Rachel Robinson says she has admired Mariano Rivera's baseball path from afar, a Hall of Fame-worthy, (soon-to-be) 19-season stretch marked by the Yankee closer wearing the same No. 42 that Jackie Robinson wore during his legendary Brooklyn Dodgers career.
Still, Rachel Robinson admits that the news of Rivera deciding to hang up the cleats later this year "makes me a little sad.
"You start to think over the life of his career, all that he has accomplished," she says. "All players have to face it, but it's still hard to think about Mariano not pitching anymore. He has had a wonderful career."

The 90-year-old widow of Jackie capped a busy last week — one that included the Jackie Robinson Foundation's annual gala — by reflecting upon baseball without the inimitable Yankees closer taking the mound in the ninth inning. And although she says she doesn't "really know Mariano well," she can't help but see common threads shared between her husband (who died in 1972) and the greatest closer in baseball history, a pitcher who grew up in the tiny Panamanian town of Puerto Caimito, the son of a fisherman, and went on to record an historic career while wearing pinstripes.
"They were both very determined. They are two men with great dignity and pride, and carried that with what they did on the field," says Robinson. "Some of the characteristics of Jack, I see in Mariano."


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