Pride of the Yankees Photo: Hector Algarroba
Hall Finally Called Mussina Photo By: Hector Algarroba
By Andrew Rosario
Cooperstown, NY – Mariano Rivera came from a small fishing village in Panama. He will be the first to tell you the last place he would find himself would be in Cooperstown, New York as a member of the 2019 Hall of Fame. It was a glorious day as the white clouds peppered the blue skies. It was only fitting that Rivera would be the last speaker before the other 5 inductees. He made his name as the most prolific regular and post season closer in MLB history. Sunday brought everything full circle.
Mariano Rivera stepped to the microphone dressed in a dapper dark blue suit, white shirt and gold tie. Speaking to one the largest crowds in Hall history, Rivera spoke for 28 minutes. “First of all, l don’t understand why l always have to be the last,” he began. “I guess being the last one was special”. The very religious Rivera thanked Jesus Christ “for giving me the talent, blessings and opening doors.” His wife and kids were in attendance calling Clara “the pillar and backbone of our wonderful family during the good times and tough times.”
Former Yankees and core four members Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Bernie Williams were in attendance along with Tino Martinez. Joe Torre, who named Rivera the closer in 1997, was present. Rivera paid homage to the Boss, George Steinbrenner wishing he was here “so I could thank him for believing in me.” Adding, “it’s an honor and privilege to be part of one organization. I did it with dignity, honor and pride. I tried to carry the pinstripes the best that l could. I think l did alright with that.”
“I am so humbled and blessed to receive this incredible honor,” he concluded. Of all of the great players that have been inducted, none were voted in with 100% by the writers. Mariano became the first and may very well be the last.