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Rivera enters the Hall of Fame; Silverman the Hall of Shame

Written By | Jul 24, 2019

CHARLOTTE, NC:  On Sunday, former New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera became the first-ever unanimous inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Some 55,000 fans and dignitaries showed up to mark the occasion by drawing the second-largest crowd for a Cooperstown induction ceremony in history. Along with Rivera, Lee Smith, Mike Mussina, Edgar Martinez, and Harold Baines were also honored, as was Roy Halladay who was inducted posthumously.

It was a day for celebration on a sun-splashed afternoon when baseball took center-stage to salute more than a century of a sport that over the decades has come to truly embody the American spirit.

Robert Silverman of The Daily Beast was on the money when he wrote,

“(Mariano) Rivera represents a nearly unbroken succession of Yankee greatness that stretches all the way back to the 1920s, from Ruth and Gehrig to DiMaggio and Mantle, and then Reggie Jackson and Derek Jeter.”

And then Silverman spoiled it when he added,

“And over the past three years, (Rivera’s) also served at the pleasure of a racist president, taken part in thinly veiled propaganda on behalf of a far-right government in Israel, and gotten chummy with outright bigots and apocalyptic loons.”

From that point on Silverman spends roughly 2,000 words condemning Rivera for his post-baseball life purely because Mariano Rivera has a different political philosophy than his own.

Unlike Colin Kaepernick, who chose to sit on his duff as millions watched during the National Anthem before a nationally televised professional football game.  Or actress Meryl Streep, who also used her celebrity status to make political statements at two major Hollywood events, again while millions of viewers were tuned in.

Then there is the whacko former NBA defensive wizard Dennis Rodman, who made several trips to North Korea as a self-appointed goodwill ambassador with Kim Jong-un. Rivera has gone about his business with the same style, class, and dignity he had on the mound.

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As far as media pundits of Robert Silverman’s ilk are concerned, it’s all right to have a political point of view so long as it’s liberal.

As with so many so-called “investigative” pieces written by the power-hungry, radical left, Silverman’s article on Mariano Rivera was purely and simply a hit piece. It was a NON-story blown completely out of proportion to arouse controversy and anger readers.

A native of Panama, when Rivera came to the United States in 1990, he spoke no English. As a youth, his hero was the Brazilian soccer star Pelé, but his athletic career took him to the mound at Yankee Stadium instead, finishing with 652 saves in 19 seasons which included five championship rings.

Most people would say that Mariano Rivera represents the epitome in the most positive sense of what the US immigration controversy is all about.

“As to why Rivera’s right-wing politics remained a secret for so long, it’s partially a function of the era in which he played, and partly due to his conscious efforts to keep this information about his private life under wraps,” adds Silverman.

Wrong. Rivera’s secret had nothing, repeat nothing, to do with “a function of the era in which he played.

Perhaps Rivera cared too much about other things at the time to become entangled in a meaningless controversy that could slow the turnstiles at Yankee Stadium. Perhaps, just perhaps, Rivera simply had too much class to get down in the mud for nothing.

Silverman goes on to pontificate

“Little was known about what Rivera was like when not on the clock. (H)is support for Israel and the Israel Defense Forces is a matter of public record. He has traveled to Israel on multiple occasions, possibly beginning in 2013.”

To which the reply should be, “So what.”

It has been three years since Barack Obama left the office and we still don’t know much about him do we?

Even when he was on the clock, all we really know is that Obama headed to the first tee during the onset of every crisis.

Mariano Rivera was one of the best, if not the best, closer in major league baseball history. His job was to pitch a baseball, not to create problems for his team or his teammates.

Perhaps Colin Kaepernick should have remembered that first and foremost he was a football player.

Maybe Meryl Streep should stick to acting with the “accent” on acting, not politics. Dennis Rodman would have fared better had he stayed out of North Korea.

According to Silverman, Rivera is nothing short of a traitor because he visited Israel more than once and toured most of the religious sites there.

During an interview with Joseph Potasnik on his WABC radio show in 2015 Silverman states,

“Rivera did visit religious landmarks and chatted up government officials.”

Imagine that. Mariano Rivera went to Israel as a Christian to see its history and to understand his faith. Amazing.

Isn’t that what most pilgrims do when they go to the Holy Land? Don’t most tourists go sightseeing when they travel to another country, especially the first time?

So Rivera had access to people of influence while he was in Israel. Name one celebrity who doesn’t use his or her notoriety to gain access and insights to a destination. They do it because they can. And so would anyone else with the same opportunity.

So Mariano Rivera supports Donald Trump. To the Robert Silverman’s of the world that deserves nothing less than a scarlet letter tattooed on his forehead.

If Robert Silverman had been Rivera’s teammate, there is only one position he could have played and it would have been “left field.” Way, way, way out in left field.

About the Author:

Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.

Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (

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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.