Archive for October, 2013

Tú or Vos, What’s the Difference?

Posted on October 31st, 2013 by Samuel Max in Uncategorized | No Comments »

‘You’ or ‘you’? There are number of differences the Spanish languages present throughout the world, whether from loanwords of other languages or simply a new word that originates in that particular culture; but there is one main, and rather important difference to note, one that makes for quite a stark contrast between dialects.



Most people that start learning Spanish will enter the realm of Spanish from Spain, not a bad thing considering this is the land where the language originates, and is also the home of the Royal Spanish Academy, whose role it is to monitor and alter the language; but, there are however only 46 million people in Spain, worldwide there is 410 million native Spanish speakers, and they don’t all speak the same Spanish. So maybe it’s time to consider the differences, to see if you’re learning the version of Spanish that’s appropriate to you.

The term to use is voseo, which is the different words representing the second person singular pronoun, including its conjugational verbs. In Spanish from Spain, when referring to ‘you,’ you will use tú; in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and large parts of Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Costa Rica — phew! — there is a predominant use of the form vos.

With the exception of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, the use of usted in formal occasions or on professional writings and documents remains, and vos in these circumstances are a casual and informal means of communication.



The term ‘vos’ came to the Americas with the Spanish; however, when the Spaniards ceased to use it in favor of the ‘tú’ form, the Americas didn’t follow suit, for the most part sticking to their guns with ‘vos.’ The form is present in ‘you all,’ vosotros, which is literally ‘vos’ – you, and ‘otros’ – others, what is odd is that in Spain they continue to use ‘vosotros,’ yet in the majority of other countries, ‘ustedes’ is used almost exclusively.


As I mentioned earlier, the different forms don’t only affect the ‘you’ pronoun, they also change the resulting verb conjugations. For instance:

Ser (To be) in form is eres, in vos form it is sos.

Hablar (To speak) in form is hablas, in vos form it’s hablás.

Querer (To want) in form is quieres, in vos form it’s querés.

Comer (To eat) in form is comes, in vos form it’s comés.

Mostly subtle differences, but you’ll find that you need to know them in order to communicate effectively with someone using the different version. There is also the issue of ‘ustedes’ and ‘vosotros,’ as these too have conflicting conjugations, such as ‘queréis’ in vosotros form, and ‘quieren’ in ustedes form; but you might learn that regardless, as the ustedes form uses the same conjugations as the form for ‘ellos’ or ‘ellas.’


Can you think of any other notable differences in the many Spanish dialects? Do you think that this is too confusing and just want to stick to one language?

The History of Spanish: Part Two

Posted on October 29th, 2013 by Samuel Max in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I finished last week after the Castilian forces fought back and reclaimed the Iberian Peninsula, and established the Spanish language as the official tongue in the area. Now let’s continue on this journey across the Atlantic Ocean with a fellow known as Christopher Columbus, to the Americas, and the continued evolution of the Spanish language.



Christopher Columbus was born in 1451, in what is present day Italy, and led the Spanish colonization of the New World. Originally he set out to find a new route to the Asian Indies, and though he believed he had found it, he actually landed upon the Americas.

Columbus made four trips to the Americas, as the Spanish made settlements on islands within the Caribbean. Upon his fourth and final trip to what is now Honduras in 1502, Columbus found a giant canoe filled with goods, and after taking what he wanted, also found himself a person to take prisoner, which happened to be the first encounter with the American natives.

During the following years the Spanish continued taking the land, the Natives lacked the necessary ability to stop them, and were shrinking in numbers rapidly due to the spread of smallpox, influenza, measles and typhus that spread with the Spaniards arrival. The Spanish forced Christianity upon the Americans, and to a lesser extent, the Spanish language; however, the natives mostly retained their own languages, such as Quechua, Nahuatl and Guarani, which even became acceptable within the Catholic Church.



Quechua, Nahuatl, Mayan and Guarani were only a fraction of the languages that existed before the arrival and colonization of the Spaniards, yet it is these languages that have had the most influence on the Spanish and English that we speak today.

Nahuatl was the language of the Aztecs, and is still spoken today by an estimated 1.5 million Nahua people, most of which live in Central Mexico. The Nahuatl language has a number of words that are now present in Spanish, English and many other languages, such as: “avocado,” “chili,” “chocolate,” “coyote,” and “tomato.”

