And the night of the MLB All-Star game was no different.
Rivera, considered the greatest relief pitcher of all time, was named the 2013 MLB All-Star Game MVP a month ago in his 19th season. It was his first All-Star MVP award in 13 appearances.
“First of all, I’d like to say, thank God for this event,” he told the fans at Citi Field upon accepting the award. “Has been wonderful. Thank you, Lord,” he said, looking up toward the sky.
Rivera shut out the National League in the eighth inning to secure a 3-0 victory for the American League, its first win in three years. Heading into the All-Star Game, Rivera had 638 regular season saves and 42 playoff saves, the most in Major League Baseball history.
“I can’t describe it,” Rivera said of the evening, much of which was devoted to honoring his career. “I have no words for it. It’s been a wonderful night, the whole event. I have to thank every one of you guys for making this possible. Thank God for everything—my wife, my kids—thank you for all the support. It has been amazing. I have no words to describe this night.”
The veteran closer has had quite a farewell party in his final season. But even in a season that is much about him, Rivera is a mere reflection of what means the most to him.
His faith and his family.
Lisa Miller says this in her New York Magazine story about Rivera: “The fact that his gifts come from God increases his obligation to honor them with the hard work and discipline for which he is famous…”
“Everything I have and everything I became is because of the strength of the Lord, and through Him I have accomplished everything,” he says in Miller’s story. “Not because of my strength. Only by His love, His mercy, and His strength…You don’t own your gifts like a pair of jeans.”
By Stephen Copeland