Matthew Tallarini, Chief Correspondent, WORLD BASEBALL NETWORK
Monday night at the New York Athletic Club Central Park South Venue in NYC Hall of Famer, and Five-Time World Champion, Mariano Rivera was a Guest of Honor for the 2022 NYAC All Sports Dinner. The NYAC All Sports Dinner resumed for the first time since 2019. The New York Athletic Club Athletes were honored for their hard work during the National and World Championships from the 2021-2022 Calendar Year, including Tokyo 2020. Yankees Longtime Radio Announcer Suzyn Waldman introduced Mariano in a heartwarming speech. She reminisced about beginning her career with the Yankees and her encounters with Mariano during early spring training years, including his rookie season in 1995. Mariano gave a great speech in front of all attendees about his upbringing as a true underdog athlete. He referred to the NYAC athletes in attendance and what it meant to be in challenging positions as a professional athlete. The illustrious career of Mariano Rivera goes well outside of baseball. He has a long history of helping with humanitarian efforts in his community back in Panama and here in the Tri-State area post-career. He has always been giving back in every way possible. Mariano Rivera is now beginning his journey to grow the sport on a global scale, with the start of the Baseball United League in Dubai, Pakistan, and India by next year. Former MLB Shortstop Hall of Famer Barry Larkin and Chairman CEO Kash Shaikh of the Baseball United League are teaming up with Mariano Rivera to grow the game internationally in the Cricket Sport region of the world.
I met Mariano several times over the years when he was honored at community events. He was always gracious. Last night it was great to see him again and congratulate him personally with all of the other NYAC athletes in attendance.