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Mariano Rivera's story burst a bubble in the fairy tale in my mind about major league baseball players.
He grew up a kid in a poor country without a proper baseball anything. No baseball diamond. A glove made from a milk carton. A stick for a bat. Who would ever dream that a boy's accuracy in killing iguanas with rocks to put food on the table would translate into a young man's ability to throw a baseball with that same accuracy?
His life plan was to be a mechanic. He retired as the best relief pitcher in baseball and one of the most popular MLB players in history. (His is the most popular jersey sold today.)
The story of how Mariano Rivera made it from a fishing town in Panama to Yankee Stadium is captivating. Rivera experienced a lot of what I call God-incidences in his life, and he is quick to reveal his his own awe and his own faith to readers and he reminds us that his success and blessings come from God. Rivera gives us glimpses into what he was thinking every step of the way and that insight and perspective draws me deeper and deeper into his story. (I have to admit that I would like to read a companion book by Rivera's wife, Clara, the story from her perspective, too!)
My son, the baseball nut and Detroit Tigers fan, read the book first. He said Rivera's story is humbling. Rivera started with very little compared to what we have. My son calls Rivera an inspiration after reading the book.
The Closer is a 288 page hardback list priced at $28. I highly recommend it for all the baseball fans and non-fans in your life. Barnabas Agency gave me a copy of The Closer at no charge to review here on my blog. I was not paid for this review and am not obligated to provide a positive review.