I read the Sports Illustrated tribute to the great Mariano Rivera, "Exit Sandman" while on the plane coming home from Notre Dame. I couldn't turn off the waterworks. In this instance, I didn't look around to see if the man next to me was crying too. I was trying to dry my tears as quickly as possible and yet, I wanted to let them flood the cattle car. I wanted others to know about Mo. I hadn't thought that this tender emotion was social. In this instance, there's no question it was.
Tom Verducci, the author of "Exit Sandman" and one of my favorite writers, used the cover story to commence "the oral history" of the 43-year old pitcher (44 in just two months!). Joe Torre said "Probably not since Koufax have we seen anyone leave the game with so much respect." It captures why the son of a Panamanian fisherman is so beloved. And it illustrates what I believe the motto AMDG—for the greater glory of God—means; a motto that is ascribed to the uniforms of all the athletes at St. Ignatius.
Mottos and acronyms are pointless unless they are connected with a person or an experience that gives flesh to the ideal. Rivera's former teammates, coaches and managers capture through personal testimony his talent and more importantly, his spirit. The two I have featured below reveal the very prayer of St. Ignatius, known as "The Prayer of Generosity." And, as we let the Sandman exit, we know what the greater glory of God can do—on a baseball diamond and beyond.
Enjoy...and although their egos would allow for both of them to appear on the same posting, this one will focus on #42. The Spiritual Southpaw: Barry Zito is tomorrow....
|Both men debuted in 1995 and have remained teammates for 19 seasons!|
|Rivera has received retirement gifts from every MLB team. He has also given gifts to those in every park, beyond his gift of pitching.|
|As evidenced by the Bresette family|
baseball can bring joy to our lives.
Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve you as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to seek reward,
except that of knowing that I do your will.
St. Ignatius--pray for us.
Mariano Rivera--Thank you.