockey leagues, and the important pre-finishes of the main sports associations of hockey and basketball, and students ... and much more! Behind all this postmodernism of sports colors, we almost missed a unique event related to the great world-class athlete. Need to be fixed! With this article we want to compensate for the fact that we have not completed a phenomenal personality and an amazing athlete.

And two things returned us to the path of truth - the signing of a new heavy contract for pitcher “Yankees ” Luis Severino, and the start of pre-season matches of the Major League Baseball Championship. But this is not about them.

We wrote great materials about a wide variety of sports - hockey, basketball, American football, boxing. But, when it came to baseball, we managed only with the news - many thanks to Jack sparrow for the news. And yet, during this offseason in Major League Baseball, an incredible event occurred, unique to any other North American sports league. For the first time in the history of a major baseball league, a player was selected in the Hall of Fame who received 100 percent of the votes of the election commission. This has never happened before! This player is Mariano Rivera. Further in this article is a story about the great New York Yankees and why it is a true legend!


Mariano Rivera | New York Yankees pitcher | MLB

For those who started watching baseball in the early 2000s, the names of Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Mark Teixeira are cult. They are respected regardless of whether you supported the Red Sox or the Dodgers, the Mets or the Giants, no matter. These guys made themselves respected by their incredible talent and great attitude to the game, which they gave to their fullest. A completely different story with one of the most striking players of that team, Mr. Jennifer Lopez - Alex Rodriguez. But add it to this list and you will get one of the greatest teams in baseball history. They were gods! Well, or if you are closer to the comparison of the “Yankees" with the Evil Empire - they were dark lords.

At the beginning of the 20th century, a new era began in baseball - the rules changed, a large league and a well-considered competition system appeared. The new era of baseball has become the era of the New York Yankees. At the dawn of baseball in New York, there were three large teams: “Dodgers”, “Giants” and, in fact, “Yankees”. Later there will be one - the “Dodgers” and the “giants” will go to California. Later in New York, a bright fake (as most residents of the Big Apple thinks) will appear under the commands of the past - “New York Metropolitan”. But the capital of the world will already be captured by a frantic love for the Yankees. “Yankees" - the most New York of all the most New York.

But back to team strength during the new era. “Yankees" invincible Spanish army of the 16th century, with their great thirds. As in that army, which terrified the whole of Europe, there were great wars in the Yankees, which received a charge from the team’s unrivaled past. They led her to new successes in order to convey the banner of victory to new great wars. Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Joe Di Maggio, Lou Gehrig, Reggie Jackson - this is just the smallest, cream elite baseball empire. Bernie Williams, Bill Dickey, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra - damn it, if we decide to list all the great players in the history of the New York Yankees, we have a chance not to finish this article by the beginning of next season. “Yankees” from the same category as Madrid “Real”, basketball “Lakers”, hockey “Canadiens”, “Patriots” Bill Billichek, English “Manchester United”, Brazil's national football team - although there is probably no “Yankees” even more (the Americans will definitely say that much more). Sports resources ESPN and Bleacher Report unanimously recognized Yankees - the main sports franchise in modern sports. We will not argue. In the end, “Yankees” and the same “Real” connects the fact that they are loved and hated equally strongly. Someone considers them the fiends of hell, someone proof of the existence of paradise. In the USA, Yankees loves a large part of the population! “Yankees" - the image of America! The heart of the American beats in unison with the chanting “Lets go, Yankees”, and their children are born in caps with the famous emblem, which captures the two letters “N” and “Y”. But even those who passionately hate the Yankees recognize the greatness of their achievements. It’s simply impossible not to recognize them! Sports resources ESPN and Bleacher Report unanimously recognized Yankis - the main sports franchise in modern sports. We will not argue. In the end, “Yankees” and the same “Real” connects the fact that they are loved and hated equally strongly. Someone considers them the fiends of hell, someone proof of the existence of paradise. In the USA, Yankees loves a large part of the population! “Yankees" - the image of America! The heart of the American beats in unison with the chanting “Lets go, Yankees”,

Since 1923, “Yankees" have won 27 league titles. The second best indicator at the “St. Louis Cardinals” - 11 championships. In total, New Yorkers went to the final series - World Series - 40 times, which, as you can understand, is also a Major League Baseball record.

Mariano Rivera | New York Yankees pitcher | MLB

In general, if you were suddenly not in the know, Yankees is a special team. It is not a team, to be precise. Yankees - a lot more. How did it happen that one of the main legends of the US became a Panamanian smiling athlete, whose name is now embossed in golden letters in the most prominent place in the World Baseball Hall of Fame?


There is a lot of joke about modern baseball. The Americans themselves are joking. Sometimes not entirely politically correct. The next joke among them. In order not to injure anyone’s feelings, we’ll clarify - we only give it in the original. “What is modern baseball? This is a game that 40,000 Americans come to watch nine Latinos throw a ball at each other! ”

Mariano Rivera was born in Panama City in 1969. Mariano's father was a fisherman - the Rivera family lived in a small fishing village near the capital of Panama. Mariano himself says that the family was completely poor, but the parents tried to ensure that the children were always well-fed and healthy.

Panama is a small state located at the junction of Central and South America on the Isthmus of Panama between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, bordering Costa Rica in the north and Colombia in the south. In the language of the Indians of the local Kueva tribe, this name can be translated as "a place where there is a lot of fish." For much of the 20th century, little Panama was shaken by coups and revolutions. The reason for all the geographical position of the country and the presence of the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal is one of the largest and most complex construction projects carried out by mankind. The Panama Canal had an invaluable influence on the development of shipping and the economy as a whole in the Western Hemisphere and around the world, which led to its extremely high geopolitical importance. Thanks to the Panama Canal, you no longer have to go around South America, and the sea route from New York to San Francisco was reduced from 22.5 thousand km to 9.5 thousand km. For control of the canal and bloody revolutions unfolded on the territory of Panama. In such a wild and strange environment, the future star of the world baseball grew.

Latin America has three sports: football, baseball, and revolution. Mariano had seen enough of the revolution in his childhood - and they did not attract him at all. But driving a spotted tree on fresh green grass under the sun of his native village, or throwing a ball with his father on fresh Panamanian evenings was his favorite pastime. The problem was that the boy did not have any baseball attributes. But here an invention came to the rescue - they made gloves from cardboard boxes, replaced the bat with the necessary sizes with sticks, and instead of the ball they used the pressed parts of the fishing net wrapped in a round shape. Mariano will receive her first real baseball glove as a gift only for her 12th birthday - she will be worn, falling apart, but she is most loved in his life.

True, the young Rivera had other problems besides poverty.

- I spoke with the wrong people, and this could lead me to big trouble. In ninth grade, I dropped out of school. Then my father made me work, and took me as an assistant on his boat! It was a dangerous business, and so I realized how hard it is for my father to get the money. Once, before my eyes, my uncle fell under the boat’s mechanism and suffered serious injuries; he died several months later. One day, the boat almost sank with us right in the ocean due to overload! - recalls the Panamanian.

Rivera continued to play sports. He dreamed of becoming a footballer, like his idol Pele. But at 17, he was forced to finish football due to a knee injury. Baseball remained Mariano's hobby, but one day he had the opportunity to play for the Panama Oeste youth team - Rivera was taken to one of the tournaments as a reserve player in the short-stop position. During one of the matches, the team's starting pitcher played so badly that the manager decided to put Mariano on the field and, despite the lack of experience, the newly made pitcher played just fine. Until that day, Rivera had never played as a pitcher!

Rumors of a young avenue spread across Panama, and reached the New York Yankees scouts. Two weeks after her pitcher debut, Mariano was invited to view the American team's training camp. Initially, the Yankees scouts were negative - this guy is 18 years old, he had never been a pitcher before, he looked like a starving man from a slum. But as soon as Rivera went up the hill, as everyone was stupefied, he began to feed at a speed of 85-88 mph completely without preparation. The American scouts were so impressed that they immediately signed a contract with Mariano with a bonus of two and a half thousand dollars - an incredible amount for a young Panamanian.

- We were struck by his physics, the mechanics of his throws, the accuracy of innings. It was hard to believe that before that he had never played as a pitcher - it was an incredible sight! - will tell about the first impression of the Panamanian talent Herb Rayburn, then the main scout “Yankees" in Latin America.


