Monday, June 09, 2014

Book Review: The Closer by Mariano Rivera with Wayne Coffey

I  have been a baseball fan for all of my adult life! Actually now that I think about it, I've been a baseball fan since I was a little kid! I'm not sure which other 8-10 year old girl would have a crush on Darrell Porter (catcher for the Cardinals back in the day). But in my adult life, I lived in the South so I was a Braves fan. But I also worked for the Minor League Mets affiliate in college. I simply love baseball!

Recently, I've taken to reading biographies of ball players - R.A. Dickey and Curt Schilling are two of the most compelling ones. So when I had the chance to get a copy of the biography of newly retired Yankees closer, Mariano Rivera, to read and review for my blog, I jumped on it. Not only because I think Rivera is a phenomenal ball player, but also because it would be the first time I got something specifically to review!

I'm going to start off with the disclaimer that I have read so often on other blogs: I did receive a copy of this book free of charge to review, but the thoughts you are going to read here are completely my own.

And now I'll add another disclaimer - I have not yet finished reading the book. My big plan was to read it last week while the kids were at VBS and then I ended up helping out at VBS! :) But my review is due today and I don't want to miss my first ever deadline.

The story starts off with a description of Mariano's life in his home country. I had no idea how poor his family was. Part of the nature of the story that makes it so compelling is also part of the reason why it's taking me so long to read - it's written in first person, but it's not past tense. It feels awkward to me to read, and if the story weren't so good I probably would have put it down never to return to it.  But I want to know Rivera's story, so I will continue on. After all, I know the ending of the story, as does most everyone who loves baseball, even if you aren't a Yankees fan. ;) But I want to know what made the man who he is today. How did he transition from poverty to millionaire baseball player in America? And how exactly did he come to be a believer and to put his faith and trust in Jesus in a situation that frankly would have had most people putting their faith and trust in their pitching arm.

I noticed that the co-author is Wayne Coffey. The name sounded familiar to me, so I did a little research (OK, I googled LOL) and discovered that he is the co-author of R.A. Dickey's biography that I loved so much. I'm wondering now if that book was written in this 'past/present' style? I may have to check into that!

I will post a follow-up to this post once I'm done with the book, which shouldn't take more than a couple of days!

Edited to add: Well, it took more than a "couple of days" but here it is at last - Part 2 of the book review!

No comments: