Mariano Rivera, who was the New York Yankees' closer for 17 seasons and retired from Major League Baseball in 2013, is in Israel on a personal visit. Rivera, who is a thirteen-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion and is MLB's career leader in saves - 652, found time to meet with Dov Lipman, a representative of the Israel Association of Baseball and a former Knesset member from the Yesh Atid party at the Knesset on Thursday, along with Tourism Minister Yariv Levin and Dov's son, National Team player Shlomo Lipman.
Lipman presented Rivera with a special Israel Baseball sweatshirt with his name and number, and in a chat with him said, "Mariano, you are getting to see ancient Israel, and , as you said, connecting to our roots. But Israel is also modern, and as a modern state, of course we have to have baseball. The Israel Association of Baseball is honored that you have come to Israel and we look forward to a relationship with you. On behalf if the Israel Baseball Association I am honored to give you this sweathshirt, on condition that you wear it proudly in the streets of New York." Rivera answered that he looks forward to doing so.
The IAB plans to hold a special event next week to be attended by Rivera. Details to follow.