Mariano Rivera | New York Yankees pitcher | MLB

The first years of his career in the United States, Mariano Rivera had to spend in minors - teams from major league baseball club systems, whose task it is to develop promising players. Until 1990, Mariano was never abroad and never spoke English. As he recalls, he experienced a real cultural shock in his first few years in the States. He constantly wrote letters to his mother and father, because they could not afford a phone in Panama.

But with the game, Rivera was in full order. From the first season, he almost did not give reason to doubt his prospects. He had a brilliant transmittance of 0.17 during the first season, and played a know-hitter in the last game of the year (he did not miss a single hit for the whole meeting). This made Rivera one of the main avenues of the league, forcing all the teams of the Big League to pay attention to the incomprehensible young man from Panama.

Rivera continued to move up the New York Yankees team system. Despite the fact that his performance as a starting pitcher fell, he continued to improve the results of his reliever game.

Here you need to stop a little more. Baseball is not the most relevant game for Russia and many may be misled by the abundant number of names of overseas professions. With the pitcher, probably, everything is clear. The tasks of the pitcher include performing feeds from the pitcher's slide. But the profession of the server is divided into several different roles. To be precise, for two roles - the starting pitcher (which, in fact, starts the game and usually spends four to six innings on the hill, although it can be arbitrarily more) and the receiver (the player who replaces the starting pitcher during the game).

Relievers enter the field from bullpen - a special bench. Relivers, in turn, have different roles. Almost the most significant is the role of the closer. The tasks of the closer include going up the hill in the last inning (sometimes a little earlier) to save the score in favor of his team. There are a number of nuances in the work of the closer, but I won’t bother you with them - if you are not the biggest baseball fan, you have nothing to do with it (and the “baseball players” can figure it out without me). The main thing that you should know, the closer is one of the most nervous, but at the same time respected professions in baseball.

Mariano was still led by the minors as a starting pitcher, but many coaches from the Yankees circle understood that this Panamanian could become, if not great, then a great relay. The starting pitcher must have a large set of shots, and Mariano spent a huge amount of time working out the mechanics of inconvenient innings. As a result, it had serious consequences - unpleasant consequences. He was seriously injured by a throwing arm elbow, and nearly had surgery for Tommy John (the most famous operation for pitchers). But instead of a rather complicated operation with a long recovery period, Mariano underwent a hand rehabilitation course, which allowed him to avoid more complex health problems with a further skipping of the whole season in the lower leagues.

Mariano Rivera | New York Yankees last game

A few months later, Mariano will be back in order to show statistics for 10 wins with two defeats in 22 starts of the season by the end of the season and get the status of the ninth best prospectus “New York Yankees”.

The first seasons in Major League Baseball

A few years after his stay in the USA, Mo, as the fans call him, found a smile and joy - the Yankees leadership signed his cousin Ruben, thereby expressing confidence in the Rivera family. A year later, Ruben recognized as the second best prospect of all baseball. And Mariano will be already in the main team of “Yankees”.

Finally, on May 16, 1995, Mariano Rivera made his debut in Major League Baseball at the New York Yankees. He was called up for the team instead of injured Jimmy Kay. Mariano left at the start and ... failed. He missed 5 wounds in 3 innings, and his team lost 0-10. In his first starts in Major League Baseball, Rivera showed himself to be an extremely unreliable starter, skipping 10.20, and was again sent to the lower leagues. The management of the team wanted to exchange Rivera with the Detroit Tigers, and everything was ready for the trade when Mariano exploded. In one of the miners' matches, the pitcher issued a know-hitter, while the average speed of his throws was 95-96 miles per hour, which was 5 miles per hour higher than the average Panama Avenue average result. The Yankees manager, Gene Michael, did not believe the results of measuring Rivera’s innings, given to him, considering that the radar of the trainers of the Yankees farm club was faulty. But a few days later he received exactly the same data from the coaching staff of the rivals, who took speed measurements during the match with his radar - Mariano Rivera began to throw faster! Much faster! It was a real napalm! The exchange with the Tigers was instantly canceled.

