As impressive as he was as an athlete on the mound–and he was mighty impressive–Mariano ‘Mo’ Rivera, who retires today as the greatest relief pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball, was just as impressive a person off of it. Humility. Serenity. Dignity. He exemplified them all.
For baseball fans everywhere–especially those who root for the New York Yankees–things won’t be the same without him. This blog’s intent has been to catalogue meaningful moments and boy, has he given us plenty of those over the course of the last 19 years.
New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani has a wonderful appreciation of Mo in today’s paper. Of the many apt descriptions she puts forth, I’ll offer this one:
understood what Steve Jobs, Lao Tzu and Bruce Lee understood: that simplicity is an art and a strength, a source of joy and beauty and power.”
It’s been an incredible ride. Thanks, Mo.
As a Red Sox fan, I also hate to see Mariano leave the sport. As you say, despite his talents on the mound, the guy was a class act. He represents what true baseball fans strive to see in the game – players that play with heart and integrity; players who put their love of baseball and their commitment to their fans above their own self interests. Even in Boston, Mo will be sorely missed!!
He is one of the true few gentleman in the big leagues. Even though I must root for the Sox, I think he’s a class act!