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The Closer: My Story

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  2,221 ratings  ·  342 reviews
The greatest relief pitcher of all time shares his extraordinary story of survival, love, and baseball.

Mariano Rivera, the man who intimidated thousands of batters merely by opening a bullpen door, began his incredible journey as the son of a poor Panamanian fisherman. When first scouted by the Yankees, he didn't even own his own glove. He thought he might make a good mec
Audio CD, 8 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Little, Brown & Company (first published January 1st 2014)
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Eileen Sateriale Rivera is a good role model for young people. So I think the book would be appropriate for a high school library.

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  2,221 ratings  ·  342 reviews

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The Closer is an autobiography of Mariano Rivera, NY Yankees relief pitcher for 19 seasons. Rivera grew up in Panama and unlike many professional athletes in the U.S., didn’t always dream of making it in the big leagues. He knew he wasn’t interested in being a fisherman like many of the other men in his family, but baseball scouts sought him out to play, changing the course of his life.

Rivera is very religious and it was admirable to see him consistently abide by his own morals and values, and
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Excellent autobiography of Mariano Rivera, the son of a poor Panamanian fisherman who became the best closer in MLB history with 602 saves. Very interesting how that came about and how Rivera developed his devastating cut fastball which was instrumental in NY Yankee dynasty of MLB in the last 15-20 years. A twelve time ALL-STAR, Rivera's pitch by pitch description of his relief appearances during Yankee playoff and World Series games was of great interest to me from the standpoint of a hard core ...more
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
5 of 5 stars (outstanding)

From humble beginnings as the son of a fisherman in Panama to becoming, according to most, the best relief pitcher in the history of baseball, Mariano Rivera tells his story in “The Closer.” This book is much like many other memoirs written by players with assistance from professional writers in that the player looks back fondly at his playing days and many of the teammates and other people who helped him become a star in his chosen sport.

However, what ma
Kevin Kirkhoff
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports, library
I’ve never liked the Yankees. A big market team that gets all the media attention. I love it when the lose. After reading this book, while I can’t say I now love them, I will say they’ve gotten more human. Rivera and his ‘90s and 2000s teammates have my admiration for their respect for the game, respect for the Yankee tradition, and their respect for their opponents (i.e. Red Sox) and their caring and compassion for each other, and their desire to put it all on the line every night.
This was a ve
Eileen Sateriale
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: young readers
With all the stereotypes of athletes being immature, self-centered and poor role models, it is refreshing to read the story of Mariano Rivera. Rivera is the son of a fisherman from Panama. He never thought he would ever leave Panama, let alone make the major leagues and play baseball for nineteen seasons with the New York Yankees.

Rivera marries his childhood sweetheart, Clara and has three children. When he moves to the United States, he realizes that he must learn English because few speak his
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book The Closer is a very interesting book. Its about a man
Mariano Revera was a good man with an arm that could throw like a cannon. Mariano revera was also a chrstian, and he showed it threw his life. The book is around the 1900’s to the late 2000’s, in Yankees stadium. Mariano Revera talks about all of the games that he has gone through in his career. All of the big games, hard times, and amazing things God has done for him. I really liked this book, because of all of his story's on his d
Mariano Rivera, born and raised in Panama, thought he wanted to be a soccer player until an eye injury ended that. This next plan was to become a mechanic, but then he was asked to try out for the NY Yankees farm teams as a pitcher. Naturally, he gets there, since this is the biography/memoir of a retired NY Yankees pitcher who was a closer.

The bulk of this book is about his career as a pitcher, which means it got more bogged down into baseball things than I personally care to read, but I still
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2014, 921s
I laughed, I cried, it was one of my favorite baseball books yet. Adorable seems like the wrong word choice for a pro ball player's autobiography, but it fits Mo's humble approach to life. I loved it.
Ben Truong
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Closer: My Story is an autobiography written by Mariano Rivera with Wayne Coffey. This memoir chronicles baseball's greatest relief pitcher as he reflects on his surefire Hall of Fame career.

Mariano Rivera is a Panamanian-American former professional baseball pitcher who played nineteen seasons in Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees, from 1995–2013. Nicknamed "Mo" and "Sandman", he spent most of his career as a relief pitcher and served as the Yankees' closer for seventeen seasons
Nick Poon
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With being a New York Yankees fan, I was instantly drawn to this book. Also, with Mariano Rivera being the first unanimous entry into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, I was further intrigued to read this book and learn his story. Being a baseball player it was very fun to read about the journey to become a professional player. I also had a fun time reading and reminiscing about the numerous championships that I’ve seen on Tv. I really enjoyed the read however I would not recommend it to every ...more
As (at least for now) the only Major League player to be voted into the Hall of Fame unanimously, Mariano Rivera's story is an interesting one. This book is focused almost exclusively on baseball and his career and not much else beyond that and for me that took something away from what I was hoping for. Nonetheless, I did enjoy it, although there was a bit too much the Lord this, the Lord that for my taste.
Kevin McGinn
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a die hard Yankees fan I liked Mo and now I like him even more! I was lucky enough to see him play many times! Multiple wins, losses or saves including his last game! I knew when the season started with all the injuries the Yankees had that year they wouldn’t make the playoffs and that being the last game, they had to put Mo in so I bought front row seats to see that historic moment. I remember all details about that game. There will never be another pitcher as dominate as Mariano Rivera 42!
Joshua Wang
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was very well described. I felt like I was him. It also taught me a ton of life lessons and believing in the lord. It felt great to read this book.
Short: Mariano Rivera is my favorite ball player. He is my hero, and I LOVED this book.

