Mariano Rivera visits Sierra High School

TOLLHOUSE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Sierra High School received a surprise gift and visit from baseball great and former New York Yankee, Mariano Rivera.

The Sierra High band has a new tune to play, new shiny instruments and new uniforms all thanks to a very famous face.

"And so for this to happen, it's not real," said Sierra High music teacher Bruce Weinberger. "It doesn't happen to normal people. You see this happen in movies."

The band performed in 40-year-old uniforms until baseball great Mariano Rivera heard about their need. The former Yankee stepped in with Yamaha to get the band new uniforms and instruments.

Rivera said, "When you see kids smiling and happy for what you do that is the best prize that you can have."

"It means so much," said band member Dylan Baize. "The band is their whole world. When they got the instruments and the uniforms some of them just started crying. They were just so ecstatic."

The band took to the field with their new look and Rivera took the podium sharing his inspirational story from poverty to success.

"Go for your dreams," said Rivera. "I was one of those kids I didn't have nothing, but what I had and that was nothing, but at the same time, I went for my dreams. Thank god he opened the doors and the rest is history."

Considered by many, the greatest closing pitcher in baseball history, he says his philanthropy work is his greatest calling yet.

"Baseball was easier, but this is more demanding," explaind Rivera. "But at the same time, I'm happy with what I'm doing. Because things like this is what makes me happy."

That joy was visible as band members stood a little taller, excited for the new chapter in their lives.

For these students and the community, the donation and the message by Rivera that you can do anything is one they'll always remember.

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