Roberto Clemente was killed some 10 years before we were born, on New Years Eve night in Puerto Rico. Everyone knows that part of the story, but what they don’t know is why we’ve always been drawn to Clemente. He is one of the 10 players gone from the game we’d do anything to have seen play along with just a few others, probably top 5. This is because as a youngster at our school carnival, we won a Roberto Clemente autobiography. We read it some 10 or so times. On our own, for school projects, on our own again, when we were learning about autobiographical writing. We still know the story by heart. As we grew older, we realized what an amazing ballplayer that we missed out on.
With tonight being Roberto Clemente night in evey ballpark in every big league city, each club selects a nominee and winner for the Roberto Clemente award.
Clemente was without a doubt one of the finest pure hitters of all time. He also was an amazing and breath-taking outfielder. Imagine a guy who could run like Ichiro and throw like Vladimir Guerrero. Clemente played in one big league uniform his entire 19-year career: Pittsburgh, winning 2 World Series and collecting 3,000 hits exactly on the way. He also hit in every World Series game he played in.
We feel that this blog anthology would never be complete without some mention of the Amazing Clemente, who only added to our love of the sport.