Thanks Mo, it’s been a fun ride

652. The number 652 is a special number. A number that represents baseball history. A number that will probably never be surpassed. 652 is the number of times Yankees closer Mariano Rivera saved a game. His career has come to an end. As a fan of baseball and the Yankees, I can only say thanks Mo.

I grew up watching the “Core Four;” Rivera, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, and Derek Jeter. To see these players retire is bittersweet. I finally understand how previous generations felt when the baseball stars of their childhood called it quits. Yes, we still have Jeter, but the Yankees are not, and won’t be the same.

Mariano Rivera

Mariano Rivera (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rivera is a true great of the game. The farewell ceremonies, gifts from other teams and most importantly, the respect from baseball fans around the country are a true testament. Baseball fans are hard-pressed to find a current star, in any sport, that matches Rivera’s professionalism and class.

If my son were to have a sports role model, or “hero,” I would hope it would be Rivera.

In five years, I hope to be in Cooperstown celebrating the induction of Mariano Rivera. I’ll bring my son of course and tell him about watching all the championships and the coolness which Rivera went about his work.

Enjoy retirement Mo.

I hope you enjoyed this post. All comments and feedback are welcome and encouraged!

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Fathers, Sons, And Baseball

IronBirds vs Renegades Baseball # 1

IronBirds vs Renegades Baseball # 1 (Photo credit: Randy Pertiet)

Fathers, sons, and baseball, what could be better? There is something inherently unique about the game of baseball. At the same time, there is an inherent uniqueness to the relationship between fathers and sons. I don’t know how to describe it, but both go hand-in-hand.

Go anywhere in America and you will hear stories told by sons about baseball and their fathers. Go anywhere in America, and you will hear fathers tell stories about their sons and baseball.

I one day hope to have many stories about my son and baseball.

Years ago, 1994 to be exact, the Hudson Valley Renegades came to town. My dad wasn’t the biggest baseball fan in the world. But I was. He knew I was excited about the Single A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, (in 1996 the Tampa Bay Rays organization took over the team. Names like Josh Hamilton, Scott Podsednik, and Evan Longoria all graced the field in Fishkill, New York). One day, my dad came to me and asked if I would like to go to a Renegades game. I said sure. He said, how about opening night? My dad got up early one morning and waited on line for those first tickets. The very first game the Renegades took the field for, I was there with my dad, my best friend and his dad.

My dad took me to Yankee Stadium and the old Shea Stadium over the years. But my warmest memory of baseball and my dad was opening night at the Hudson Valley Renegades almost twenty years ago. He wanted to do it for me. He wanted to build a memory in me that would last a lifetime. Since I’m blogging about it today, I think his plan worked.

I still have the ticket stubs of that first game. When my son is old enough, I’ll show them to him. And maybe, take him to a Renegades game of our own.

Fathers, sons, and baseball. There is nothing better.

A Baseball Poem

Diamond sand slips away beneath the cleat.

Heart pounding as the base runner turns the corner giving his all.

Fans rise with excitement.

Thrown from the catcher, the ball sings through the air.

Second base, the bag is near.

Heart pounding as the runner gives all.

Sliding, hand outstretched.

Tightly sewn ball hitting the glove.

The umpire makes the call.

A return to the dugout, the runner gave all.

-Vince V.