The Guarani language is spoken by the Guarani people, with a little under 5 million native speakers. It is an odd language in that it is spoken by many non-indigenous people, which is very uncommon considering the shift to European colonial languages. Many Guarani words are used in Portuguese, and English has gone on to borrow several from this, including “Jaguar,” “piranha,” “tapioca,” and “capoeira.” Also, Paraguay and Uruguay are Guarani words.

Quechua, which is the language of the Incas, have lent words like “coca,” “condor,” “llama,” “pampa,” “puma,” and “quinoa.” It also has had a large influence on the Spanish within Latin America, with the words “papa” for potato, “chuchaqui” for hangover in Ecuador, and the Bolivian “sorojchi,” meaning altitude sickness.


Lastly, we have the Mayan languages. From the Maya civilization that created the first  fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas. The Mayan language has given us shark, which comes directly from ‘xoc,’ meaning fish; also cigar and cigarette, coming from “zikar,” “zik” meaning smoke, and “zikil” being smoked.


Of course it’s not a one-way street, these languages have also taken words from the Spanish vocabulary, but that’s for another day. For now, do you know any other words that have their origin in one of these languages? Can you think of any other important events in the shaping of the Spanish language?

The History of Spanish: Finding the Romance

Posted on October 24th, 2013 by Samuel Max in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Today Spanish is spoken by over 330 million people, and is the official language of 21 countries. It’s projected to become a language of 900 million in 2050, that’s 10% of the earth, yet less than 600 years ago it was nothing of the language it is now, a mere native language spoken in a small area of Spain.

So where did it all begin? What happened in the creation of such a prominent language?


Roman empire

Let’s go back in time…The Roman Empire once occupied a large area of land around the Mediterranean sea, including the Iberian Peninsula which was fought over for two centuries, until the Romans took complete control of it and what they called Hispania. This land provided the Roman Empire with olive oil, wine, metal and food; until their eventual evacuation in 460 AD.

The language spoken by this dominating Roman Empire was Latin, and as you may already be aware, Latin’s influence is vast. Latin grew from Indo-European, which originated approximately 5 thousand years ago. Upon the fall of the empire in the 5th century, the lands they once occupied were left with Vulgar Latin, including Hispania. There were large scale migrations into the areas previously occupied by the Romans, and as such the lands became fragmented and split among different peoples; despite this and numerous battles waged, the Latin language remained, and continued to be shaped in different ways by the many people using it.

Over many years these new cultures began to deviate and alter Latin into their own unique, and mutually intelligible languages. These different versions of Latin slowly evolved into the Romance languages, early versions of Portuguese, French, Italian, Romanian, and Spanish.



In the year 711, Islamic Moors invaded the region and brought with them the Arabic culture and language. While the Islamic invasion spread over the majority of the Iberian Peninsula, there remained a northern region known as Castile, in which there was a Christian minority keeping the local language intact. By the eleventh century Castile declared itself a kingdom, and the Castilians began to reconquer the peninsula, driving out the Islamic and Arab presence. As they spread, so did the Castilian language, until the Christian reconquest of Spain was completed in 1492; During this time, King Alfonso X declared that Castilian be used on all legal documents, as such it became the official language, and where we get Castellano from today.

Even with the exile of the Islamic, their influence remains on the Spanish language, particularly in the areas of technology, science, agriculture and trade. In fact, in a modern Spanish dictionary, close to 4 thousand words are in some way related to Arabic. As an example: The Arabic ‘al,’ translates to ‘the’ in English, and many words beginning with ‘al’ in Spanish have come from Arabic; Algebra, Alcatraz, and Alambra to name a few.

Next week I’m going to bring forth the transition to the Americas, and the influence of the Incan and Mayans on the shaping of the Spanish we know today.


Do you find the history interesting? Did you know all of that already? Do you have any questions or quarrels?

Común Words Between Spanish and English

Posted on October 22nd, 2013 by Samuel Max in Uncategorized | No Comments »

For all those trying to learn Spanish, whether in the beginning stages of in the grips of fluency; there are always little tricks of the trade, tips that can help you remember or learn in a manner more effective than the traditional ways.

I want to bring to light these things called cognates, using the patterns that these cognates provide will instantly give your Spanish vocabulary a huge boost, and with minimal effort to boot, not bad huh?



A cognate is a word that exists in two or more languages, maybe with slightly different spelling, but each with the etymon, that is, the same origin. What’s so great about the relationship between Spanish and English is that they are in a way ‘cousins,’ both sharing a common ancestor in Indo-European.

