of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-2 of 2
Page 1 of 1
sunny island breezes
a sunny island
5 Stars Out Of 5
June 9, 2014
sunny island breezes
a sunny island
I'm not sure why I signed up to review this book. I knew very little about baseball and nothing about Mariano Rivera. I wasn't sure why, but I'm very glad I did. Now I know a lot more about baseball, and I feel as if I know the man called the closer.
This book takes one into the heart of baseball as well as into the heart of Mariano. It tells of his love for baseball, family and God.
Here is a quote from The Closer that made my heart sit up and take notice. "It's so easy to get caught up in the problems and complications and sadness that life can confront us with, but by opening my heart to the Lord, I am filled with lightness, with appreciation for the gifts He has given me, with the ability to pay attention to what is good and not what is not good."
That, my friend, is wisdom that we should all hold in our hearts.
Thank you, Mr. Rivera, for showing us the heart of a godly man. If you were still the Yankee closer, I would be a huge Yankee fan. I wish you and Clara well as you work with the Refuge of Hope.
***A special thank you to Amy Morrow of The Barnabas Agency for providing a review copy.***
You probably know him as the closer for the Yankees. The records he holds are impressive, such as most career saves - 652. But what about the man? Who is Mariano Rivera?
He's the son of a Panamanian fisherman who once thought he might be a good mechanic. But he loved baseball, playing on the beach with a ball made of wound up net and a glove shaped from cardboard. At eighteen he was invited to play with the Panama Oeste Vaqueros (Cowboys) in Panama's top league. He liked the outfield but when the team was in a jam, he was asked to pitch. He was twenty years old.
"Throw strikes and you'll be fine," the manager says. Put in the second inning, he goes the distance and does not allow a run. He continued to help his dad, fixing nets, anticipating the mechanic's school, figuring he'll again be in the outfield in the next game.
A couple of guys from the team catch him on a Sunday. They've arranged a tryout for him with the New York Yankees. "They want to see you pitch." Two bus rides and a half hour walk, a borrowed glove, his big toe poking out of his shoe, he throws nine fastballs (the only pitch he has). He's invited back the next day and the next. Then he is offered a contract.
Rivera takes us through his fascinating career, including his fear of flying and his learning English. His fast ball is only 86 or 87 mph but he can put the ball where he wants it. He moves up, sometimes starting, sometimes relieving. He marries his sweetheart and has elbow surgery. Then the call in May of 1995. He's going to New York.
What an amazing story. Rivera has talent but he also has great faith in the Lord. "Fame is fine," he writes, "but it is not what I seek. What I seek is the light and the love of the Lord, for as He reminded me on that hot July night on the pitcher's mound in the Bronx, He is the one who has put me here." (114) He shares how his faith is essential to his life and evidenced in his pitching. His faith carried him through the wins and losses. He writes of the seventh World Series game in 2001, "So really, there is nothing to fear, no result that isn't part of the plan, for we are in the arms of the Lord. That belief is what frees me to live, and pitch, in the moment." (147)
After his baseball career, Rivera went from saving games to saving souls. He and his wife started an evangelical Christian church called Refugio de Esperanza, Refuge of Hope. He loves his new calling.
This is a great book for lovers of baseball. I felt like I was beside Rivera as he relived the pitches, the batters, the games. I was also inspired by his deep Christian faith. His memoir is a tribute to trusting God to be the best one can be.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through The Barnabas Agency for the purpose of an independent and honest review.