Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Quinnipiac University pitches to Mariano Rivera Jr. and Dad

12/8/10, "Though “Enter Sandman” wasn’t playing, there was still plenty of applause and commotion.

New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera made an entrance at Quinnipiac University Wednesday afternoon with his son, Mariano Jr., to visit the Mount Carmel campus. Rivera Jr., a senior pitcher at Iona Prep in New York,

“Today was another extension of the search for the right school,” Quinnipiac baseball head coach Dan Gooley said of the visit.

  • Rivera Jr. and his mom visited the campus about a month ago with the guidance counselor from Iona Prep in search of the right school.

One of the things I said to Mrs. Rivera and to Mariano Jr. was, ‘Once you start figuring out what schools you’re serious about, your dad should come back and visit with you as well,’” Gooley said.

  • The Riveras called Tuesday, saying that his dad, the five-time World Series champion for the New York Yankees, wanted to see the school.

“He’s still in the process of searching,” Gooley said. “I think he’s looking at Fairfield University, Pace University, Fordham University, and Iona University. He goes to Iona Prep so I think Iona might be a little too close for him, but those are at least the four schools I know he’s interested in.”

  • Gooley does not expect a decision until early to mid-February.

Rivera Jr. is 5-foot-10 and weighs about 155 lbs, according to Gooley. He pitched for the Bayside Yankees, a New York City AAU baseball program, in the summer, Gooley said.

“He contacted us and said he was interested,” Gooley said, “so then, of course, we did some follow-up information on him and tried to get some more background information on him. He decided he wanted to come up for a search. Every young guy who visits, we try and meet with them and talk to them.”

  • Gooley said that Rivera Jr. isn’t the hardest throwing pitcher, but believes he is accurate.

He throws a lot of strikes,” he said. “He’s the kind of kid you get on a real good strength and conditioning program and work with him mechanically. He could be a good, solid player at this level.”

The attention his father received was overwhelming, as dozens of Quinnipiac students followed him and his son around campus, but Gooley believes the number of people who clamored at the Yankees’ closer is not something Rivera Jr. is ashamed of.

  • “When we were with the president (John Lahey) he was talking about how proud he is of his father and what he has accomplished,” Gooley said. “People came out to see his dad and that made him very proud, I think.”

Rivera Jr. is looking to get into get into the legal studies program and is interested in joining Quinnipiac’s law school.

“If he can fit in and be a baseball player, he’s gonna do that,” Gooley said. “I think he really enjoyed it today.”

  • Before the Rivera name is attached to Quinnipiac baseball, there is still a long process to go.

It’s a unique piece to have if everything works out on your club,” Gooley said, “but you still gotta make it, you still gotta go to class, still gotta make your practice sessions, still gotta perform on the field. No matter what name is attached to you, you still gotta do it. I think the kid has his own identity, I really do.”

  • Aside from Rivera Jr., Quinnipiac has already recruited four players in the national letter of intent for next year, including first baseman Vin Guglietti, outfielder Alec Pernick, pitcher Matt Lorenzetti, and middle infielder Scott Donahue....

12/8/10, "Quinnipiac makes pitch to Riveras," Quinnipiac Chronicle, by Matt Eisenberg, photo from Quinnipiac Chronicle

  • ####

12/8/10, "Rivera to Quinnipiac?", The Quad News, by Alex Lippa

  • "The Riveras plan on going to Mariano's native Panama during the holidays and Mariano Jr. will make his decision on where he will be attending sometime in 2011.

Campus was abuzz with the news that Rivera was visiting Quinnipiac today. Massive crowds followed him wherever he went and there were mobs reported around him in the cafeteria, the library, the athletic center and outside the admissions office.

  • Mariano and Mariano Jr. went on a tour of the campus later in the afternoon, and were mobbed by students looking to take pictures of him and speak with the Yankee's pitcher. The Riveras were accompanied by several security guards as they departed on their tour toward Echlin Center.
The 41-year-old Rivera has been in the news lately as he recently signed a two-year contract to remain with the Yankees after spurning an offer from the Boston Red Sox. The legendary pitcher is considered to be the best closer in major league history."...

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