It feels like it was just yesterday when the great Mariano Rivera, aka “The Sandman” threw his final pitch as the Yankees’ closer. Most major league players pass the game down to their kids. That is exactly what Mariano has done with his children, his oldest son in particular. Mariano Rivera Jr. will pitch for a collegiate summer program in New Hampshire. The 20-year-old will join the Laconia Muskrats this summer, part of a 12 – team New England Collegiate Baseball League.
Why is his son pitching in this league? The Muskrat’s general manager Noah Crane told New Hampshire Public Radio that Rivera’s son is coming to the state because of the team’s close relationship with Iona College’s head coach Pat Carey. Carey is Rivera Jr.’s coach at Iona where he is currently a sophomore.
Rivera Jr. is trying to step outside the shadow of his father who is a future Hall of Fame closer. Rivera Sr. finished as the all-time saves leader in the history of baseball with 652 saves. Rivera Jr. does not want to be known as just the son of Mariano Rivera as he quoted in the NY Daily News:
“I’m just a normal guy, just part of the team,” said Rivera Jr., Mariano’s oldest son. “I don’t want to be treated any different. I never thought I was better than anyone else because I’m not.”
Rivera Jr. has his own path to follow. His Dad never went to college in the states. Rivera Sr. tells him that he should be his own man and player. Do not try and copy someone you are not. Hopefully, Rivera Jr. can overcome this shadow and become a household name like his father.