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Sandman

Ever wonder what it would be like to hit against one of the best in baseball? I did last week against legendary Yankees closer Mariano Rivera at a New Era Diamond Era cap function at Yankee Stadium.

Say What?? Taking Batting Practice with the G.O.A.T?

You heard right!

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Every sports movie that I watched growing up as a kid prepared me for this moment, or so I thought. In my mind, I was Henry Rowengartner, the kid pitcher of the Chicago Cubs in the 1993 American movie, Rookie of the Year.

It is one thing to watch a movie and a completely different thing to go toe-to-toe with Mariano Rivera, a 19-year veteran, 13-time All-Star and MLB’s career leader in saves with 652.

I arrived at Yankee Stadium ready to one out of the park. Well, in my case, the batting cage.

Upon reporting to the batters box, I looked at Rivera and asked: “You ready for me?”

I was born ready,” Rivera replied.

Uh-oh!!! I don’t think the Sandman is going easy on me!

At full disclosure, I hadn’t played baseball since rec-league at ten years old. Growing up, I swam competitively and played basketball for recreation. None of that mattered now! I’m going at it with Mariano Rivera and I have to hit his cutter. 

What to do? What to do?

I put on quite a sweat trying to bat against a guy with five World Series rings. Luckily, while going toe-to-toe with Mo, I did wear a New Era Diamond Era cap, their latest in technological innovation . The hat has a synthetic called Cool Era, that according to New Era reps, helps players perform to their maximum ability.

The hats also seem to shrink less than the wool-based cap. It looked a little lightweight and stitched. That’s kind of what I needed, because with no tissues in sight and Mariano Rivera probably schooling me in batting practice, I was going to need something to dry my tears.

I ought to cry too! I went 0 for 13.I was horrible!

I couldn’t hit, wasn’t focused and I called my momma and cried afterward. She told me to stick to writing and reporting. I’m taking her advice. Mo is a pro and momma knows best! 

Check out batting practice in its entirety with Mo!