Let’s get to the meat of this, to the point, to the heart of the subject.

Because so many words have the same etymon, the spellings often require little change, and the pattern remains the same all throughout. Take for example, the Spanish word nación, can you guess what that is in English? It’s nation. Alright how about the word publicación? Easy right? It’s publication. So the pattern is that English words ending in -tion can be translated to Spanish by changing the -tion to -ción, simple.

The same pattern can be applied to English words ending in -ty, they change to Spanish by replacing that with -dad or -tad. Liberty becomes libertad, authority becomes autoridad, and so on. Many words that end in -ly change to -mente in Spanish, such as rapidly and it’s counterpart rápidamente, prudently and prudentemente. Occupations that end in -ist, such as dentist and artist change to -ista, therefore dentista and artista. Fields such as geology and ecology change the -y for an -ía, becoming geología and ecología. Often words that end in -ous become words that end in -oso, famous to famoso, precious to precioso. Words ending in -cy move onto -cia, redundancy to redundancia. The last one I will touch on is -ism, words ending in this, such as capitalism and communism, change to a -ismo suffix, therefore becoming capitalismo and comunismo. There are more, but this will do for today.



Now that we have that out of the way, tell me if you can understand this:

“el artista es considerablemente democrática” — Translated that’s: The artist is considerably democratic.

How about:

“el director absurdo es una distracción” — That’s  the absurd director is a distraction.

How did you do? It is very important to note that these are not fixed rules, there are exceptions commonly known as false friends, so it pays to look into it a little before hand to avoid any embarrassing situations.


Did you understand the sentences? Can you make some yourself using these cognates?

The Names and Meanings of Cities in Spain

Posted on October 17th, 2013 by Samuel Max in Uncategorized | No Comments »

We’ve covered a rather large portion of the earth in our search so far, finding a multitude of cities with Spanish histories throughout South, Central and North America. Today, I’d like to finish the series off by looking at some cities within the country that started it all, Spain.



Let’s go straight to the top, with the capital of Spain, Madrid. A city of 3.3 million, Madrid is the third largest city in the European Union after London and Paris. Now, I know I seem to say this too often, but, “the exact origin of the name is unknown,”  or vague, subject to opinions, lost in time. Some people believe that it was based on a legend in which the son of King Tyrrhenius of Tuscany was named ‘Metragirta’ or ‘Mantue Carpetana;’ some believe the original name was ‘Ursaria’ or ‘Land of Bears’ in Latin, due in part to the fact there are a lot of bears, which also make an appearance on the cities emblem; However the most popular and commonly accepted theory is that the Roman Empire established a settlement called ‘Matrice,’ and after several battles, and the changing of many hands, the city went from ‘Matrice’ to  ‘Mayrit’ to the ‘Madrid’ we know now.


FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - Copa Del Rey - Semi Final Second Leg

Let’s travel to the coast, to a city containing one of the most dominant and supported football clubs in the world, Barcelona. The city is home to over 1.6 million people, and it’s here that people have a choice of seven sandy beaches all lining the 4.5 km coastline, one of which was recently given the title of number one beach in the world. Barcelona comes from ancient Iberian Phoenician ‘Barkeno,’ throughout time the name underwent some changes, ‘Barchinona,’ ‘Barchelonaa’ and ‘Barçalona’ until settling on ‘Barcelona.’

Traveling down the coast, we eventually stop at Valencia. The third largest city in Spain has a little over 800 thousand residents, these Valencians are the creators and c onsumers of a popular food known as Paella, which is a word that derives from Old French ‘paelle,’ meaning ‘pan.’ This Paella contains a mix of things such as saffron rice, chicken, rabbit, beans, artichokes, and snails. Valencia comes from the Latin ‘Valentia,’ which means ‘strength’ or ‘valor.’


Now we’ve covered the biggest cities in Spain, let’s take a quick trip south.


Below Spain is the African continent, and within this continent is the coastal country Morocco. Now I bring up Morocco for two reasons; One, because the port cities of Melilla and Ceuta are Spanish cities, and used extensively as commercial trade and military way-points; and Two, the name we know it as is a Spanish word — In Arabic the name is al-Maghrib, “The West.” — but ‘Morocco’ originates from the Spanish ‘Marruecos,’ which came from the Latin ‘Morroch,’ which in turn was used to refer to the Almoravid and Almohad capital ‘Marrakech,’ which translates to ‘Land of God.’


