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The Closer Hardcover – May 6, 2014
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"A warmhearted, charmingly frank baseball memoir.... 'The Closer' describes such a devout, decent and admirable guy that 'Happy Father's Day' might as well be its subtitle."―Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Even Babe Ruth as a slugger doesn't have Rivera's kind of consensual clout.... Rivera was known as perhaps baseball's classiest act. He keeps up that reputation here.... Rivera emerges on these pages as a wordsmith.... It's the kind of baseball odyssey that leaves readers with a sense of the Homerian that later extends to the stuff of clutch strikeouts, 'Casey at the Bat'-style grandeur and fallen records."―Colin Fleming, Los Angeles Times
"Over his 19-year career with the Yankees, Rivera became the all-time saves leader and won five World Series. Along the way, he conducted himself with such humility that he earned the love of his teammates, the deep respect of opponents and the admiration of fans. This memoir demonstrates why.... Will be devoured by Yankees loyalists and happily sampled by all baseball fans."―Kirkus Reviews
"For readers seeking inspiration from the tale of the son of a Panamanian fisherman who rose from humble beginnings to the top of the baseball world, The Closer will satisfy.... [The book] is a reflection of Rivera -- calm, focused and workmanlike."―Bob D'Angelo The Tampa Tribune
"Rivera has stepped off the pitcher's mound and picked up the pen, writing a new memoir called The Closer. He recounts his journey with humor and humility."―Ben Teitelbaum, The Daily Beast
"Even if you're not a Yankees fan (or you're even a Yankees hater), you can't deny that Mariano Rivera is one of the nicest guys in the game and easily the greatest closer of all time. The Closer... is the story fans have been wanting to read for a long time and one Dad will definitely dig."―Parade
Rivera "comes across as a fellow who's made the transition from poverty in Panama to spectacular wealth and success in New York without abandoning the humility that has apparently characterized him almost since childhood."―Bill Littlefield, Boston Sunday Globe
"It is rare to find so humble a person as Mariano Rivera.... [A] straight-ahead look at Rivera's impoverished childhood in Panama and his improbable rise to stardom.... Yankees -- and baseball -- fans should appreciate on numerous levels."―BookReporter.com
"A deeply personal tale about hard work, perseverance and an unbridled passion for baseball.... For baseball fans, and casual observers, Mr. Rivera's 19-year career is a marvel to behold. Every page of The Closer reveals another layer of this surprisingly humble man with an incredible talent he only discovered in adulthood. Yankees fans like me are eternally glad that he did, and thank him for all the wonderful memories he gave us."―Michael Taube, The Washington Times
"Recently retired closer Mariano Rivera talks about his journey from Panama to the Bronx, the ups and downs, his faith and so much more. The Closer -- quick, simple, to the point. Just like the way he pitched."―Yankees Magazine
About the Author
Wayne Coffey is one of the country's most acclaimed sports journalists. A writer for the New York Daily News, he cowrote R. A. Dickey's bestselling Wherever I Wind Up and is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Boys of Winter, among other books. He lives in the Hudson Valley with his wife and children.
Top Customer Reviews
Rivera was signed by the Yankees at age 20 when he was discovered playing on local teams in Panama. He developed and rose to invent a pitch known as the "cutter" - almost impossible to hit. His talent carried him to a long and successful career. Some may believe this book to be "sugar coated" (not typical of the scandalous books of today), but I found it to be refreshing, and it has sparked my interest in baseball this season. A story of a simple man's opportunity to rise to unbelievable heights - a story only found in America.
Rivera, born 1969, besides being one of the players that marked baseball history was also special due to his origins – born in Panama, in a family of humble fisherman he was perfect symbol of American dream come true.
The beginning of his career resembles some Hollywood movie, Rivera’s thinking about working as a mechanic until been found out by Yankees scout. Back then he didn’t know to speak English, he didn’t have his own glove and Babe Ruth was name that didn’t mean anything to him.
His baseball career started in Tampa and will end him becoming thirteen-time All-Star, a Yankees icon for time to come.
In his book, that in my opinion is a bit too short with its 300 pages, besides all the expected things that Yankees fans are certainly eager to read, a reader can find numerous behind-the-scenes stories about the team managers and owners, about his teammates, rivalry with other players and teams, and probably most important, about his struggling to be different sportsman who managed to preserve and cherish his values and beliefs, not forgetting about his origins.
Rivera was finding strength in Clara, who he knew practically his whole life, and the other beloved ones which helped him going through even the saddest times of his career; in ‘The Closer’ Rivera speaks about his desire to win, his composure that became his trademark along with his cut fastball.
Therefore, if you like baseball and especially if you’re fan of Yankees Rivera’s book is absolute must-read which tells a story about one special man and his dream, that speaks about a man who despite not being too old already became a legend.
There's a story about finding his place on the mound. He says one of the great ironies about sports is that trying too hard to succeed is about the surest way to bring on failure.
"When John Wetteland signed with the Rangers, the Yankees put me in as their closer. I didn’t let on at the time, but I really wanted to show everybody that I could do it. The ’97 season didn’t start well, and Mr. T. (Joe Torre) and the pitching coach, Mel Stottlemyre, called me in.
"I said, 'I’m sorry I’ve blown so many games.'
"They said, 'Mo, do you know what you need to do? You need to be Mariano Rivera. That’s all. Nothing more, nothing less. It looks to us like you’re trying to be perfect.'
"I walked out of that office feeling 10,000 tons lighter. They wanted me to be myself. That’s when I devised a little trick. I wasn’t going to think about the inning or anything else. When I’m on the mound, I have the ball, the hitter has a bat, and my only job is to get him out one pitch at a time. The payoff was immediate. I stopped trying to be Wetteland and demanding perfection, and I run off twelve straight saves."
That's the kind of guy Rivera is. If you're a fan of his or a fan of baseball, there are many deep inside details here to mull over. I think you'll enjoy this book.
God always has been with him. Amazing the history of the day he pitch for the first time since he was 14. Don't want to be a spoiler, highly recommended and I am just in chapter 3.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great Book especially if you are a Yankees fan. People who complain about the book being overly religious. Well I say you just don't know Mariano. Read morePublished 6 days ago by A. Vigna
The baseball parts are interesting but definitely a lot of evangelizing as well.Published 11 days ago by BKB33
Mo does a great job of taking you behind the scenes in major-league baseball. He also does a good job of interweaving faith in a loving God into his every day life. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Garry Bone
Really enjoyed this autobiography. Wanted more about Mariano as a man and a star. Everything had a certain brevity - required, but still I wanted to know more about the man,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Scott61
Really impressed with his very spiritual side and his devotion and belief in God and the effect it had on his life in and out of baseball.Published 2 months ago by GEORGE S PERRY
I am NOT a Yankee fan but this book is wonderful. What faith for Mariano to share with all of us. Baseball was his career but his true profession is definitely as a minister to... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Doris Kelly
Great story of one of the really good guys. LOVED THE INSIGHT OF HOW HE FELT. Very uplifting and shows good guys can win.Published 2 months ago by Joe S Weaver