Mariano Rivera is a relief pitcher for the New York Yankees. Rivera, a 19-year veteran, is the Major League’s all times saves leader with 608 saves and counting. He’s a 12 time All-Star and a 5 time World-Series Champion. He also has the lowest earned run average and most saves all time in the postseason. He is also the last player to ever be allowed to wear Jackie Robinson’s number 42. Mariano has dominated the game of baseball with one pitch and wearing one uniform. Saturday March 13 Rivera announced that this upcoming season would be his last season of baseball. I watched his press conference with my dad and I was very surprised by what I heard.
Undoubtedly THE greatest relief pitcher in baseball history, Rivera was unbelievably humble. Rivera was the pitcher who pitched the last inning of the game, the closer. It was his job to shut down the opposition and make sure the Yankees win. The spotlight was always on him and there are many people who argue that the Yankees would not have been a dynasty in the late 90s without him. When asked how he wanted to be remembered, he said as, “a player who was always there for others; who makes them better; who didn’t think of myself at all. ” Instead of focusing on all of his achievements and all the amazing things he has done in his career; he gives praise to his teammates and to GOD. He began his press conference with thanking Jesus Christ his Lord and Savior for everything he has in his life: his wife, his kids, his teammates and his opportunity to play professional baseball
Here’s this guy, a no doubt hall of famer with so many records and achievements and yet he is able to remain SO HUMBLE throughout his entire career. I thought to myself, “How is this possible? How can this guy stay so grounded?” Throughout his press conference he thanks God. He talks about how much of a blessing it was for him to be able to put on the New York Yankees uniform. When asked what the best thing that happened to him on the baseball field was, he responded:
“The best thing for me that happened was just the Lord blessing me with this uniform. Putting the New York Yankees uniform on. And being thankful for every minute that I wore this uniform, to the day that I retire. The last day that I throw my last pitch, I will be more proud than anything. Not because what we accomplished. But what the Lord allowed me to wear, the New York Yankees uniform.”
The thing he’s most proud of is not his accomplishments, but that the Lord allowed him to wear the uniform; that God ALLOWED him to play baseball. I think after hearing that everything clicked in my head. Yes Mariano Rivera has accomplished a great many things in his career, but at the same time he knows that the only reason why he’s capable of doing that is because of God, that these accomplishments were only possible because God allowed it. He realizes that without God, he is nothing and so he gives all the glory to God.
At times when I accomplish something, I always think “Oh man, look at how awesome I must look”. I put the emphasis on me, instead of God. I neglect God’s presence and work in my life and my head gets really big and I become too prideful. I turn into this little punk who doesn’t think he needs God to get by and then I fall on my face and fail miserably haha. While these times may be rough, it’s a necessary lesson in humility and acknowledging how important God’s presence in my life is. Like Ty said in the post before this one, “Thank God there is grace for the difficult b/c of His grace, He gives me the opportunity to be a better son each and every day”. This press conference was a great reminder for me to remain humble, acknowledge what God is doing in my life and to ultimately give all the glory back to Him.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:17