That’s the end of our trip around the Spanish world, can you think of any interesting cities I missed? Do you have any other stories or facts about the cities mentioned?

Top Six Mistakes When Learning Spanish

Posted on October 15th, 2013 by Samuel Max in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Spanish is a beautiful language, but as with learning any language, there are right ways and wrong ways, there are tricks that help and traps that inhibit; learning a few of these little language ‘hacks’ can make a big difference in your ability to grasp the language.



Numero Uno: Don’t translate word for word, you’ll trip up on prepositions.

A preposition is a word that links nouns, pronouns and phrases to other words in a sentence. In Spanish, you need to be a little careful of these, as they’re not used the same way as English. For example, the Spanish “en” can be used in the same way the English “in” “to” “by” and “about.”


Numero Dos: Beware the order of the sentence.

This ties into number one and translating word for word, as Spanish and English often have small differences in sentence structures. Let’s consider the very simple sentence “I’d like an Orange juice,” in Spanish this would be “Quiero un jugo de naranja,” back to English and that’s “I’d like a juice of orange.”


Numero Tres: Follow the right gender…Most of the time.

I don’t expect anybody to worry about this too early in your Spanish learning endeavor, but it does pay to be informed of their existence. As you probably know by now, there are masculine and feminine words in Spanish, what you might not know, is that there are some words that break this rule; An easy one is ‘día,’ yes it ends in an ‘a’ but it is masculine, therefore you say “el día” and not “la día.”



Numero Quatro: Beware of similar sounding English words.

There are a number of words that sound eerily similar in both Spanish and English. Now this of course does not mean they have the same meaning, even though some similarities like this exist, it is important to know the differences in words such as ‘carpet’ in English and ‘carpeta’ in Spanish — a ‘carpeta’ is a folder or briefcase.


Numero Cinco: The pros and cons of pronouns.

Now I know that you know what a pronoun is right? A pronoun is the subject of a sentence, just as the previous highlighted words are. In English we use them often, in Spanish however, they are often unnecessary. In Spanish the subject is often represented in the verb, for example, “I’m going to Germany” in Spanish is “yo voy a Alemania,” but because the word “voy” can only be used for ‘me,’ “yo” is redundant, meaning I can say the same thing with “voy a Alemania.”



Numero Seis: Think in Spanish.

This really goes without saying right? If you start to think in a given language, for one, you’re practicing, and sooner or later you will start doing it subconsciously, which is a great sign of progress.


I hope I’ve helped you in avoiding some of the bigger pitfalls in Spanish. I’m sure there are plenty of other helpful hints and tricks too, but sometimes you just need to get stuck in and figure it out for yourself, after all, the worst thing you can do is be afraid to try.

How is your Spanish learning going? Can you think of other mistakes or problems that people should know about?

The Names and Meanings of Cities in North America

Posted on October 10th, 2013 by Samuel Max in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I’ve previously covered cities in the lands known as South and Central America, from Buenos Aires to Havana; now we travel further north, into Mexico, the United States of America, and finally to Canada, the final stop on our journey through America.

To start, let’s go to a famous beachside resort city, sitting on the far east of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, Cancún. A major tourist hotspot, owing to the serene beaches full of soft golden sand, overlooking the Caribbean Sea, and home to some 620 thousand residents, in addition to numerous yearly visitors. The name derives from Mayan, in which there are two possible translations, the first and most recognized is “nest of snakes,” the second is “place of the gold snake.”


Across to the other side of Mexico, we have another popular beach city, although this one has seen a slight decline from its height in the 1950s; Acapulco contains a little over 680 thousand Acapulqueños, that number rises over March and April when students from the Untied States hit spring break, using the beaches, the hot sun, and the lowered drinking restrictions to forget all about school, family and inhibitions. The name Acapulco is of Nahuatl origin, and means “Where were destroyed or washed away the reeds,” this is reflected in the cities crest, which shows broken reeds and cane. The name changed to Acapulco de Juárez in 1885, to honor the famous Mexican president Benito Juárez.

To the States, the U.S. of A, the other side of the boarder, for a look at Sin City; Las Vegas is home to just under 2 million people, and almost 200 thousand slot machines, where a marriage license will set you back $60, and $450 for a divorce. The name is Spanish for “The Meadows,” as in the 19th century small parts of ‘Vegas’ contained artisan wells, or small natural water wells.


