Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Book Review of The Closer by Mariano Rivera

The Closer: My Story
by Mariano Rivera with Wayne Coffey
ISBN 978-0-316-40073-2
Little, Brown and Company
Reviewed by Clint Walker

I have to admit. I am generally not a Yankees fan. I am a West Coast guy first of all. I root for the West Coast team in any sport when I get any opportunity. Also, being a Yankees fan in baseball is like being a Cowboys fan in football. It is entirely too cliche for me. Having said that, I have long been a fan of Mariano Rivera, even when I rooted against him. His faith is inspirational. His story is compelling. His class is undeniable.

His story, his faith, and his class are all evident in this recently released autobiography penned by Mariano. Many of us might know Mariano was a believer in Jesus. Not all of us would know that his wife is the senior pastor of a Spanish-speaking evangelical church in New York. From his struggles in school as a child, to his up and down battle to make it in professional baseball, to his hall-of-fame career, readers will get an inside look in the professional and personal life of Mariano Rivera.

The Closer is clearly written in Mariano's voice. His perspective on the world around him is unique, as are his takes on many issues and people. Mariano is a reflective person, and that shows up in every page. Another thing that is clear is that Mariano has a deep faith in Jesus. He does not get awfully preachy, but his faith just pours out of him as he reflects on God's help in his life, God's blessings he has received, and how his faith guides his decisions and behavior.

As a Christian pastor, I was inspired by Mariano's testimony. As a sports fan, I am intrigued by his story. As his brother in Christ, I am excited to see what the next phase of his life and ministry brings, and expect to see God do even greater things in his "second half".

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