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The City of New Rochelle was “saving” one last special send off for Yankees Legend, Hall of Famer and Former Resident Mariano Rivera (Mo). The City Mariano called home for nearly a decade celebrated Mariano Rivera’s unanimous selection into this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame by declaring Saturday, July 27, 2019, `Mariano Rivera Day.’ In a classic Sandman Salute, Mayor Noam Bramson and City Manager Chuck Strome presented Mariano with the Key to the City and celebrated Mo’s close ties to the community with a Pinstripe Parade in his honor through Downtown New Rochelle and over to Hudson Park. Mayor Bramson and City Manager Strome were joined by Congressman Eliot Engel, New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, New York State Assembly Members Amy Paulin and Steven Otis, Westchester County officials and community stakeholders.
Special thanks to the New York Yankees, which provided swag and giveaways for celebration attendees, along with other parade partners including the New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce, The City of New Rochelle Corporation for Local Development and all sponsors.
“There’s no place like home to celebrate my career and a community that has meant so much to me from my early Yankee days to this special moment,” said Yankees Legend and Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera. “New Rochelle’s slogan is Ideally Yours, which is only fitting because New Rochelle has always Ideally Been Mine. To this day, New Rochelle is in my soul and it’s why you always see me around here. This is a special place for me and my family.”
Thousands of residents, baseball fans and the general public lined the streets of New Rochelle to celebrate the local baseball legend with a parade that featured the New Rochelle Police and Fire Department honor guards, classic cars, a Gray Line CitySightseeing New York Double Decker Tour Bus, New Rochelle Fire and Sanitation Trucks, along with local youth groups, law enforcement, sports teams and area marching bands. Marching in the parade were Mariano’s “adoptive” New Rochelle family members Mickie and Joe Fosina; New Rochelle Youth Baseball, Little League players & coaches, & High School Baseball & Softball teams; local marching bands the Port Chester Brigade & Tappan Zee Bridgeman; New Rochelle Boys & Girls Club; A Game Sports; Lawrence Hospital; Local Historical Associations; New Rochelle Girl Scouts and youth & sports organizations across Westchester County.
Mariano’s close connection to New Rochelle began in 1995 when a chance encounter with the Yankees tailor and New Rochelle resident Joe Fosina turning into a nearly 25-year lifelong bond between the two families. After just being called up from the minors and not speaking a word of English, Joe helped Mo settle into life as a New York Yankee and as a member of the New Rochelle community. Those community ties still exist today, including the recent restoration of the 107-year-old Refugio de Esperanza Church a few years ago that Mariano’s foundation paid for and where his wife Clara is also the church’s Senior Pastor.
“New Rochelle is thrilled to celebrate Mariano Rivera for becoming the first person in baseball history to be elected unanimously to the Hall of Fame. Mariano has been a selfless, generous contributor to our community — and, beyond being a remarkable athlete, he is also a remarkable human being,” said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson.
“Congratulations to Mariano Rivera for his election to the Hall of Fame. It is a well-deserved honor and tribute to his outstanding career. Not only is he a baseball Hall of Famer, but a ‘Hall of Famer’ in New Rochelle for his generosity and the service he continually provides to our community,” said New Rochelle City Manager Charles B. Strome, III, and Chair of the City of New Rochelle Corporation For Local Development.
“The New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce is honored to not only have Mariano Rivera ride in our parade float because he is a living legend, but also because he is an amazing person who has done so much for the New Rochelle community. Personally, as a lifetime Yankees fan who waited in line for 22 hours for 1996 World Series tickets, it was my pleasure to contribute my energies to this tribute in Mariano’s honor,” said Jennifer Lanser, Executive Director of the New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce.
Nicknamed ‘Mo’ and ‘Sandman,’ Rivera is Major League Baseball’s greatest closer of all-time, recording 652 career saves including 42 post-season saves. In his 19-year celebrated career all with the New York Yankees, Rivera was a 13-time All-Star, World Series MVP (1999) and five-time World Series Champion. The Panamanian right-handed closer is the first player in MLB history to be elected into the Hall of Fame unanimously.
Fittingly, the post-parade celebration in Hudson Park concluded with a question and answer session between Mariano Rivera and his lifelong friend Joe Fosina, sharing the countless stories and memories they’ve shared over the years as Yankees, neighbors, friends, family and members of the New Rochelle Community.
About the Corporation for Local Development: The City of New Rochelle Corporation for Local Development was established as a not-for-profit local development corporation of the State with the authority and power to own, lease and sell personal and real property for the purposes of, among other things, acquiring, constructing and equipping certain projects exclusively in furtherance of the charitable or public purposes of relieving and reducing unemployment, promoting and providing for additional and maximum employment, bettering and maintaining job opportunities, instructing or training individuals to improve or develop their capabilities for such jobs, by encouraging the development of, or retention of, an industry in the community or area, and lessening the burdens of government and acting in the public interest.