— -- A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from the guys at New Era. They were looking for a way to promote their new Diamond Era hats.
To do this, they invited spokesman, retired New York Yankees pitching ace Mariano Rivera, to throw a select group of people a couple pitches in a batting cage off the visiting locker room at Yankee Stadium.
I had one condition: Mariano had to throw his hardest.
None of this "get a couple throws from the greatest closer in the game." I wanted to see the heat. I didn't care if I swung and missed.
The folks at New Era agreed that Mo would give me a bird's eye look at the nasty cutter and his legendary fastball.
The video shows what happened when I stepped up to the plate against the future Hall of Famer.