Right-Hander Speaks About Retirement, Reflects On 19 Glorious Years With Yankees

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mariano Rivera visited the WFAN studios on Wednesday to talk retirement and about many of the moments that went into his new book, “The Closer.”

Speaking to host Mike Francesa, Rivera ran the gauntlet of his exceptional career, but first touched on what it means to no longer wear the Yankee pinstripes.

“It feels good. I’m happy. I’m home. I’m being the chauffeur for the kids going to school back and forth and, you know, I am involved in the community a lot with the church, so I’m happy,” Rivera said.

He said got a taste for life after baseball while rehabbing from a knee injury back in 2012.

“I knew what I was going to face. I’m okay with it,” Rivera said.

The greatest relief pitcher to ever throw a ball in the majors has been making the rounds in recent weeks promoting his book, which has received rave reviews. Rivera shared some of the moments that went into the book, which was co-written with Daily News sportswriter Wayne Coffey, including how he somehow gained incredible velocity on his fastball following a stint on the disabled list in 1995.

Rivera went from being demoted by the Yankees to one of their prized possessions, seemingly overnight. With the added miles per hour on his fastball, which Rivera attributed to his shoulder feeling better, many teams wanted a piece of him. The Yankees wisely reassessed their young right-hander, who would go on to play an integral role in five World Series championships and 17 playoff appearances during his 19-year career.

“There were a lot of trades on the table. One of them was the Detroit Tigers. From what I heard, it looked like it was close,” said Rivera, owner of a major league record 652 saves. “The report came to Gene Michael and he have to really make sure I am legit. So he made some phone calls to another scout and he knew back there that everything was legit and he took the deal from the table.”

That’s just one of many stories Rivera told Francesa during his visit. To hear the entire hour-long interview, please click the audio link below:

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