Mariano Rivera on receiving Presidential Medal of Freedom


THE COUNTRY. BACK TO YOU. STEVE: THANK YOU, JACKIE. BRIAN: LET’S BRING IN MARIANO RIVERA. WHY? BECAUSE HE IS GREAT PITCHER, HALL OF FAME AND GOT PRESS DECK FREEDOM FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. WE WATCHED IT. WHAT WAS IT LIKE?>>IT WAS AMAZING THE RECEIVING THE MEDAL WAS A PRIVILEGE AND AN HONOR. BEING AN IMMIGRANT, COME HERE BEING A CITIZEN HERE OF THE UNITED STATES, FOR ME IT WAS SOMETHING SPECIAL. STEVE: IT WAS SPECIAL. HOW DID IT MAKE YOU FEEL SOMEBODY AT THE WHITE HOUSE DECIDED YOU KNOW WHAT? LET’S MAKE SURE WHEN HE WALKS OUT HE WALKS OUT TO THE SONG HE WALKED OUT WHEN HE TOOK THE MOUND AT YANKEE STADIUM, SANDMAN.>>AGAIN, THEY DID A GOOD JOB. I WASN’T EXPECTING THAT. AINSLEY: I WAS ASKING ALL THE GUYS WHY YOU DIDN’T COME OUT TO MR. SANDMAN, BRING ME A DREAM. YOU’RE KIDDING ME, RIGHT? METALLICA MUCH MORE TOUGHER. SO MANY LITTLE KIDS WATCHING THAT WANT TO BE YOU WHEN THEY GROW UP?>>I MEAN I, MAN, BASEBALL WAS ONE OF MY PASSIONS. I WANTED TO BE A SOCCER PLAYER. THE LORD JUST PUT IT IN PLY PATH. YOU KNOW, I WASN’T EVEN TRYING TO BE A PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER. AINSLEY: WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD TALENT?>>I KNEW I HAD A LITTLE TALENT BUT THE LORD TOOK IT A DIFFERENT LEVEL. MY TALENT WAS TO BE GOOD ENOUGH FOR SINGLE A ROOKIE BALL BUT THE LORD TOOK IT TO DIFFERENT LEVEL 24 YEARS AFTER THAT. I PLAYED 19 YEARS IN THE BIG LEAGUES. BRIAN: ONE THING I THOUGHT FROM THE BASEBALL PERSPECTIVE, WHEN YOU WERE THE SET-UP FOR JOHN WETLAND, THAT WAS CLOSER. THAT WAS THE CRAZIEST THING. THEY GET RID OF JOHN, DID YOU THINK HE HAD DOUBT IN ’97 AFTER WINNING THE WORLD SERIES, WERE YOU READY FOR THAT?>>I WASN’T READY FOR THAT POSITION. THAT WAS MY SECOND FULL YEAR IN THE BIG LEAGUES. JOHN WETTLAND IS GONE. WHO WILL CLOSE? IT IS YOU. ME? OH, MY GOSH. IT WAS A FREIGHT CHALLENGE. I TOOK IT LIKE THAT. AND THANK GOD I WAS ABLE TO DO THAT JOB. STEVE: YOU HAVE WITH YOU THE MEDAL OF HONOR.>>YES, SIR.>>MEDAL OF FREEDOM. IT IS BEAUTIFUL. WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO KEEP IT AT YOUR HOUSE?>>PUT IT IN A SPECIAL PLACE. I RECEIVE ALSO A MEDAL IN PANAMA THAT IS DEAR TO MY HEART. DEFINITELY THIS WILL BE NEXT TO IT. BRIAN: WHAT WAS THE REACTION IN YOUR HOME COUNTRY WHEN YOU GOT THIS? DID YOU GET RESPONSE FROM YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS BACK HOME?>>OH, YEAH, YEAH. I GOT A RESPONSE FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS. YOU ARE ALWAYS GOING TO HAVE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE YOU KNOW, BECAUSE I MEAN, THEY WOULD SAY, THIS GUY IN AMERICA. HE IS AMERICAN. THEY DON’T KNOW. I MEAN, I LOVE BEING A PANAMANIAN. THAT IS MY COUNTRY. THAT IS MY PEOPLE. I LOVE BEING IN THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE THEY OPENED THE DOOR FOR ME AND MY FAMILY. AINSLEY: YEAH.>>MY HEART IS IN BOTH COUNTRIES BUT AT THE SAME TIME I CAN NEVER, I REPRESENT THE PAN MAYAN PEOPLE. I REPRESENT LATINO PEOPLE. FOR ME THAT IS AN HONOR AND A PRIVILEGE. ALSO BEING HERE IN AMERICA, YOU KNOW. I’M ALSO PROUD OF THAT. AINSLEY: I NOTICE YOU ALWAYS GIVE CREDIT TO GOD AND YOUR FAITH. PEOPLE LOVE THAT ABOUT YOU. YOU WERE UNANIMOUSLY ADMITTED INTO THE HALL OF FAME. THAT HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO VOTED SAID YOU SHOULD GET IN. SAYS A LOT ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER. TELL US MORE ABOUT THAT. HOW DID YOU COME TO KNOW THE LORD?>>AMAZING SITUATION BECAUSE I MEAN AT AGE OF 24 HE RECEIVED MY LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST AS MY SAVIOR. FROM THERE EVERYTHING HAS BEEN DIFFERENT. I WOULDN’T SAY IT IS EASY BUT DIFFERENT. DIFFERENT IN THE WAY THAT, YEAH WE, HE FACE WALLS, I FACE GIANTS. AT THE SAME TIME I TRUST THE LORD. IT HAS BEEN GREAT. SO DEFINITELY NOW KNOWING, UNDERSTANDING THE LORD WAS THE ONE THAT BROUGHT ME HERE I CAN NEVER STOP TALKING ABOUT HIM. BRIAN: ONE THING I THINK SPORTS IS LIKE IN COMPOSITE, EVERYBODY CAN BE HAPPY WHEN YOU WIN A WORLD SERIES. I THINK THE THING IMPRESSED ME MOST HOW YOU ACTED WHEN YOU DIDN’T. YOU HAD HEARTBREAKING LOSSES TO THE RED SOX AND DIAMONDBACKS. I DIDN’T SEE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OUR CELEBRATION AND DEVASTATION. WHERE DOES THAT COME FROM?>>WELL AGAIN, YOU KNOW, COMES FROM UNDERSTANDING THE GAME, UNDERSTANDING, YOU KNOW, MOST OF THE TIME YOU’RE GOING TO WIN. AND THOSE GAMES THAT YOU LOSE, THEY WON’T TELL YOU WHICH ONES YOU ARE GOING TO LOSE. THEREFORE I UNDERSTAND, YOU KNOW, THEY WERE HARD. DON’T GET ME WRONG. I MEAN I WANTED TO CONTINUE PLAYING THE NEXT DAY BUT IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE. SO I MEAN I HAD TO TAKE MY LOSSES THE SAME WAY I TAKE MY VICTORIES. SO — BRIAN: EASIER SAID THAN DONE. AGAIN, I WAS BLESSED FROM ALL OF THOSE.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR JOINING US. TELLING US A STORY. GOOD LUCK TO YOU. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, GREATEST

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