Further west is California, and in California there is Palo Alto, and it’s in Palo Alto that many large companies decide to set up shop, such as Apple, Google, and Facebook. Palo Alto is named after a redwood tree, translated to “The tall tree.”

The further north you go, the less common it is for Spanish names to pop up, so in Canada there is not quite as much to bring forward, but here are a few: Ramara, a small township formed in 1994 in Ontario, translates to “sea branch.” Mariposa, also in Ontario, means “butterfly.” Del Bonita in Alberta, means “of the pretty.”


I could of course mention many other cities here…So I will:

Guadalajara comes from the Iberian ‘Arriaca,’ which means “River/Valley of stones.”

Los Angeles is of course “The Angels.”

El Dorado, of which there are several in the States, means “The golden one.”

The state of Colorado means “red colored,” due to the red Colorado River.

Montana is “Mountain,” Florida “Flowery,” Nevada “Snowy,” and Texas comes from “friends” or “allies.”


Did you enjoy the trip through the Americas? Have you been to any of these cities? Would you like to go?

The Soulful Axeman: Carlos Santana

Posted on October 8th, 2013 by Samuel Max in Uncategorized | No Comments »

This silky smooth guitarist is this weeks addition to our series of posts devoted to Hispanic heritage month, following on from Danny Trejo and Mariano Rivera.

Born Carlos Augusto Alves Santana in 1947 in Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco, Mexico. Both Carlos and his brother Jorge became musical at a young age, as Carlos began playing the violin at 5 years old, while Jorge would become a professional guitarist. He and his family moved to San Francisco, here he attended James Lick Middle School and Mission High School, eventually graduating in 1965.

Santana Dec 1969 Altamont  sheet 492 frame 36

Santana is what most would call a guitar hero, a master of the six-strings, but unlike many other musicians of the day, his rise to superstardom was a fast and sudden affair. While working as a dishwasher and busking for extra money, Carlos would be a frequent attendee at music shows and events in the area, until he finally quit his job to become a full-time musician. It was 1966 when he formed the Santana Blues Band, they signed to Columbia Records, and before long, 1969 to be exact, the band released their first record, entitled simply ‘Santana,’ and played at the famous Woodstock festival.

That first album went double platinum, rather remarkable for a first effort, and for anybody thinking that was the height of it, they only had to wait one year until the second record, ‘Abraxas,’ which went quadruple platinum in 1970. Since then, the Santana band has released another 20 studio albums, among a number of live and compilation albums, Carlos himself has released several albums outside the band, and made numerous guest appearances on albums from other musicians and bands. To date his most successful album has been ‘Supernatural,’ released in 1999, which has gone 15 times platinum, selling more than 30 million copies and making it the best selling album by a Hispanic artist.


During his long career, Santana has become very spiritual, turning to meditation and becoming a disciple of Sri Chinmoy in 1973, he was given the name ‘Devadip’ in the process, meaning “The lamp, light and eye of god.” This development had an influence on his musical style, as he went on to collaborate with musicians of the same spiritual beliefs, including John McLaughlin of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Don Alias and Larry Young, who were known for performing on the Miles Davis classic, Bitches Brew.

Carlos Santana’s fusion of rock, Latin, jazz, blues, salsa, and African rhythms, has made his music instantly recognizable, forever unique, and impressively timeless. Classics including ‘Smooth,’ ‘Black Magic Woman,’ ‘Oye Como Va,’ and ‘Maria Maria’ ring out over radio and TV stations everywhere; I would be very surprised to meet someone unable to hum a line from one of his signature psychedelic guitar riffs.


Santana has gone on to sell millions of records, perform to sold out venues across the world, and is one of only two bands to have a top ten album in every decade from the 1960s, the other is The Rolling Stones, good company to be in. He is also an avid social activist and humanitarian, having created the Milagro Foundation with his family in 1998 to provide children support in the areas of arts, education and health.


Carlos Santana is an icon around the world because of his virtuoso guitar mastery, and an appropriate addition to our Hispanic Heritage Month series. Have you listened to much of Carlos Santana’s music? Better yet, Have you ever seen him perform live?

The Names and Meanings of Central American Cities

Posted on October 3rd, 2013 by Samuel Max in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I’ve already given you a run down of some of the nicest and most culture infused cities in the large mass of land known as South America. Today I’m taking things up a notch, that is, up to Central America and the Caribbean.

