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The Closer by [Rivera, Mariano]
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The Closer Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Kindle Edition, 6 May 2014
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Length: 273 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"This man is greatness personified.... There has never been anyone like this. And it's likely there never will be." -- ESPN.com

"Mariano Rivera has become a kind of living god of baseball." -- "N""ew York Times"

Book Description

The memoir from the greatest relief pitcher of all time.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5035 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (6 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JXY18SW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #657,366 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition
‘The Closer’ is recently released autobiography of Yankees legendary reliever Mariano Rivera in which he shares with fans a story of his life and greatest love – baseball.

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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 420 reviews
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and Suprising 7 May 2014
By Downs MacRury - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What struck me was the utter improbability of Mariano's journey. His pre-Internet village as if from another century. Didn't speak English, never been on a plane, never heard of Babe Ruth. He came from nothing and ended up on the mountaintop. And the great thing is that after reading this book you know he's just what he seems, a special man. A generous spirit. Kind. But more too, perceptive and wise. He's quiet, but it surprised me how tough he is. Read the Cano stuff. Mariano Rivera, the ultimate modern Yankee. What a story. I received it as a gift. Perfect for this Yankee fan.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Standard baseball bio, with some great chapters 23 Jun. 2014
By Jason A. Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for "The Closer" being an inventive, literary baseball memoir, because Mariano Rivera hired Wayne Coffey as his ghost-writer, and because Coffey two years ago was responsible for R.A. Dickey's brilliant Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball. Rivera has had a longer and more successful (although, admittedly, a much less colorful) career than Dickey, with much higher highs, so I thought, going in, that this book could be something extra special.

The first couple of chapters do deliver, similar to Dickey's autobiography. Coffey takes us back to Rivera's exceedingly modest childhood in a small fishing village off the west coast of Panama. One early chapter is full of harrowing moments of life on board Rivera's father's fishing boat, with near-death experiences, the actual death of a beloved relative, and a seemingly miraculous escape from drowning. Another chapter features several moments of horrifying abuse at the hands of Rivera's brutal tyrant of a father.

Rivera's (again) miraculous escape from Panama to become a pitcher in the Yankees' minor league chain -- when Rivera hadn't really done much pitching in local ball and had already been passed over by scouts as a shortstop -- leads also to some nice moments of him getting by in the low minor leagues, speaking hardly any English and being overshadowed, early on, by higher-rated prospects such as the Yanks' ill-fated #1 draft pick Brien Taylor.

After that, though, the book becomes merely standard. Coffey takes us year by year from 1995 through 2013, each of Rivera's years in the big leagues, mostly focusing on the famous post-season moments that we're all quite familiar with already from YES Network and ESPN Classic reruns. We also meet most of Rivera's famous Yankee teammates and are told nice, pleasant things about just about all of them. Only a few times do we learn things that weren't already public record (such as the abuse hurled on Rivera in the Fenway Park bullpen at a crucial moment in the 2004 American League Championship Series, or an episode of racism that affected Rivera when he first attempted to purchase a house in New York City's northern suburbs).

The only teammates Rivera says anything vaguely scandalous about, are Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano. However, Mo's opinions on these two players are hardly ground-breaking; with paternalistic disappointment, Rivera chides A-Rod's endless string of PR blunders and on-field brain-freezes, and Cano's seeming lack of motivation.

One final word: when thinking about Rivera, the two words that first come to mind are "clutch" and "religious". Sure enough, there is an awful lot of Christianity in this book, with Rivera chalking up every ounce of athletic triumph in his career to the Lord rather than to his own hard work and determination. There are a few Bible quotations as well, which Coffey selects from one of the more simply-worded recent New Testament adaptations; these quotes probably sound different from the ones you may have heard growing up. If you share Rivera's deep faith, then this is another important reason to read the book.

