In case you had not heard, Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer to ever pitch in Major League Baseball, tore his ACL shagging balls during batting practice yesterday. I’m not a Yankees fan, so I’m not just blowing smoke under your librarian cardigan when I say he’s the best. Here are some statistics, because that, and Dubble Bubble, are what baseball is all about.


Fun fact: Mo is the last person the League still wearing number 42, which was retired in honor of Jackie Robinson on April 15, 1997.

Much to my dismay as an Orioles fan, the Yankees have been dominant in the AL East for quite some time, thanks in no small part to Mariano. (A strong offense hasn’t hurt the Yankees, for sure. But, there’s a lot to be said for not blowing a game in the last innings–which is where Mo comes in.) You can be confident in his consistency, you can rest assured that he’ll finish the game cleanly. He’s a calming force–the man shags balls in BP for Pete’s sake. Above all, he’s one of baseball’s nice guys.

What does Marino-style reference look like?

  • Always show up and do good work. There will be flashes of brilliance, big projects, hard questions answered, but greatness comes in the long run.
  • Relax. Don’t know the answer to a question? That’s ok. You’ll learn; these things take time.
  • Have a routine that keeps you grounded. Shagging balls during BP: Filing loose leaf :: Being thought of as one of the most down to earth MLB stars: Having the admiration of your colleagues, at all levels.
  • Give back. Oh, you thought you got to where you are all by yourself? Be a mentor, co-write an article, offer resume advice, be a pal.
  • Be clutch. Slow and steady may win, but ready to rise to the occasion.

Worthy goals from a worthy (though somewhat unrelated) role model. Cheers, Mo!