Klapisch: Legacy of 42: Mariano Rivera’s place in history

From Roberto Salvador Klapisch at La Vida Baseball on January 24, 2019:

One of the perks of covering Mariano Rivera’s career was learning not just about his famed cut fastball, but his soul. We spent many hours talking about what mattered most to him. Winning championships was at the top of the list, but so was faith and the pursuit of man’s better angels.

I can’t think of anyone more deserving of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson’s No. “42” than the soft-spoken closer who sat in the corner of the Yankees’ clubhouse, greeting visitors’ with the same welcoming smile year after year. No topic was ever off limits at Rivera’s locker, but what moved him was hearing about Robinson’s courage in the face of unspeakable racism after he broke baseball’s color barrier on April 15, 1947, with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Rivera, a native of Panama, understood the responsibility that came with being the last major leaguer to wear that number.

“It’s something I always considered an honor and a privilege,” Rivera told me shortly before his retirement in 2013.

Read the full article here: https://www.lavidabaseball.com/mariano-rivera-42/

Originally published: January 24, 2019. Last Updated: January 24, 2019.