A year ago, while he was mid-way through his last season in the Majors, the Harlem Globetrotters “drafted” Mariano Rivera. Saturday, probably as a favor to the all-time saves leader, the New York Yankees selected Mariano Rivera III in the 29th round of the MLB Draft.
“It was amazing, a good feeling,” younger Rivera said of getting drafted. “Some random number called me and I got it saying, ‘Maybe this could be,’ and it was. Pretty exciting.”
Now, while the Junior Rivera has about as much chance as ending up in the Bronx as his dad does in Harlem…at least he plays baseball. When his dad was selected by the Globetrotters, he admitted that he didn’t even play basketball.
But enough about that.
Rivera III, just finished up his sophomore season at Iona College. He started 12 games for the Gaels in 2014, going 2-6 with a 5.40 ERA and a team-leading 50 strikeouts in 70 innings. Amazingly, Rivera III actually threw five complete games…allowing opponents a .269 batting average.
“Despite the fact I got drafted by the same team my dad was playing for, I still want to be my own person,” the 20-year-old said. “I still want to become a ballplayer on my own terms.”
There’s no word yet as to whether or not Rivera III with sign with the Yankees or go back to Iona. Currently, he’s in the midst of playing summer ball.