August 3, 2021

The Baseball 100: No. 91, Mariano Rivera (The Athletic)

Starting in December and ending on Opening Day, we at The Athletic will count down the 100 greatest baseball players by publishing an essay on a player every day for 100 days. In all, this project will contain roughly as many words as “Moby Dick.” Yes, we know it’s nutty. We hope you enjoy. 

A few years ago, I wrote something about Mariano Rivera and Ernest Hemingway. Here is a part of that.

“They say his father was a fisherman. Maybe he was as poor as we are and would understand.”

— The Old Man and the Sea

I was re-reading Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” and I came upon the Joe DiMaggio references. Hemingway adored DiMaggio. He admired the grace with which DiMaggio played defense, the consistency of a man who could hit in 56 straight games, the quiet elegance with which he carried himself. All this turned DiMaggio into something more than a ballplayer. He became representative of a better time (“Where have you…

Read “The Baseball 100: No. 91, Mariano Rivera” at The Athletic