The life of an acclaimed major league baseball player is recounted for kids. 

by Robert Casilla 

ISBN:  978-1-55885-983-8 
Publication Date:  October 31, 2023
Format:  Hardcover
Pages:  32
Imprint: Piñata Books
Ages: 5-10

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Mariano Rivera, a record-breaking major league baseball player, grew up in a small fishing village in Panama. His father had his own boat and wanted his son to follow in his footsteps, but Mariano didn’t want to be a fisherman. He loved baseball!  

Without money for equipment, the boy and his friends had to be creative. They improvised a mango tree limb for a bat, made gloves out of cardboard and wrapped a rock in shredded fishing nets and tape to create a ball! Even though Mariano was the smallest, he was quick and athletic, and he constantly practiced hitting, catching and throwing to improve his game.  After high school, he worked with his father, but when their boat sank, he was more convinced than ever that fishing was not for him! 

He started his baseball career as a shortstop for a local team, which made it to the national championship two years in a row. A New York Yankees scout invited Mariano to a tryout, and soon after he was hired to play for a minor league team in Tampa, Florida. He joined the New York Yankees in 1995 and went on to become a great relief pitcher and top closer, helping his team to win five World Series. He broke the record in 2011 for the most games saved as a closer, and in 2019 became the first major league player to be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame with 100% of the votes. With engaging text and lively illustrations by acclaimed artist Robert Casilla, this book is sure to win many young fans.