Alex Rodriguez talks with Suzyn Waldman about Mariano Rivera on Yankee radio pregame Sept. 15, 2013
Suzyn: "Alex Rodriguez, you've played against him, you've played with him, and he's been a really good friend for you. So when you watch this today, what do you think this is like, what do you think of when you look at Mariano after all these years?
Alex: You know, I think of Magic Johnson in Boston Garden or I think about Larry Bird at the old Forum. You know, Mariano's not only one of the greatest pitchers of all time, but he's for me in the top 5 greatest athletes of all time. You think about Wayne Gretzky, and Larry Bird, and Muhammad Ali. You know, Mariano for us, he means so much more than baseball. He's our Roberto Clemente in many ways. And I love him, I love him to pieces. And I'm having such a great time playing the game, and he's a major part of it. Me coming back and having the privilege to put on the pinstripes and share the uniform with Mariano Rivera is a moment I'll never forget.
Suzyn: You know, he's always been a very big supporter of yours, and I know throughout the years, and I don't think a lot of people know this, Mariano Rivera even when you got here was always sitting with you and talking to you about different things. Can you remember the first time you faced him, what that was like for you?
Alex: Yeah, I struck out (laughs).
Suzyn: A lot of people did that too.
Alex: I just remember the incredible talent, but you know Suzyn, you look at Mariano and you compete against him, and we know he's the fiercest of all fiercest competitors and all that. But what makes Mariano Rivera is when you get to meet him, and you know I was with him last night watching the fight, and you know the biggest compliment or the biggest way I can share with all our fans and specially Mariano Rivera fans is that when the moment gets really, really, really tough, and New Yorkers can appreciate this about Mariano, the best Mariano Rivera always stands out. And he's my hero and a role model and a dear friend.
Suzyn: Alex, as always, I thank you very much."
11/15/2005, Rob Dibble and Kevin Kennedy hosts on XM MLB radio (then Channel 175) ask guest Arod who is the most impressive person he's met in the game. Arod answers, Edgar Martinez and Mariano Rivera.
Mariano Rivera pulling in fishing net on boat, date unknown, picture from an SI.com vault
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