This was perfectly timed: Spring Training is almost over. Opening Day is this weekend. I was feeling low and ill, and this story has inspired me, and buoyed my spirits tremendously.

It's not hard to read about your hero, but it helps that he is a moral leader as well as an elite athlete. He is respected, and he is respectable. I have admired his cool dominance since watching him in the 2009 World Series.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Mariano Rivera was one of my favorite Yankee players. I was thoroughly spoiled by his amazing performance of the five World Series Championship seasons in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I was very excited to pick up this book and hoped to learn the secret of how he became one of MLB's dominant relievers.

I enjoyed the earlier parts of the book where Mariano narrated vividly of his poverty ridden youth in Panama and the magic encounter that led him to the Yankees. It was amazing how a person's l
Bert van der Vaart
A very well done recounting by the New York Yankees ace closer and MLB holder of the most saves. Rivera tells of his childhood in a fishing village in Panama and how he came to pitch for the Yankees--he blends well the description of key games and situations with his personal development and strong Christian belief. He comes across as humble, well-meaning and very very focused. There are good lessons and insights for baseball fans, as well encouraging faith lessons for those who are interested.
Morgan Lyons
What an awesome autobiography! The story flows well because Mariano chose a good writer to collaborate with, and it was fun hearing about the formation of that awesome late-90's Yankee squad that created my lifelong pinstripe devotion.
I also quite enjoyed learning about Mariano's profound faith, and I love how openly and unabashedly he proclaims it and acknowledges Jesus Christ as the source of every good thing in his life.
This is definitely another one of those niche books that probably won't
Jon Moeller
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book awhile back. I am NOT a Yankee fan, nor was I much of a Mariano fan before this book. I have always been fascinated by his one pitch repertoire and his incredible faith. After reading this book I am more than impressed by the Christian man that he is and the player he was. What an incredible read about an incredible individual. A must-read for every athlete. No wonder he was a unanimous choice for the HOF.
Daniel Eaton
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"The Closer: My story," written by Mariano Rivera with Wayne Coffey is an autobiography of Mariano's humbled life starting as a poor, Panamanian fishermen and ending up in the World Series pitching for the New York Yankees, the greatest sports franchise in history, multiple times with the game and season resting squarely on his shoulders. Mariano believes he will become a good mechanic as an adult. One day in a Panamanian baseball league game Mariano is called on to pitch after the starting pit ...more
Ryley Hofferber
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Closer is an auto-biography that not many people have read. Mariano grew up with the dream that he wanted to become a professional baseball player in the United States of America. The Autobiography opens with mariano and friends playing baseball on the beaches of Puerto Caimito. They have no bat ,so they use a piece of wood or cut off a tree branch for a bat. they also have to baseball ,so they wrapped a rock with fishing net and tape ,and for a glove you can't imagine the pocket you can mak ...more
Violet Davis
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are a fan of the New York Yankees and haven’t read this book yet, now is the time! Mo gives a glimpse into some crucial events that led to his career as the greatest closer in Major League Baseball.
Ashley Marie


update 6/30/14
And I've already almost cried from the prologue, of all things.

review 7/1/14
This one definitely belongs on my shelf (and will be there as soon as I stumble across the funds). Great insight from one of the best in the game, and I feel so privileged to have seen him play. I've never been a Yankee fan, but Mo is undeniably one of the best. His modest, hardworking attitude and humility affected me so much in reading this-- I either cried or teared up
Patrick Michael
I really enjoyed the first third of the book but then it gets bogged down into pitch counts and very detailed look at games from the late 90s and early 2000s. At this point the book becomes almost a chore to read. I am a huge baseball fan but a very detailed pitch by pitch account without any real narrative voice is burdensome in the middle of the book.

The last third of the book though goes back to the narrative format of the first part which brings the book to a strong closure and left me want
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
It may be a book only Yankee fans will love, but boy will they love it. You relive every important game and save during some of the best Yankee baseball years. I truly appreciated seeing it all through Mariano's eyes, even the last game of the 2001 World Series was interesting (though so painful) to experience all over again. Rivera is a man of strong faith, so religion plays a mighty role in every story as well. It is a great baseball book.
Jonathan Yellen
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read this book because I went and saw his interview about retirement at the 92 Y and they gave the book away for free. The flashbacks in the book really impressed me. They used so much accurate description. It says, "Who's Hank Aaron, I ask? You're not serious. right?". This shows how descriptive and accurate his flashbacks are. This book had little significance to my life because I can't relate to it too much.
Jan 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A whole lot of fun to read. A little heavy on the "seeking strength from the Lord" thing, but that's who Mo is. It's a lot easier to take than it would normally be, given the genuine humble nature of this special athlete and man.
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Excellent bio of one of the greats of the game (this from a die hard Sox fan). Amazing to see where he came from and how he got to the Yankees.
Jul 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent story of a God-fearing man with great baseball abilities. Loved this book!
Austin Small
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book, well written i felt like it was actually him talking to me like a post game interview
Louis Barbier
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a definitive book on the greatest "Closer" in Major League Baseball. Mariano Rivera come from a little town in the Interior of Panama near the ocean. From his early days he wanted to become a mechanic, but he loved baseball. He played it whenever he could and most times without the proper equipment. In fact, he played a lot of baseball, which was referred to stick ball in my day. At a very early age he believed that possibilities are without limits. He was also very religious, and he str ...more
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Mariano Rivera (born November 29, 1969) is a Panamanian retired baseball pitcher who played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees, from 1995 to 2013. Nicknamed "Mo" and "Sandman", Rivera spent most of his career as a relief pitcher and served as the Yankees' closer for 17 seasons. A thirteen-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion, he is MLB's career leader in save ...more

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