The Mariano Rivera Foundation will be the beneficiary of The Cannata Report’s 38th Annual Awards & Charities Gala
As some of you may have already read in The Cannata Report, the charitable recipient for our 38th Annual Awards & Charities Gala is The Mariano Rivera Foundation. New York Yankee and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera founded the charity, which has a special program to train disadvantaged young people to become certified to service production print devices.
Mariano Rivera’s story is a rich and compelling one. Born in Panama, his father was a fisherman. To get to school, he had to walk through the fishing village, his clothes smelling of dead fish. Because of this, Mariano was ridiculed and bullied by his fellow students endlessly. He told his father he could not take it anymore and wanted to work on his boat and become a fisherman.
Mariano’s life changed when he went to a Yankee tryout and was signed to a contract. He put on a New York Yankee uniform for the first time in 1995. Over a career spanning 19 years, he became the greatest relief pitcher in baseball history, saving 652 games. Playing for some of the greatest Yankees teams of all time, Mariano appeared in six World Series, winning four, and was named to 13 All-Star teams. His postseason (playoffs and World Series) statistics are impressive. In 96 postseason games, Mariano won 8 games, lost 1, saved 42, and had a 0.70 ERA.
On July 21, 2019, he walked to the podium at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, to thank those who made him the first player ever unanimously elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, an accomplishment not even achieved by Babe Ruth (95.1%).
Making a Difference
Despite his successful career and stellar accomplishments on the field, that should not be what Mariano should be best remembered for. In 1998, three years after he joined the Yankees, he formed a private foundation to provide scholarships to New Rochelle College to those in great need. Only three years into his major league career and still a very young man developing a reputation as a great reliever, his thoughts were about helping young people in need.
This is a person who was thankful for his blessing of having a degree of athleticism that was beyond rare. It is about a man who remembered his youth and the troubled people he knew, saying to himself, ‘we need to help those young people who are struggling.’
After funding scholarships for many years, Mariano decided to change the focus from scholarships to helping disadvantaged young people that were not attending college. If it entailed a need for providing scholarships, he was happy to do so. However, he wanted to reach deeper into that cauldron of misery that destroys people born into unfortunate circumstances that never had a chance to succeed.
IIn 2016, in addition to his private foundation, Mariano began his public foundation, Mariano Rivera Public Foundation. Starting a public foundation allowed Mariano not only to support this work but to serve this population directly. More importantly, he had turned to God at a very young age with his wife Clara and founded a church, Refuge of Hope, in New Rochelle, New York, where Clara serves as pastor. Clara has been with Mariano throughout his journey. No man can do what he does without the support of someone who loves him and is willing to sacrifice for his or her beliefs or ideals.
This is a man whose foundation, The Cannata Report, has chosen as the beneficiary of our charitable efforts at our 38th Annual Awards & Charities Gala on November 2, 2023.