Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Mariano Rivera: A Man of Faith

In Sunday's game with the Orioles, the great Mariano Rivera came out with some new tennis shoes. On the outside, rear heel of each shoe was printed "PHIL 4:13". [I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.--Philippians 4:13]

The sports commentators announcing the game focused on the new shoes but either missed the verse or did not want to comment on it.

Rivera, the greatest closer baseball has ever known with 637 saves* joins athletes like Tim Tebow in having Bible verses printed on his clothing or person to publicly testify to his faith.

Rivera gave verbal testimony in his retirement announcement:
5. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you on a baseball field?

“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 proud than anything. Not because what we accomplished. But what the Lord allowed me to wear, the New York Yankees uniform."
Rivera carries his greatness with humility.
4. For many years, people have called you the greatest of all-time. How do you want to be remembered?

“First of all, I don’t feel I’m the greatest of all-time. The reason I say this is because I’m a team player. If it wasn’t for my teammates, I would never had the opportunities. But I would love to to be remembered as a player who was always there for others. Trying to make them better. Didn’t think about himself at all. That’s the legacy that I want to leave. That I was there for others.”
Rivera will be retiring while still at the top of his game. This season his record so far is 28 saves of 30 attempts. He has been a bright spot for the struggling Yankees who have four star players out because of injury: Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Curtis Granderson.

The New York magazine has recently published an article profiling Rivera and his deep faith in Christ.
*In second place with most MLB saves is Trevor Hoffman with 601.

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