In the end, I was happy to read this book to support Rivera, and to revisit some great baseball moments. There are some fascinating pages sprinkled throughout, but in the end, "The Closer" is not really the literary equivalent of the 1998 Yankees.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mo' Mo 8 Jan. 2015
By Tim Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Samuel Goldwyn said, "I don't think anybody should write his autobiography until after he's dead." I don't know exactly what he had in mind, but it does seem like it's often hard to find a good balance between objectivity and subjectivity in this form. "The Closer" is a heartening, heartfelt, humble, if sometimes humdrum rags-to-riches story. Even if it may not always find the perfect autobiographical balance, I'm still glad it was written. It's an important story about the rise of Mariano Rivera from Panamanian poverty to become the greatest closer in MLB history. It is full of valuable information, though it sometimes left me wishing the author had shared more of his feelings, opinions and fly-on-the-wall insights. My favorite part of the book was the first part about the author's early life in Panama, complete with iguanas, machetes and Hemingwayesque fishing adventures. After that, the book was good, but sometimes a little bland. Contrary to some of the more theophobic reviews, I don't think there was too much about the author's faith, but too little. Some of the portions on his faith were a little confusing. I would have liked a little more detail. For example, what does the author mean by a believer's "calling"? Also, more feelings, opinions and insights would have made the author easier to relate to. In short, the book was good, but it needed mo' Mo.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Superstar 11 Oct. 2014
By Tim Challies - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mariano Rivera has never been one of my favorite people. After all, for many years he was a fixture for the New York Yankees, divisional rivals of my own Toronto Blue Jays. When a game came to the final inning and the Jays were down by a run or two, Rivera would jog onto the field and shut it down. Once he came onto the field, the outcome was rarely in doubt.

But he has retired now, and I like him a lot better. No sooner did he retire than he got to work penning his memoir, The Closer. It’s quite a story. Born in abject poverty in Panama, Rivera grew up in, on and around fishing boats, working with his father to scrape together a living. When the tides were out, he and his friends would play baseball on the beach, improvising the equipment they needed: wadded up fishing nets for balls, rocks for bases, tree branches for bats, and milk cartons for gloves. It was an unlikely start to one of the great baseball careers.

When he was in his late teens, Rivera began playing shortstop for a nearby amateur baseball team. One day the pitcher played so badly that Rivera was asked to take over for a couple of innings. The results were so impressive that friends contacted a scout for the New York Yankees. Rivera gained a try-out, then a minor league contract. And the rest, as they say, is history. He went on to become the most dominant closer in the history of the game, earning 652 saves in the biggest baseball market in the world. He was an All-Star 13 times, won 5 World Series, and was once the World Series MVP. He had a storybook career and through it became world famous and fantastically wealthy, with his earnings topping $150 million. He has come a long way from that fishing boat in Panama.

But there is more to his story than baseball. In his early twenties Rivera was exposed to the gospel and became a Christian—an unashamedly outspoken Christian. While the book describes his life, it also describes his faith and, to borrow a sport’s metaphor, he leaves it all on the field. He tells how important his faith has been, how it has sustained him, and how the Bible has given him guidance throughout his life.

The Bible can’t tell you the story of my walk with the Lord, but it can tell you everything about how I try to live, and why the love of the Lord is the foundation of my whole life. For me, the Bible is not just the word of God, but a life road map that is packed with wisdom that you cannot beat even if you spent the next hundred years reading spiritual books and self-help books. It is the best kind of wisdom: Simple wisdom. This sort of wisdom, from the twenty-third chapter of Matthew, verse twelve: Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

When it comes to his faith, Rivera describes just what he believes and why he believes it. While it becomes clear that he loves the Lord, it also becomes clear that he is not a theologian. Unfortunately, a few of the things he says are unclear or confusing and probably owe more to Pentecostalism than to the historic Christian faith. And yet, again, it is clear that he is passionate about the Lord and the spread of the gospel. In the aftermath of his storied career he has both moved on and stayed just the same. “For the last nineteen seasons, the Lord has blessed me with the opportunity to play professional baseball for the New York Yankees. My job was to save games, and I loved every part of it. Now I have a new job—probably better described as a calling—and that is to glorify the Lord and praise His name, and show the wonders that await those who seek Him and want to experience His grace and peace and mercy.” To do this, he and his wife have co-founded a church where they serve as pastors.

As is the case with most sports memoirs, this one is dominated by descriptions of games and plays. Those who love sports, and who love the Yankees in particular, will find it riveting. Those who are a little less enthusiastic about sports may find themselves skimming over certain sections. And if you’re like me, you may find yourself silently finding yourself hoping he’ll lose the games, just because he’s pitching for New York. In any case, Rivera’s story is a good one and well worth reading.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars inspirational! 14 May 2014
By Janice Lucas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've always admired Mariano Rivera as an elite baseball player, but reading his book has given me a deeper appreciation and respect for Mariano, the man. He is humble, charming, dedicated and loyal - plus he has a great sense of humor. Even if you don't share his religious beliefs, you will respect the fact that he has lived his life stating entirely true to them. His retelling of key moments in his career and Yankee history brings an insider's perspective. His insights into people and lack of judgment is refreshing. He was and is the complete package. I couldn't put his book down. Thank you, Mr. Rivera.
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