This week, Major League Baseball said goodbye to one of the greats, and one of Dallas Custom Critical Deliveries’ favorite pitchers of all time: Mariano “Mo” Rivera. You see, our Dallas Custom Critical Deliveries team relates to Mo because they, too, carry the big guns, and are called in when a deal needs closing and accurate delivery is required.
Rivera was born in Panama City, Panama, but he didn’t always have aspirations to become a great baseball pitcher. In fact, Rivera was more focused on soccer. However, chronic ankle injuries forced Rivera to re-think what he was going to do with his life. Unsure of where he was going, Rivera took a job on a fishing boat with his father, but that didn’t last long. He stated that the work was too hard. Little did he know, his work was just beginning.
When Rivera took a position on an amateur baseball team, he never thought he road would lead him to America. The team’s pitcher was forced out of a job, and Rivera, who had no formal pitching training, took over. And that’s were the real story begins. Herb Raybourn, the Yankees’ director of Latin American operations, took one look at Rivera and signed him to the Yankees for a mere $3,000 signing bonus.
With no training and no spoken English, Rivera came to the US and did his dues in the minors and Double and Triple-As before finally making his appearance as a Yankee in 1995. For the next 19 seasons, Rivera became known as the Yankees closer. When they needed the job finished, the right way, they called in Rivera. Much like our Dallas Custom Critical Deliveries team, Rivera was there when time got tight and the Yankees needed accurate delivery of a win with consistency and reliability- two valuable traits also noted in our Dallas Custom Critical Deliveries drivers. While he had many tricks up his sleeve, Rivera was best known for his 95 (ish) MPH fastball. When he came to the mound, you knew what was coming, but you just couldn’t stop it.
It didn’t take long for the production staff at Yankee stadium to catch on. They started playing the Metallica tune “Enter Sandman” as Rivera made his way to the mound. There was nobody like him who could “put the game to bed”. With ice water in his veins, Rivera always credited his faith for his performance. While some closer pitchers envision playing catch or being in a practice match, Rivera pictured God by his side. He knew that whatever happened, whether he saved the game or not, it was all part of a bigger and better plan.
To sum it up, Mo Rivera will be remembered for his 19 seasons in the MLB, 652 saves, 5 World Series titles, 13 All-Star appearances, and MVP of the 1999 season. Last Thursday, Yankee Stadium said farewell for the last time to Mo, with the help of a few good friends. Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte came out to the mound to relieve the pitcher as the entire stadium gave him a standing ovation. Both men have been a part of the Yankees team as long as Rivera has, each making their debut in 1995. But even though it is inevitable that Rivera will go down in history as one of the greats, he remains humble as he makes his exit saying: “Everything I have and everything I became is because of the strength of the Lord, and through him I have accomplished everything”. That’s a man our Dallas Custom Critical Deliveries team can stand behind! We’ll miss you Mo, but, being from Dallas, we still gotta say- “Go Rangers!”