No one knows exactly what happened, but in an instant - in one game - Mariano suddenly improved his game several times. This match has become one of the most famous in terms of instant metamorphosis of one player - a real legend.

- It was all about injuries! Since the injury to the elbow, I could not get rid of the pain. Before that game, I suddenly felt that my hand did not bother me at all. I went out on the field and did my job! - recalls Rivera.

On July 4, he returned to the start of the team, so as not to miss a single point and make 11 strikeouts. By the end of the season, Rivera had statistics of 5-3, with a transmittance of 5.51 for 10 starts and 9 exits in relive.

Before the playoffs, Mariano Rivera was transferred to the bullpen team. The management of the team was not sure whether the young pitcher was ready for the decisive matches of the season, but with his performances in relieves, Rivera convinced them of his readiness. In the divisional round, Rivera spends 5 innings and one out on the field without missing a single point.

This was the moment of identification. The Yankees realized that they had a top-end receiver on their hands. The river is being used as a setup-man - a receiver in the 7th, 8th inning - in front of the clowner John Wetteland. The duo of relivers shows a brilliant game, filling out 70 team wins out of 73 cases when the team leads after six innings.

Rivera ends the season with a 2.09 transmittance and sets a Yankees record for strikeouts for relievers. In that season, Rivera showed the highest WAR result in history (we won’t go into the details of these statistics, otherwise you can go crazy with the next statistical component, but believe me, this is cool!), And in addition he spent 26 innings in a row without missed wounds . It was at this moment in the horizon of the league a new superstar ascended.

“You must ban him at Major League Baseball.” This is just not fair! He must play in a league that is above Major League Baseball! - admired the talent of Rivera manager of “Minnesota Twins”, Tim Kelly.

1996 was the year of the New York Yankees Championship. “Yankees" won the World Series for the first time since 1978, and began a new round of their greatness. In many ways, they were able to achieve these successes thanks to their new star.

At the end of the season, Rivera was third in the vote for the prize for the best pitcher of the American League - Sai Young - and 12th in the vote for the MVP title.

- It is unbelievable that the middle innings reliever is a contender for profit centers - and this is absolutely deserved. He was the best pitcher of the year. If he were not a receiver, Sai Young would have won. Rivera is the main revelation of this season! It represents a revolution in our sport! - said at the end of that year, Tim McCarver, one of the most respected baseball analysts.


As I already wrote, in the 2000s, the real lions gathered as part of the Yankees. It was one of the best teams in major league baseball history. Derek Jeter was Captain America, he knocked out, helped out on defense and was the leader in the locker room, Jorge Posada was the main communication of the team - he was the link between the defense and the attack of the team, Mariano Rivera ... When Mariano Rivera went over the “Yankee Stadium” field, a song sounded “Enter Sandman” from Metallic's Black album. According to the first musical chords, the opponent’s batter understood that OH would appear now! Perspiration appeared on the forehead, the jaw began to chew in chewing gum in dust, the hemispheres shook the earthquakes.

In 1997, Mariano Rivera was transferred to the position of a closer. The start of a career in a new status did not immediately set - out of six opportunities, Mariano took advantage of only three. But the team manager - Joe Torre - continued to believe in Panamanian and he did not disappoint. By the end of the season he gave 43 saves in 52 attempts with an elite transmittance of 1.88!

Unfortunately, for the fans of the team, in the playoffs, “Yankees” lost to gain a little more strength, reboot, and give out one of the best decades in history.

Kids wearing new York Yankees t-shirt for Rivera

The following year, the Yankees reach the World Series, where they meet with the San Diego Padres. Save the Rivera in the fourth match allows the Yankees to take back the baseball throne - to mark the championship season, in the regular part of which the New Yorkers set a record for victories in the history of the regulars (125 wins !!!).

Then the idea was born with the release of Rivera under “Enter Sandman”. The Yankees management was impressed by how the Padres fans exploded when their closer Trevor Hoffman stepped on the field. He went out to the AC / DC song “Hells Bells”, and then the audience got up on their ears and electrified everything around. As an answer, Hoffman was offered the exit of Mo Rivera under Metallica. And this has become the trend of the great baseball player. Since then, Metallica’s music has caused bouts of paranoia in the Major League Baseball batter (except for the Yankis players).

The next season, the main metalist of the league finishes with a saves leader in the regular season and receives the title of the best releiver of the year. Yankees is back in the World Series. They are confronted by the Atlanta Braves. Mariano Rivera in the best shape of her career. The “Atlanta” has no chance! Rivera ends the season with 43 innings without missing points, including the series continuing into the final. “Yankees" win the second title in a row and the third in four years. MVP of the final series becomes Mariano Rivera !!!

“Yankes" are not even going to slow down and a year later they again win the World Series. This time, the neighbors, New York Mets, were outplayed in the finals. During the playoffs of 2000, Mariano beats two records of the great predecessor at once. Dennis Eckersley’s record of saves in postsison - 16! And the record of the greatest “Yankee” Whitey Ford by the number of innings in a row in the playoffs without missing points - 33 innings and one out!

- A great weapon and the main reason for the four Yankees championships over the past five years !!! - journalist Jack Curry writes about the significance of the Panamanian.
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This part of the story could already be sufficient to make it clear what level of greatness the hero is before us. But this was only the first part of the golden scripture of Mariano.

In the next ten years, the Yankees and Rivera will win another league title (in 2009 they will beat the Philadelphia Phillies, after which ESPN and Sporting News magazine will name Rivera the best athlete of the year!). Mariano himself will receive another 9 invitations to All-Star Matches. He will win the title of the most valuable player in the finals of the American League, four times will be recognized as the best distributor of the season. It will seem several times that the great Panamanian is close to quitting sports. But over the “Yankee Stadium” again comes James Hatfield's guitar riff from “Enter Sandman,” and Mariano Rivera runs onto the field. The ladies swoon, the batter are shaking hysterically, the Yankis bosses are putting another victory in the standings!

In 2010, Rivera, Jeter and Pasade will be the first trio in sports history to play 16 seasons together. In the same season, Mariano's old friend - Trevor Hoffman - will finish with baseball with 601 saves for his career (the best result in history!). Mariano will remain for a couple of seasons to become a champion in the history of Major League Baseball. He will achieve this achievement in less than a season.

At the beginning of the 2013 season, Mariano will declare that this year will be his last. The 43-year-old legend will be escorted by the entire league. In Cleveland, the entire team of rivals and representatives of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will present Panamanians with the “Enter Sandman” gold disc, a monument will be opened in Minnesota in the form of a huge throne of broken bits (they were broken by batter blocks that received outs from Rivera) - the monument will be called “Throne of the Broken” of dreams. " The Boeing company will paint one of the civilian aircraft in Yankees colors and sign it outside with the numbers “42” - in honor of Mariano’s number. Metallica's band will perform live at one of Mariano’s last matches, performing the great pitcher “Enter Sandman” before the release. The mayor of New York will name one of the streets in honor of Mariano, and declare September 22 “Mariano Rivera Day”. It was on September 22, 2013 that Mo was last to enter the baseball field as a professional. The emblem “New York Yankees” will flaunt on his chest again, the audience will applaud a veteran, and for the first time rival batter, and the whole of America, will join them. Vivat, King!

On January 22, 2019, Mariano Rivera was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. For the first time in history, this was done unanimously. Not a single player in history has been honored to receive one hundred percent of the votes from respondents. Mariano was unique here too.

Rivera fan in the last new York Yankees game

A few months after the inauguration of the Hall of Fame in the United States, a scandal breaks out. The ex-girlfriend will accuse Mariano Rivera of not helping his illegitimate sons enough. Yes, yes, everything is true here. Mariano was not accused of rape, not drug addiction, not pedophilia, not homophobia. Mariano Rivera is not helping her children enough. Mariano himself denies this. And his teammates say he was always perfect, including in paternity. On and off the baseball field, Rivera was a role model for millions. And frankly, I don’t want to dig a cult athlete in the underwear. Moreover, there is almost no dirty linen there! This story is not about that at all.This story is about a boy from a poor fishing village in Panama who became the legend of the greatest team in the world! This story is GREAT Mariano Rivera !!