SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – A Pacific fishing village where Yankees legendary closer Mariano Rivera lived in Panama will be receiving their first-ever ambulance rigs due to local support.
The ambulances, a joint effort between the Mohawk Ambulance Service and the Mariano Rivera Foundation, will arrive just before the start of the Legend 2014 Series in Panama City, where the New York Yankees will face the Miami Marlins in two exhibition games in honor of the recently retired Rivera.
Two-8 cylinder, 2006, Ford vehicles, valued at approximately $10,000 each and equipped with Stryker stretchers valued at $5,000 each, are being shipped via the Port of Miami for the trip to Puerto Caimito.
Rivera, the son of a sardine boat captain, grew up in the impoverished 17,000 person town where often there was not enough money for baseballs, mitts or other sporting equipment. At age 20, after years of playing on the makeshift fields, and as a member of the Panama Oeste baseball team, Rivera signed with the Yankees for $3,000.
Today the town's residents face shortages of critical supplies and medical equipment. Currently, they have no ambulance service at all leaving residents at the mercy of family and friends who might have cars or pleading with the police to transport them to a hospital in the next town, four miles away.