If you thought the Mariano Rivera tributes were finished, think again. FOX announced today that it’s airing a 90-minute documentary called Being: Mariano Rivera. Film crews were allowed access to a lot of Rivera’s behind-the-scenes moments. There were so many amazing things happening with Rivera this season, it’s hard to imagine this won’t be at least a little bit interesting. Here are the details in press release form:
New York — Baseball debates are as old as the game itself: Ruth or Aaron? Feller or Ryan? Brock or Henderson? However, there is one position where debate is pointless: Who is the game’s best closer? On this, fans, players, coaches, historians and media all agree: Mariano Rivera, and as most know, the 2013 regular season was his last as an active player. Granted unprecedented and exclusive access to many of Rivera’s most private moments since before spring training, BEING: MARIANO RIVERA, the definitive 90-minute television documentary from FOX Sports Originals, Relativity Television and Major League Baseball Productions on the reticent superstar’s final season in pinstripes, premieres Sunday, Oct. 20 on FOX (2:30 or 4:30 PM ET; check local listings), with an encore presentation on Tuesday, Oct. 22 on FOX Sports 1 (9:30 PM ET).
A man of deep religious conviction, Rivera was a ferocious competitor who, win or lose, always respected the game. A nurturing teammate, he freely offered guidance to young pitchers hoping to attain a fraction of his consistency and success, awestruck by his staggering career statistics: 19-years, all with the New York Yankees; 13-time All-Star; seven World Series, winning five; 652 career saves, with another 42 in postseason play.
“Throughout his remarkable career Rivera shied away from the spotlight and simply let his dominance over hitters and good work off-the-field speak volumes, so perhaps its counterintuitive that he would agree to allow cameras access to such intimate moments, but that’s just what he did,” said Michael Bloom, FOX Sports’ Senior Vice President, Original Programming. “It will be an honor to present BEING: MARIANO RIVERA on FOX Sports and FOX Sports 1.”
“We’re honored and privileged that a man universally regarded as the best to ever play his position let us in to uncover the mystique of his final season,” said Tom Forman, CEO of Relativity Television. “Our cameras find him in never-before-seen moments at work, at play, with family and friends, baseball legends, competitors and politicians alike. Despite what fans may have already seen, BEING: MARIANO RIVERA is more thorough than any televised tribute to date.”
“MLB Productions has a proven track record and has established a significant level of trust among MLB players over the years, but given how closely Mariano guards his privacy, we’re extremely appreciative of the access he has granted us this season,” added Chris Tully, Senior Vice President, Broadcasting, Major League Baseball. “This special is a rare glimpse behind the curtain with one of the truly legendary figures in the game.”
· A late August saltwater fishing trip in Clearwater, FL with Andy Pettitte and Rivera’s sons.
· A private lunch in Boston with Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, a momentary detente between rivals who talked about the game, their mutual respect for each other and the storied rivalry between their teams.
· An Old Timer’s Day meeting with Yankees legends Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford.
· Unaware of what to expect from Mariano Rivera Day festivities at Yankee Stadium, cameras begin the day with him at home, ride with him to the Stadium, and are present as he rides on golf cart to centerfield where festivities began for him. He admits his “heart is racing,” and he’s “nervous.”
· During a late-season series in Baltimore, Rivera admits to being “tired” and “burned out” by the pressure and strain of the his long farewell season, saying, “I’m not a robot.”
· It’s widely known that during this past season Rivera met with special fans and long-time employees of opposing teams. At one, cameras are there when he encounters a family who had lost a son tragically who ask him for advice on how to cope with their grief.
· Filming concludes this week with a glimpse of Rivera’s life after baseball at home with his wife and boys.
Co-produced by Relativity Television, Relativity Sports and Major League Baseball Productions, BEING: MARIANO RIVERA is directed by Jeff Spaulding of MLB Productions. Relativity Television’s team of Executive Producers includes Tom Forman, Happy Walters, Fernando Cuza, Matthew Weaver and Brad Bishop. David Gavant serves as Vice President of Production, and David Check is Executive Producer for Major League Baseball.
Photos provided by FOX