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Pinch hitting: Rebecca Glass

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 30, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Next up in the Pinch Hitters series is Rebecca Glass, who got poetic about one of the great Yankees we’ve ever known.

Rebecca has been writing her blog, This Purist Bleeds Pinstripes, since September 2007. I’ve been reading her work for a while now, and when her guest post suggestion arrived, I hardly needed to open it to know who she wanted to write about.

I’d go ahead and tell you who her favorite Yankee is – “Until Jesús breaks in,” she wrote – but that might ruin the post.

———

Ernest Hemingway’s Old Man tells us to think of the Great DiMaggio.

Since I have so little respect for great literature, I’d like to amend that:

When you’re in your skiff, trying to haul in the marlin against the ferocious storm, think of the Great Mariano.

****

When you are a child, it’s an imperative to choose favorites. Favorite food. Favorite color. Favorite athlete.

How did one choose Mariano, way back when, over Derek Jeter and Paul O’Neill and Tino Martinez?

Mariano rolls off the tongue, fluid and easy, like butter melting on fresh-from-the-oven bread. Mariano. Marreeahno.

The name itself is bait.

****

The first real look comes in October 1999.

It’s not that one hasn’t seen him before; it’s that 1999 is the first season I am old enough to appreciate what I am seeing.

It’s the first time I hear his name in the same breath as “postseason,” “scoreless” and “record.” The first time I understand.

*****

There was an article in the Record. Something about death, taxes and Rivera. Eleven years later, yellowed from exposure, it’s still posted in my bedroom.

Every time I see it I think: did that writer know that by 2010, Mariano would, for many Yankee fans, be myth as much as man?

****

Mariano is a symbol as much as he is a pitcher.

Stoicism, poise, consistency — all the traits we value in our heroes.

He pitches with an injured shoulder (2008), in the postseason after a cousin is killed in a pool accident (2004), in the World Series with injured ribs (2009).

He gets one save, then ten, then a hundred and on a June night in 2009, five hundred.

And those 500 don’t include what he’s done in October.

****

After Game Three of the ALCS, when he gets out of a bottom of the ninth inning that sees a runner on third base with none out, you get the feeling that you could tell Mariano to climb Everest oxygen free, and he’d do it in record time while managing to rescue a stranded climber as well.

***

Almost twenty years after he first signs a professional baseball contract, a year to the day after a landmark election, he stands on the mound and throws one last pitch to a Philadelphia Philly.

In the whole of the 2009 postseason, he is the only closer that does not blow a lead.

****

Maybe Hemingway knew something. After all, Mariano is a fisherman’s son.

Comments

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80 Responses to “Pinch hitting: Rebecca Glass”

  1. John in Ohio January 30th, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Great stuff Rebecca.

  2. bdog375 January 30th, 2010 at 9:47 am

    My finance’s favorite player is also Mo, but for a different reason: She doesn’t like baseball, and when Mo comes in it means the game is about to end :)

  3. CD January 30th, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Rebecca must be really psyched about Syracuse hoops.

  4. Jeff NJ January 30th, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Good job Rebecca. Not exactly the typical blog post. Good for you for daring to be different.

  5. Yazman January 30th, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Great post, Rebecca. Mariano’s my favorite NYY too.

  6. Eli January 30th, 2010 at 10:03 am

    We all know now that Mariano is a living legend. A baseball player of a different breed. But will we really truly know how important The Great Mo is until he’s gone? Will a million Yankee fans go bald all at once the first time Joba/Hughes/(insert potential next closer here) blows a save?

    Though the number was of course retired for Robinson, it seems appropriate that nobody will ever wear his number again. When I think 42, Jackie is an afterthought.

  7. Joe from Long Island January 30th, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Very nice, Rebecca.

  8. vin January 30th, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Great work, Rebecca. Mariano really is a treasure.

  9. Sandman January 30th, 2010 at 10:20 am

    lets not forget his .500 batting average too :)

  10. Bronx Born January 30th, 2010 at 10:21 am

    An absolutely brilliant post Rebecca. Great use of word tools. Magnificent metaphor.

  11. Mark in NC January 30th, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Folks, If that’s the first time you have read Rebecca’s stuff you are missing a treat. As already noted, not the typical blog. Beautiful writing with a great eye for the human side of being a player and a fan.

    Great work, again, Rebecca.

  12. 86w183 January 30th, 2010 at 10:50 am

    What kind of idiot would try to catch a marlin from a skiff? The fish is as big as the boat!

    Just kiddin’.. I enjoyed the post and it does make us think about how patient fans will have to be with Mariano’s eventual replacement.

    As great as his regular season career has been, to me his post-season performance would be unbelievable if I hadn’t seen it myself. Mariano has pitched in 29 post-season series and only once has he given up more than one run in a series. And 21 of those series involved three or more more appearances.

    8-1, 39 saves, 0.74 ERA, .77 WHIP, 501 batters, 2 HR

    THE GREATEST!!!

    Christmas 2008 my older daughter presented me with a commemorative last season in Yankee Stadium baseball signed by the greatest closer ever. I will treasure it always.

  13. Joe from Long Island January 30th, 2010 at 10:53 am

    86w183 – sounds like you’re going to cherish that ball for more than Mo’s autograph on it.

  14. Doreen - Ain't it Just "Grand"? January 30th, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Rebecca -

    Great writing, as usual!!

    Mo is one of a kind. We’ve been so lucky in our lifetimes to witness this ballplayer, his accomplishments, his presence, his magic.

  15. Bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes January 30th, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Bodhisattva – Destiny Wears Pinstripes
    January 30th, 2010 at 10:58 am
    trisha – OPPC forever – (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS!
    January 30th, 2010 at 8:39 am
    Hi Boddy! We posted at the same time, what a surprise. I thought of you this morning when I was throwing bread and chocolate cake out for the squirrels and birds. There was a beautiful little chickadee at the bird feeder. Within a few minutes four or five squirrels were in the back yard eating chocolate cake. They turned their little noses up at the bread!
    ===
    Hey Trisha,
    I ran out of here earlier and missed this lovely post.
    I have a deeply personal response to this post, in fact. It’s not something I would not write about here, but I assure you, this touched a chord very deep within…let’s say I view what you wrote as a message…
    As usual, you write from your huge heart. Bless you.

  16. Bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes January 30th, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Nice job, Rebecca :D

  17. Bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes January 30th, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Trisha,

    P.S. BTW, I have always thought the intelligence of squirrels is highly under-appreciated by humans. ;).

  18. Uncle Ellsworth (Expert textpert choking smokers, don't you think the joker laughs at you) January 30th, 2010 at 11:03 am

    You ROCK Rebecca!
    Quit your day job!

  19. Tarheelyank January 30th, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Great post Rebecca.
    I predict and hope that some smart editor will recognize and give your talent a national audience(and paycheck :D ). Thanks!

  20. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 30th, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Mo is my favorite Yankee and always has been; he’s the only one I’ve never been upset with, not once. On the field, you just have to watch the All- Star game and see the great players of today watching Mo in awe to know just how devastating he is. He’s as good a person off-the field as he is on it, which is saying something. Mo’s a mentor to young Yankees and he’s also someone they can use as an example as to how to model their professional life. I remember seeing Mo showing Doc Halladay his cutter grip at the All-Star game one year- he’s very generous with his knowledge in that way. When he retires, although hitters will be happy, you’re going to hear resounding praise from anyone he’s every played with and who’s ever played against him. The game will be poorer once he’s gone.

  21. Drive 4- 5 January 30th, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Excellent job Rebecca! And nice job by Chad to put in on the blog on a Saturday when a lot of folks have time to do some reading. A discussion of one of the all time great Yankees is a welcome respite from all the Johnny Damon drama.

    Few althetes in the history of American sports have been the gold standard for as long as Mariano.The fact that he does it with such dignity makes him all the more special. It’s obvious Mariano is a decent and spitiual man, but there is a side of him that is downright fierce. You can’t excel like he has without a extraordinarily competitive drive. Mariano Rivera is Tiger Woods, only with class.

  22. Holden January 30th, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Thanks Rebecca.

    The family still loves ya, Holden.

  23. hmmmmm January 30th, 2010 at 11:22 am

    that reads a lot like an article on si.com about Mo:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c.....index.html

  24. pete January 30th, 2010 at 11:23 am

    While his contributions to the W/L are often overstated, his contributions to the yankees’ awesomeness are infinite.

  25. The Great Mariano January 30th, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Only one of him ……

    http://www.mosnewyorkgrill.com

  26. 86w183 January 30th, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Joe —-

    You are soooooo right!

    Forcing every team to retire No. 42 was not only an absurd edict from Commissioner For Life Baby Doc Selig, it also was patently unfair to the greatest player to ever wear No. 42.

    Next year I’m signing up to be a guest columnist on the issue of retired numbers. For now, suffice to say I’d like to see a lot fewer numbers retired.

  27. Thomo January 30th, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Rebecca,

    Clever post – I enjoy your writing and wish you continued success.

  28. Vrsce January 30th, 2010 at 11:32 am

    I’d go ahead and tell you who her favorite Yankee is – ”Until Jesús breaks in,” she wrote
    =======================================================
    I thought Rebecca was/is Jewish.

  29. Andrea January 30th, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Rebecca,

    I loved your piece and will save it for my wall! Mo is far and away my favorite all time Yankee – and I’ve been a fan sonce at least 1960 (the first World Series I can remember). Mo eitomizes greatness in and out of the game. I have several signed itemd from him that i’ll cherish always. Each time I’ve met him – he is kind and gracious…a hero that never disappoints.

    Thanks again for the reminder!

  30. Carl January 30th, 2010 at 11:36 am

    http://www.timesheraldonline.c.....i_14301420

    Not to switch topics, but here is a great article on CC from Vallejo Times. CC is the man.

  31. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 30th, 2010 at 11:39 am

    http://newstadiuminsider.blogs.....icket.html

    This Yankee fans is a tad over the edge

  32. Andy Stankiewicz January 30th, 2010 at 11:40 am

    hmmmmm
    January 30th, 2010 at 11:22 am

    that reads a lot like an article on si.com about Mo:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c…..index.html

    ———-

    The second I finished reading Rebecca’s opening line, I immediately thought of that article. Chad, I’d check it out if I were you, if you haven’t read it already. Not necessarily saying this is plagiarism or that the post should be taken down. But, let’s just say it seems Rebecca had some well-guided inspiration here.

  33. Andy Stankiewicz January 30th, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Sorry for the re-post. Link wasn’t working on the last one…

    hmmmmm
    January 30th, 2010 at 11:22 am

    that reads a lot like an article on si.com about Mo:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c.....index.html

    ———-

    The second I finished reading Rebecca’s opening line, I immediately thought of that article. Chad, I’d check it out if I were you, if you haven’t read it already. Not necessarily saying this is plagiarism or that the post should be taken down. But, let’s just say it seems Rebecca had some well-guided inspiration here.

  34. pat January 30th, 2010 at 11:53 am

    As a follow up o the Bryce Harper conversation from yesterday-

    In his first junior college game, Harper played 3B and made 1 throwing error.

    Offensively, he was 1-3 with 2 RBI’s, one on a single and the other on a sac fly hit during an intentional walk. He also stole 2nd.

    40 scouts were on hand to watch him play.

  35. Tom in NJ January 30th, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Writers, creative writers, often find insipration from the same sources-be it Bob Dylan ‘reinventing’lines from Keats, Shakespeare, or Woody Guthrie; The Romantic Poets usage of Homer’s Greek epics; Or even, Shakespeare himself.

    Rebecca did nothing wrong.

  36. S.A.--Serenity Now January 30th, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Great job Rebecca

  37. The Dude January 30th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    This is nice, but it’s a little too similar to that SI article for comfort, IMO.

  38. Don't be fooled January 30th, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    This is not original We read SI too!

  39. Josh January 30th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Good writing but the concept is exactly the same as an SI article by Joe Posnanski.

  40. Erin January 30th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Excellent job Rebecca! Love the Hemingway reference-that was always my favorite part of The Old Man and the Sea! :)

  41. mick January 30th, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    get off her back.

  42. vey January 30th, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    I bet Roberson is being groomed to replace Mo in 5 or so more years. Of course The Phillies still have a starting pitcher not nearly as good as Mo, who is 47 yrs Jamie Moyer, on their roster.Randy Johnson (46)just retired. Mo still has some years to gO with his incredible ERA.

    Go Mariano!!!

  43. 86w183 January 30th, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Hard to know how long Mariano will go, but I would lean towards Joba or maybe Brackman. Not sure Robertson has the one dominant pitch you love to have from a closer.

    Time will tell.

  44. mick January 30th, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    # Betsy – Romine wasn’t built in a day January 30th, 2010 at 11:39 am

    http://newstadiuminsider.blogs…..icket.html

    This Yankee fans is a tad over the edge
    ————————————
    He made some good points as did the cust. service rep.

  45. rebecca from phone January 30th, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Hey guys

    While I thought the posnanski article was brilliant, its also been six months since I read it. My only intention had been to redo an earlier post that I had qwritten on my own blog.

    I never once thought of the posnanski article while writing this post; unfortunately I have no way to prove this.

    I pride myself@ on posting original and creativ

  46. tim January 30th, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Love the Hemmingway reference! Mo will never be replaced by the Yankees. Great job Rebecca!

  47. mick January 30th, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I thought Rebecca was/is Jewish.
    ———————————-
    Think she meant Montero.

  48. mick January 30th, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Vrsce January 30th, 2010 at 11:32 am

    I’d go ahead and tell you who her favorite Yankee is – ”Until Jesús breaks in,” she wrote
    =======================================================
    I thought Rebecca was/is Jewish.
    —————————————–
    Full post. Jesus as in Montero?

  49. Rebecca feom phonw January 30th, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I pride myself on writing creaTive and original articles and am disappointed that some of you find similartues when there is no intent.

  50. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 30th, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Mick, how exactly did that guy make good points?

  51. mick January 30th, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Betsy,
    No doubt that guy was thinking replacing the 50 HRs and 200 RBI’s of Matsui/Damon plus their presence will be a daunting task, I could see his discouragement. In adition, he might see Winn as an insufficient replacement for Melky, who also came up big in the clutch last year.

    All 3 were clutch performers and , no doubt, will be missed.

  52. mick January 30th, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    They will be missed on and off the field. Interested to see how Cano does without his best bud Leche around.

    There could be growing pains in the early part of the season.

  53. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 30th, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    test

  54. Rich in NJ January 30th, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    This post brings to mind the varying way that some of us may view the current Yankees as a result of differences in age. Having grown up in the ’60s and ’70s, Bobby Murcer was my favorite player, and as a result, I may not always view him from a detached perspective. But since I was older when Mariano and Jeter joined the team, it’s much easier for me to be objective about their careers. Not that I don’t appreciate their greatness, but the sense of attachment is different.

  55. mick January 30th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Look at it this way: Johnson replaces Matsui, they are both injury prone. Granderson for Damon,we get younger. Gardner/Winn for Melky probably temporary until Crawford/Werth, or Damon comes back mid-season.

  56. mick January 30th, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Mantle = Jeter.

    Can’t believe I’m saying this but they are on a par for me.

    Of course Mantle was more mythical considering I was a teenager but Jeter possesses many of the intangibles Mantle had.

  57. GreenBeret7 January 30th, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I don’t know why everyone seems to have questions about 2010 run production, but, the NYYs have replaced that production very well. They also improved the outfield defense and the rotation. Just like always, the upcoming season depends on health. That should come as no surprise. Every season depends on health.

  58. Rich in NJ January 30th, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Damon isn’t coming back in season.

  59. mick January 30th, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Aside from run production, there is no denying Matsui, Damon and Melky were a big part of the team chemistry, although some will deny that is a factor.

  60. mick January 30th, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Damon isn’t coming back in season.

    ———————————
    Don’t be so sure about that.

  61. Rich in NJ January 30th, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    It would be an admission of failure.

  62. mick January 30th, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    I don’t see Johnson/Granderson replacing 50 HR’s and 200 RBI.
    Tex also had 122 ribbies but Arod will be here the entire season to make up for some of that.

    But with a more solid staff from day one we should be just fine.

  63. Chad Jennings January 30th, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    New post with my first Rivera memory.

  64. mick January 30th, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    It’s not failure. Just a gap between what the worth of Damon was.

    If they need him for a pennant drive, his salary will be reasonable at that time.

  65. KhanArtist January 30th, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    In terms of historical legacies- Mariano is at least top 5 for the Yanks.

    The Yanks have a lot of greats, but not every position do they have ‘the best at that position’. Obviously Ruth and Gehrig are a couple. You can try to make a case for Yogi. Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer ever!

  66. mick January 30th, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle….

    Those are the top 4.

    Yogi, Jeter, Mo in the running for 5.

  67. Rizzo! January 30th, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    And this is why my son is named Mariano.

  68. Don Capone January 30th, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Good work, Rebecca!

  69. Shane Schofield January 30th, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Pinch hitting tomorrow – someone who’ll argue there’s some sort of correlation between arm problems and bumps of more than 30IP from year to year.

  70. Darron D. January 30th, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    As a fan of Joe Pos, re-packaging his material is shameful. Credit the man somehow.

    Easily the most disappointing Pinch Hitter thus far.

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  72. JV February 1st, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Well done.

  73. Sally February 1st, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    I love it!! So my favorite is Jorge, Mariano is a close second, Alex as a player that didn’t come through ths system,and Don Mattingly from many years ago!!

  74. saucY February 2nd, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    excellent :)

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