Mariano Rivera Reveals Story Behind Successful Yankees Career

Pitcher's new book, "The Closer," details his achievements in professional baseball, personal life.
4:22 | 05/05/14

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Transcript for Mariano Rivera Reveals Story Behind Successful Yankees Career
? in baseball the closer is the guy who comes in at the end of the game to close it out, shut down the opponent and get the win. ? in the history of baseball no one has done that better than the great Mariano Rivera. Strike three. Ball game over. Reporter: A 13-time all-star, five-time world champion and major league baseball's all-time saves and E.R.A. Leader but for Mariano Rivera his life and legacy have always been first and foremost about faith. I would not be sitting across from the all-time greatest closer in the history of major league baseball if it were not for the lord? Yes. Robin, perfect. The only why it was was because the lord. The lord guide me in everything. Reporter: The greatest closer in major league history grew up here in Panama with very little. He worked on a fishing boat. The captain, his father. Rivera hoped maybe to go to mechanic school but fate intervened one day when he was playing baseball for an adult league or as the self-described accidental hall of famer believes the lord had other plans. You weren't even a pitcher when you were playing baseball. You just happened to be needed because your team needed some outs and you were called in from the outfield. How does that happen? I wasn't supposed to be pitching in that game. I wasn't supposed to pitch, period. Reporter: It is a remarkable story and Mariano lays it out in his new memoir, "The closer." Your first baseball glove isn't even a glove, it is a milk carton you scene signed in 1990 for $2,000. That's it. When the fisherman's son from Panama made his way to the U.S. To pursue a dream, he didn't even speak English. What was it like getting that call, the call, the call? Oh, man. To the big leagues. Ah. Look at you light up just thinking about it again. Robin, that was -- that was something. I was in bed jumping. Jumping on top of the bed like a little kid. Robin, it was -- it was something special for me. I will never forget that moment. Reporter: And he never looked back becoming not only a transcendent pitcher but a beloved teammate. The final game, Andy pettitte, Derek Jeter, going out there. When you saw them coming out to get you, what was going through your mind. Robin, wow. This is it. It hit me loon like a ton of bricks, this is it. I was strong for the whole year, but at that moment I couldn't hold no more. How is this for drama. Reporter: The teammates who had been his family helping him say good-bye but his real family waiting at home with open arms. And the person that has been with you every step of your journey, Clara. Clara. You met in kindergarten. Actually we were in first grade when -- we grew up together. You sound like a little boy now. Oh, man. When you're talking about her. It's no surprise at all that she is by his side for the next chapter of his life. Clara is the pastor at their chur church, refuge of hope in new Rochelle, New York. So you have gone from saving games to saving souls, is that how you feel? That's how I feel. Reporter: $3 million went into restoring this church, a place where Mariano and Clara intend to give back to the community. Two or three are gathered in my name there am I with them. He will always be the great Mariano Rivera, New York Yankee, closer extraordinaire. In fact, today I did a keepsake from those glory days. But in his heart, he will always be Mariano Rivera, humble servant to help others. There you go, robin. Yes. Thank you for all your work. Bless you too. Trust me it's already framed. That Jersey and I am going to treasure that. He is one -- no, he is one of great ones. What a soul. His book "The closer" goes on sale tomorrow.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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