The Closer

  • by Mariano Rivera, Wayne Coffey
  • Narrated by Michael Kay
  • 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Mariano Rivera, the man who intimidated thousands of batters merely by opening a bullpen door, began his incredible journey as the son of a poor Panamanian fisherman. When first scouted by the Yankees, he didn't even own his own glove. He thought he might make a good mechanic. When discovered, he had never flown in an airplane, had never heard of Babe Ruth, spoke no English, and couldn't imagine Tampa, the city where he was headed to begin a career that would become one of baseball's most iconic. What he did know: that he loved his family and his then girlfriend, Clara, that he could trust in the Lord to guide him, and that he could throw a baseball exactly where he wanted to, every time.
With astonishing candor, Rivera tells the story of the championships, the bosses (including The Boss), the rivalries, and the struggles of being a Latino baseball player in the United States and of maintaining Christian values in professional athletics. The thirteen-time All-Star discusses his drive to win; the secrets behind his legendary composure; the story of how he discovered his cut fastball; the untold, pitch-by-pitch account of the ninth inning of Game 7 in the 2001 World Series; and why the lowest moment of his career became one of his greatest blessings.
In The Closer, Rivera takes readers into the Yankee clubhouse, where his teammates are his brothers. But he also takes us on that jog from the bullpen to the mound, where the game - or the season - rests squarely on his shoulders. We come to understand the laser-like focus that is his hallmark, and how his faith and his family kept his feet firmly on the pitching rubber. When Rivera retired, the whole world watched -- and cheered. In The Closer, we come to an even greater appreciation of a legend built from the ground up.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Awesome memoir, I only wish it was longer

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.
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- Brock "So much to learn, and so little time to sit down and read. Thanks Audible."

A Miraculous Rise to Fame from Humble Beginnings

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?

Yes.


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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-06-2014
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio