In the aftermath of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ first playoff win since 1992 (6-2 over Cincinnati), comments of pride and joy have filled my Facebook feed. I already know that some of my friends supported the Bucs. Tonight I discovered many new fans. Long-term fans, or hidden fans, or fans of baseball captured for a moment by a team ending a 20-year streak of losing seasons and making the playoffs at the same time.
One friend posted a video clip of Roberto Clemente, the Pirates’ great right fielder from 1955 until his untimely death in 1972. A great human being, Clemente died on a humanitarian mission to aid the people of Nicaragua.
Another friend posed a question in response: “You saw Clemente play?”
To which I respond, “I did.”
At Forbes Field and at Three Rivers Stadium, I had the privilege to see Clemente play with skill and grace and passion that few brought to the game.
I saw Clemente. And it was wonderful!
See you along the Trail.