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Mariano Rivera talks with Kidsday

Retired NY Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera with Kidsday

Retired NY Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera with Kidsday reporters Andre Jenkins, left, Ian Joseph and Esteban Enriquez, all from the UCPN School in Roosevelt. They met Rivera at the Barnes & Noble in Carle Place on Sept. 2, 2014. Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

We met Mariano Rivera, the retired Yankees great reliever, at Barnes & Noble in Carle Place recently. He was there to promote his book: "The Closer: Young Readers Edition."

Can you tell us about the book?

It's amazing. I wanted to make sure that I captured the youth. Knowing that they have also to do the things that I did. Going through amazing . . . tough times, but at the same time to be able to help people through all those obstacles, give them the strength to continue to fight anybody.

What do you miss most about baseball?

. . . First of all, my teammates. They were to me like family. And second of all, playing the game -- just pitching, being on the mound pitching. I miss that. But the rest, I don't miss: the travel, oh man, headaches, I'm OK with that. But definitely I miss my teammates. My manager and the fans, too.

What motivated you to get into sports?

My motivation; actually I just love the game. I didn't have one person to look up to, or say OK, I want to be like this person. I just love the game. Not just only baseball, soccer, basketball -- all kind of sports. As long as I was doing sports, I was OK. The game of baseball was something that I always had love for and passion. To me that was special. It was no one basically that motivated me to play the game . . . or any other sport. For years, I just love it for some reason. God's will I guess.

What kind of car do you drive?

I drive right now an Acura TL. I have other cars but that's the car that I drive the most . That's OK ... the car doesn't mean anything. It's what you feel, the person that you are. That's what means a lot. Always giving and helping others. That's our calling. My wife and I, we have our foundation and also we just renovated a church where we help as many people as we can, the congregation. We try to do the Lord's will and do as best as we could and reach as many as we could.

What is your favorite basketball team?

Well the Knicks obviously. Man, we're suffering. Hopefully this year we could do something different.

What was your favorite thing to do as a kid?

There's so many things. I liked going to the beach and getting into trouble. I don't do that anymore. That was my favorite thing to do. I liked spending time with my dog. That was one of the best times I had when I was a little boy.

What do you like to play when you are on your laptop?

I don't own a laptop; my skill for computers -- yours are better than mine. Let's put it like that. Technology to me, especially computers, other stuff is good, but computers I don't like to waste time on that. If I want to do something, I tell my wife to get it done. They take too much time. I'm kind of lazy to learn all that kind of stuff.

Are you loving retirement?

I love retirement. I should have retired 10 years ago. I love it. The part that I love is spending time with your family, my wife, my kids, doing all the things I wanted to do and I could not do it because I was playing 24 years. So now, I have time to do it, and I enjoy it. I have vacation in the middle of the summer. I didn't in 24 years. So I did that for the first time, and I enjoyed it. Yes I'm enjoying it.

Would you consider managing a new team?

No! I don't even think I can manage my house. My wife has control over everything. No. No I don't want to do that. I just want to teach, not even in the big leagues. I want to teach in the minor leagues. I think my advice and my help would be better and appreciated in the minors than the big leagues. So I think I would like to do it in the minor leagues. Kind of like a special adviser . . .

What is your favorite instrument?

My favorite instrument. I don't know how to play, either, but back when I was growing up I wasn't interested in that kind of stuff. My parents didn't have money to send me to school to play an instrument . . . But I'd like to play the piano . . . I'm going to learn . . . I'm going to get some classes because I love piano and guitar. Maybe I could play for the church.

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