Author: Emily

Mariano Rivera’s Life Turned Into a Loss

Mariano Rivera's Life Turned Into a Loss

Freestyle football great makes history with ninth world title, but his life will never be the same again

By David P. Greisman

There was a day when Mariano Rivera thought about the future and about how his career could go. He wanted to become a manager. He looked ahead to the day when he would retire as a New York Yankee and have his name associated with the World Series, as was his privilege. But his thoughts would not carry out to that day.

On that day, Rivera got the call he always wanted. He was being traded to the New York Mets, where he would finish his career and be remembered as much for his contribution to the game as the things he did for New York. It is on that day, Oct. 18, 1977, in Montreal, that his life as a great athlete turned irrevocably upside down.

In his first year in Washington, Rivera threw a no-hitter on May 16, 1984 against the Reds and he pitched in the 1986 World Series, although he was only in the bullpen for Game 3. In 1991, he came in with two outs in the ninth inning and struck out two of the Braves in order in Game 4 of the World Series. He had already won two World Series as a player and was only 20 years old.

But on Oct. 18, he did something he never did in his career. He failed to hit a batter. He walked one batter, struck out a batter and was charged with a loss for the day. This was the fifth loss of Rivera’s Hall of Fame career and, at the ripe age of 43, the first of his nine world titles. He finished his career with 1,500 strikeouts and with 2,400 games pitched in the majors.

His final act in baseball was to retire after the 1985 season, a year in which he pitched a no-hitter in Montreal.

Now, after years of retirement and a new life as a successful businessman, Rivera is back in the world of pro football and has a new opportunity. Two days after the season ended, he made his debut

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