Friday, November 14, 2014


Rivera greets baseball fans in South Korea


11/12/14, "Mariano Rivera poses with members of the Paichai Middle School baseball team during a baseball workshop at Times Square in Yeongdeungpo, Seoul, Wednesday. / Yonhap

11/12/14, "'Door to MLB is wide open'," Korea Times, by Kwon Ji-youn

"Yankees legend Rivera encourages Korean players"

"Former New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, 44, assured Korean baseball players that the door to Major League Baseball (MLB) is always open.

"There are so many great players now in the U.S. who have opened the door to major league baseball," Rivera said during a press conference at Times Square in Yeongdeungpo, Wednesday. "The opportunities are there. You just have to go for it. If you have the desire to play baseball at the best level possible, that's major league baseball."

The legendary closer recalled having played against Texas Rangers' Choo Shin-soo when the outfielder played for the Cleveland Indians. "Choo is a great player," he said. "I also enjoyed playing with Park Chan-ho when I was playing for the Yankees. I really enjoyed it. It's a privilege to know such great players in the U.S."

Rivera arrived in Incheon Tuesday at the invitation of Harman Korea to promote one of its sound system brands, JBL. This is Rivera's first visit to Korea. He will take part in a range of events through Saturday. "It's amazing here _ the culture, the people and the baseball fans," Rivera said. "I had no idea people here in Korea loved baseball so much."
The Panamanian, known for his sharp cutter pitch, played 19 seasons in MLB for the Yankees after being signed in 1990. He made his major league debut in 1995 as starting pitcher, and in 1997, was made the Yankees' closer. In 1999, 2001 and 2004, he led the major league in saves, and made a name for himself as one of the most influential players in major league history. Rivera retired last year after recording 652 saves.  
When reminded of the pressure he was under after failing to close out game seven of the 2001 World Series, Rivera advised that those who truly understand baseball know that you win some, you lose some.

"If you understand baseball, you understand that sometimes, you're going to fail," Rivera said. "If you get that, you'll be okay. You just have to give it 100 percent. You want to win, but if you lose, that's part of the game. You just have to forget it and move on, because there's nothing you can do about that."

At the mention of Trevor Hoffman, a rival pitcher who became the first major league pitcher to reach the 600-save milestone, Rivera stressed that he played to win, not to make and break records. He thanked fans for their support before asking them to continue encouraging the country's baseball players, especially new and young talent. 
"They are the future of baseball," he said. "We need them in the big leagues.""

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