NY Yankees Closer Mariano Rivera Voted Into Hall of Fame: ‘The Lord Gave Me the Strength’
The “greatest closer of all time” Mariano Rivera was unanimously voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame Tuesday. Over his 19-year career with the New York Yankees, he had 652 saves and helped his team win five World Series titles. He was named World Series MVP in 1999. But his accomplishments on the field do not compare to his relationship with God.
Who I Am
In an interview with CBN Sports, Rivera said his stats in baseball mean nothing. “I mean, doesn’t make me better or less. See, I don’t want people to recognize me for those things. I want people to recognize me for who I am.”
And faith is a big part of who Rivera is. He learned about God first through a cousin. “When I saw Vidal with the relationship that he had with the Lord, I was like, ‘Wow, you know, this is cool. Let me do this. Let me try this. See what I find.’” He decided to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Shortly after that, he signed on to pitch for the New York Yankees. Five years later he was playing in the big leagues.
The Lord Gave Me the Strength
After almost two decades, a book and multiple accolades, Rivera is quick to give God the credit for his talent. “It is because God, Christ took those abilities and took it to a different level. The Lord gave me the strength to do all that stuff. So, therefore, I can never speak about myself, but the Lord.”
Rivera now spends time with his foundation. The Mariano Rivera Foundation helps impoverished youth get a quality education that will “empower them for the future.”
Rivera also wrote a book called The Closer. In it, Rivera tells his story about being a small child in Panama who made it to the big leagues. He says if he can make a difference, anybody can.
“If He used me, He can use everybody. He can use anybody. You need to be lined up with His heart. And you’re going to face adversity. What you do with that — you trust your Creator, you trust the Lord, and you have faith in the Lord, because by your strength and by your power you cannot do it. But only by the power of Christ.”
Note: As an historic cold snap hits the nation, it’s as good a time as any to point out that Major League players start reporting for spring training on February 11, just two weeks from today.