Central America has over 41 million people spread out among seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The Caribbean has a little under 40 million people, packed onto the thousands of islands, many of which pride picture perfect beaches that attract tourists from all over the world.


Let’s get the ball rolling with Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, and home to over two million people. The city sits on the shore of Lake Managua, a severely polluted lake on the western edge of Nicaragua. The name Managua comes from Nahuatl, a language used by Nahua people, whom called the city Managua after the phrase Mana-ahuac, meaning “adjacent to the water.”

Panama! Sammy Hagar sings at the top of his voice in Van Halens hit song of the same name. While the song has nothing to do with the country (It was about a car), the country itself is full of life and action packed. Panamas capital city is conveniently named Panama City; it has a population of over 1.2 million, of which seventy percent have yet to hear the Van Halen classic I mentioned above. The name Panama has several theories, from the name of a commonly found tree species, to a fishing village and nearby beach that had a similar name, Panamá, which meant “an abundance of fish.” Of course the fact that there are multiple ideas about it means that there is no certainty, you can believe the one that appeals to you the most.


Let’s get on a boat and travel over the ocean to Cuba, just to mention the name should conjure up images of old cars, colorful houses and men smoking cigars, and for good reason. Cuba is one of the most recognizable places on earth, and the capital Havana is one of the finest examples why. Over two million people live in Havana, a city founded in 1515, and attracts over one million tourists a year, the name is again not one that has a definitive answer. One theory states that the name is derived from the Dutch Havene, referring to a harbor, another more popular idea is that the name came from a Taíno chief named Habaguanex, who once controlled the area of Havana.


There’s a great deal of history in this part of the world, I could talk of many other places, big and small yet all culture packed and beautiful, from Guatemala meaning place of many treesto Barbados translating to “Red land with white teeth,” there is much more there for you to find if you’re at all interested.


Can you think of any other interesting names of cities? How about interesting or weird translations of names?

Exit Sandman: Mariano Rivera

Posted on October 1st, 2013 by Samuel Max in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Following on from last weeks post about Danny Trejo, this weeks focus for Hispanic Heritage Month is on Mariano Rivera, the closing pitcher for the New York Yankees baseball club.

Born in 1969 in Panama, Rivera made his baseball debut on May the 23rd, 1995, and has spent his entire career playing for the Yankees. He has become a 13-time All-Star and a five-time World Series champion, along with holding the records for career saves with 652, and games finished with 952.

New York Yankees

The ‘Sandman’ as he is known, has bid farewell to baseball at 43 years of age, and after an all impressive 19 years in the league. Rivera played his final game last Thursday, calling it “The perfect moment. It was something I would have never expected, I think I squeezed every ounce of fuel out of my tank. It is empty. I have nothing left.”

Rivera married his wife Clara in 1991, they had known each other since elementary school, and together have three children. Rivera is a devout Christian, and is very well known for being reserved, humble, and calm under pressure, Goose Gossage, a hall of fame closer, stated Rivera had “ice water in his veins.” He signed to the Yankees for $3,000, at 20 years old, having never been on a plane and unable to speak English; he finishes his career as one of baseballs greatest closers, an eventual inductee into the Hall of Fame, and having earned 15 million dollars in 2012.


Rivera would enter the pitch near the end of games to ‘save’ them, being called to close out the other teams chances of a comeback, it’s an important part of a game as you could imagine, and to do it in the fashion that Mariano has is no easy feat. He would step upon the pitch, surrounded by thousands of fans, striking fear into the batters heart, yet always remaining calm and humble; on the speakers blasted Metallicas ‘Enter Sandman,’ where he gained the nickname, which sent the crowd into hysterics and furious eruptions of support.

Riveras final home appearance was his 1,115th game, he sent four batters packing before Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte, two long time teammates, came onto the pitch to remove him for the last time. With tears flowing, the crowd standing for a four minute ovation, Rivera left the pitch.


Mariano plans on resting, then resting, and then resting some more now that he has time to; afterwards he will spend most of his time concentrating on philanthropy, in particular the ‘Mariano Rivera Foundation,’ which he set up in 1998 with his wife Clara, to raise money for underprivileged children in the U.S. and Panama.


Have you seen the ‘Sandman’ play? Can you think of any other Hispanic sports stars?