So this seems to be a good time to come out of the closet with this: Mariano Rivera is my favorite baseball player. There, I said it. (And Derek Jeter’s not far behind.)
I don’t believe athletes are role models, but if you really need to point your kid at someone to emulate, Rivera will more than do. Reggie Jackson, who always held himself in high esteem, was effusive in this illuminating article in the New York Times.
“For what he does, he’s maybe the most dominant athlete other than Bill Russell that I know. But it’s also in the way he does it. Quiet. Humble. Mariano is regal, baseball royalty.” (Reggie Jackson)
And for the way he carries himself, Rivera is the only athlete ever asked to endorse Canali, the high end men’s clothier. Not all-world A-Rod. Not high profile Jeter.
Mariano. The guy who looks as classy in a suit as he does in pinstripes.
Of course, I think he’d look even better with a “B” on his cap, but I had to say that. Didn’t want you to think I jumped ship or something.