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Getting to know…..N.Y. METS T.J. RIVERA

Name:T.J. (Thomas Javier) Rivera

Born: October 27, 1988 (age 28) 

in the Bronx, New York

College:Troy University

Graduated from Troy in 2011,but went unselected in the Major League Baseball draft.

Salary:$507,500

Growing up in the Bronx, were you a 

Met or Yankee fan?

A: Yankees, but I didn’t dislike the Mets.

Favorite ball player growing up: 

Derek Jeter

What’s it like playing for your hometown team, the New York Mets? A: It’s so cool because everybody gets to experience it with me, the people I grew up with, my family, my wife, my high school friends.…

What kept you believing during your 5 1/2 years in the minor leagues? A: I’ve always felt I was born to play baseball, even when I was a kid. When I was undrafted out of college I was a bit disappointed at first but then I received a call to sign as a free agent a couple days later. I was really happy to hear I was getting a opportunity to keep playing ball. My first professional game was exciting. Playing pro ball has been my dream since I was a kid and to be able to do so has been a great experience.

Favorite position you like to play. 

A: Second base.

Do you like playing first base? 

A: I don’t mind. Whatever helps the team.

What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome? A: Going undrafted, you gotta prove yourself over and over again. You know and you believe deep down that you can do it, but you have to prove to these people that you actually can over and over. I knew it was gonna be like that, but it got a little frustrating at times, so that was probably the hardest part.

Who was your biggest baseball influence? A: My parents

Favorite baseball moment? A: I hit a walk off homer in the first game of the playoffs in Double-A, and winning the championship was pretty awesome. But my best moments have probably been here in the big leagues. The national anthem for my first game was pretty special because It felt like I finally made it.

Favorite movie: Ace Ventura

Favorite Musical Artist: M & M

Three dinner guests? A: Derek Jeter, Roberto Clemente, Kobe Bryant.