When New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera visited campus last fall with his son Mariano Rivera Jr. to speak to baseball head coach Dan Gooley, it created buzz that grabbed national headlines.
Now the famed closer’s son has been moved from a tryout to Gooley’s preseason roster.
“I believe I am playing,” Rivera Jr. said. “ [Gooley] basically told me I’m on the team but there hasn’t been official cuts yet.”
The official fall roster will not be finalized until Oct. 1.
Rivera Jr., like his father, is a pitcher and has a repertoire that consists of a fastball, slider, curveball, changeup. He said he is consistently learning as a player from the practices and tryouts he’s attended.
“I’ve been working very hard with the team,” Rivera Jr. said. “We’re helping each other out and learning from each other;. It’s been a good time.”
Rivera Jr. chose Quinnipiac over Fairfield, High Point, and South Florida after finding a mutual interest between himself and Gooley. He is an English major with aspirations to attend law school.
He previously pitched for Iona Preparatory and an 18U club baseball team, Hank’s Yanks, which is owned by Yankees co-owner Hank Steinbrenner.