We decided to look to our honorary retiree of the week, longtime Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, for guidance on how to ease into retirement with grace, humility, and benevolence. You might not know it, but this MLB pitcher has something of a heart of gold and has been spending his transitionary days from active to retired player carrying out acts of thanks and appreciation for the people who have supported him in his career.
According to an article in USA Today, people have been skeptical whether this will actually be “the” end for Rivera or if he will have a change of heart and decide to play another season. Rivera however swears that this is it. The article quoted Rivera saying, “There’s no ‘maybe.’ There’s no ‘in case this happens.’ This is definitive. It has been well thought-out, and I have put it in God’s hands.”
The article reported that Rivera has been reciprocating the support and love that he receives on the road by performing special acts of kindness for employees and fans, including surprising a Oakland Athletics’ mail-room employee with a pizza. Rivera reportedly posed as a deliveryman and dropped off the pie, with a warm hug and a special thanks for her 25 years of work.
Many people may think of retirement as being all about “them,” celebrating the years of hard work they’ve put in and all of their personal triumphs and successes. But Rivera is a wonderful example of what it means to recognize others for their support of you. After all, many of us wouldn’t be where we are today if not for one or a few special people. We love watching Rivera make his humble and gracious exodus from major league ball, and encourage our soon-to-be retirees to take a page out of his book in this regard.