"I'm proud of what I do," Rivera said Tuesday. "And I take it seriously. I don't take it for granted. I don't forget where I came from. I don't forget what I had to do to get here. That, to me, is important."
I was in a Barnes and Noble last night and I found a picture book of Latin American baseball stars (I'm sorry but I didn't catch the title). I flipped to a full-page spread of Mariano, wearing shorts and flip flops, throwing a ball to a kid with a make shift bat, somewhere on the dusty streets of Panama. The picture looked dated--late '90s maybe--but it reminded me of how far Rivera, and so many other Latin players, have come to play ball in the big leagues. I think Rivera is sincere when it says that he doesn't take things for granted. And neither should we.
I also liked this bit from Curry's article:
After David Dellucci belted a three-run homer off Joba Chamberlain to push the Indians past the Yankees, 5-3, on Tuesday, Dellucci spoke respectfully about Chamberlain, who does not have even a full season in the majors. But when the topic switched to Rivera, Dellucci switched from respect to reverence.
"Facing him is like playing a video game," Dellucci said. "His ball is an optical illusion. It's fun because it's so nasty. You want to go up there and see that pitch because of how nasty he is."