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I've never been a fan of the Yankees, but always been impressed with the classy way Rivera handles himself. When I saw his book was coming out I was very eager to listen to it, and was not disappointed. His transition from life as a relatively poor kid in Panama to the New York Yankees is an astounding story. Disney couldn't come up with a more amazing life transformation. For example, he showed up for his one-day audition with the Yankees in tattered clothes with a big hole in his shoe where his toe stuck out, and no glove. He had to borrow a glove from another player to take his turn pitching.
Even after making it big Rivera remained humble his entire career. He never held out for more money, and never had big battles with his coaches or teammates. Throughout the book he continually points to his faith in Jesus as his source of strength and joy. I thought it was really refreshing to see a person who doesn't just talk the talk, and then live a life that doesn't back it up. He is a class guy through and through.
I loved listening to this book and will recommend it to everyone I know. I only wish it would have been a few hours longer, especially focusing on his pre-Yankee days.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Rivera's memoir is for the baseball fan, aspiring player, person of faith - anyone interested in understanding what it takes to remain grounded while overcoming the odds.
Who was your favorite character and why?
"The Closer" is the inspiring story of Mariano Rivera's rise from humble beginnings to worldwide fame.
The descendant of fishermen, Rivera experienced hardship and setbacks in his youth. Content with the simplicity of life in the obscure Panamanian fishing village that was home, his aspirations of becoming a mechanic may have been realized if not for the actions of a Yankee scout.
Rivera's ascent to the legendary mound at Yankee Stadium is nothing short of miraculous. Discovered at the age of nineteen, he possessed a degree of baseball experience and ability, but was no prodigy when he entered the tryouts. Like the shepherd David, Rivera was completely aware of, yet unfazed by the Goliath he faced with unsophisticated artillery.
Rivera marvels at the extraordinary achievements and benefits of his life, but places it all in context. His memoir is as much a gratitude journal as it is an account delivered with candor, humility and simplicity. When juxtaposed against the incredible, Rivera casts himself as an underdog who becomes a champion, closing games and winning successive victories for the Yankees.
Whether he is writing from the perspective of factual reporter, amazed spectator or grateful beneficiary of benefits, advantages and accomplishments, Rivera ascribes it all to a divinely ordained plan intended as an opportunity to shift the spotlight from himself to Jesus Christ, to whom he has dedicated his life and the book. Although he is forthright about his beliefs, he is not proselytizing.
What do you think the narrator could have done better?
The narration is the sole drawback of this production. The tone and tempo are suited to sports announcing and detract from Rivera's content in places, making it easy to miss the point. His inflection often lacks continuity with the emotions conveyed by Rivera's words, leaving them flat. A second listen or purchase of the companion book is recommended.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
2 of 2 people found this review helpful