Category Archives: Pittsburgh Pirates

I saw Roberto Clemente play … and live

As Major League Baseball celebrated Roberto Clemente Day on Septmber 9, I was moved by the posts honoring this amazing man. Viewing photos, watching videos, sharing posts, memories flooded over me.

A friend shared a post by a baseball fan lamenting never seeing Clemente, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ great right fielder from 1955 until his untimely death in 1972 play. “If there’s one athlete, past or present, that I wish I could have seen play, it would be Roberto Clemente.”

I understand the sentiment. Because I saw Clemente play. And I am forever grateful. 

At Forbes Field and at Three Rivers Stadium, I had the privilege to see Roberto Clemente play. On numerous occasions, I saw him play with the skill and grace and passion that few brought to the game. Slashing hits. Unmatched arm. He covered right field like a blanket. He ran the bases with abandon. 

But as great a player as he was, Roberto Clemente was an even greater human being. He cared for children, offering clinics in Puerto Rico and Pittsburgh. He advocated for civil rights. He demanded that he be treated justly as he challenged the systemic racism that permeated baseball and society.

Interviewed after he led the Pirates to victory in the 1971 World Series, Roberto Clemente spoke first to his parents – in Spanish. There was not a dry eye in my house. I suspect there was not a dry eye in many places. Tears fell in puddles when Clemente died on a humanitarian mission to aid the people of Nicaragua.

Yes. I saw Roberto Clemente play. More importantly, I saw Roberto Clemente live. And I am better for it. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Current Events, Human Rights, Photo, Pittsburgh Pirates

9 September 2020

Stretching. Gym in the apartment. NK Body Philosophy.
Walking. Germantown.
Te Recuerdo – John McCutcheon
Take Me Out To The Ball Game – Jaqueline Schwab
Sueño De Un Niño – Tito Allen
Somos La Fuerza Latina – Andy Montañez & Ismael Miranda
Roberto Y Tirabala – Andy Montañez
Roberto – Ismael Miranda
Orgullo De Borinquen – Lefty Pérez
Lo Mejor Que Dios Ha Hecho – Ángel Ramírez
Jugando La Pelota – Jesús “Chocolate” Coombs
Jardinero Del Amor – Wichi Camacho
Forever Young – Pete Seeger With The Rivertown Kids
Clemente (Estrella 21) – Edel Borrero

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Current Events, Exercise, Louisville, Music, Pittsburgh Pirates, playlist

Te recuerdo Roberto

Major League Baseball designates this as Roberto Clemente Day. All the Pittsburgh Pirates will wear 21 on their jerseys–Clemente’s number which the club retired in 1973, shortly after his death. Puerto Rican players are also allowed to wear 21. It is my honor, as a non-player, to join the remembrance.

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Current Events, Photo, Pittsburgh Pirates

Recuerdo Roberto

Clemente

Graceful athlete
Dedicated humanitarian
Forever hero

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Human Rights, Pittsburgh Pirates

18 August 2019

ClementeRoberto Clemente became my hero when I first saw him play. His commitment to justice and community involvement expanded my understanding of athletes and heroes. Feliz cumpleaños, Roberto. Te recuerdo.

Treadmill. Gym at Germantown Mill Lofts.
Core work. Stretching. Gym in Tricia’s apartment.
Take Me out to the Ball Game – Jaqueline Schwab
The Star-Spangled Banner – Big League Orchestra
Roberto – Ismael Miranda
Sueño Se Un Niño – Tito Allen
Somos La Fuerza Latina – Andy Montañez & Ismael Miranda
Roberto Y Tirabala – Andy Montañez
Orgullo De Borinquen – Lefty Pérez
Clemente (Estrella 21) – Edel Borrero
Jugando La Pelota – Jesús “Chocolate” Coombs
Jardonero Del Amor – Wichi Camacho
Lo Mejor Que Dios Ha Hecho – Angel Ramírez
Te Recuerdo – John McCutcheon
Forever Young – Pete Seeger with the Rivertown Kids

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Exercise, Louisville, Music, Pittsburgh Pirates, playlist, Uncategorized

The Pirates win it!

IMG_8394.jpgFifty-eight years ago, on October 13, 1960, my father, a music teacher in the Neville Island school district,  took a day off and took me out of my first-grade class.

From Neville Island we journeyed to Forbes Field in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood.

There we watched the Pittsburgh Pirates take on the New York Yankees in Game 7 of that year’s World Series (an interesting name now, but even more so at that time when all the teams vying for the title were located in the United States).

The heavily favored Yankees had won 10 pennants in 12 years. They won three games in this series: 16-3, 10-0, and 12-0. The Pirates won the other three games by much closer scores: 6-4, 3-2, and 5-2.

Game 7 proved  a classic. The Pirates took the lead. The Yankees came back and went ahead. The Pirates regained the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Yankees tied it in the ninth.

Bill Mazeroski led off the bottom of the ninth inning for the Pirates. He took the first pitch for a ball. Then he drove the second pitch over the left-field wall. And the Pirates were the champions.

How much do I remember because I saw the game in person? How much do I remember because I have seen the pictures and the film and heard the stories? I will never know.

On the anniversary of the game, Pirates fans gather in Pittsburgh to relieve, remember, and recreate.

In 2009, a kinescope of the telecast was discovered in Bing Crosby’s wine cellar. Crosby owned a portion of the Pirates. A DVD appeared with the game. Tricia gave me a copy as a gift. Tonight, after the football games ended, I celebrated the past in the present as I watched the game.

“There’s a drive into deep left field, look out now… that ball is going, going gone! And the World Series is over! Mazeroski… hits it over the left field fence, and the Pirates win it 10–9 and win the World Series!” Mel Allen on NBC TV

And as it happens every time I watch the video or see a clip of Mazeroski pumping his batting helmet as he rounds the bases, I remembered my father. And my spirit warmed. And the smile has not left my face or my heart.

See you along the Trail.

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Family, Pittsburgh Pirates

We Meet Again Tour – 26 June 2018

IMG-7645The Pirates played the second of their three games against the Mets. And the tour returned to Citi Field. The Pirates lost.

Teeth were gnashed.

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, New York, Pittsburgh Pirates

We Meet Again Tour – 25 June 2018

IMG-7644The Pirates came to town. And the tour went to Citi Field to see them play.

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, New York, Photo, Pittsburgh Pirates

A night at Yankee Stadium

I close my eyes, squeeze them tight,
for a moment the neon assault
that is Yankee Stadium fades away
and I find myself sitting again
in a wooden seat, peanut shells beneath my feet,
within the steel and concrete of Forbes Field
where hands change the numbers on the scoreboard
while Clemente lashes a double into the gap
and the odor of his pipe tobacco
rises from my father’s clothes.

27 May 2018
Manhattan, New York 

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Family, Pittsburgh Pirates, Poem

We Meet Again Tour – 24 April 2018

IMG_7265The return tour to New York has continued although posts have not been made. Efforts will be made to address that.

Last night, the tour made its way to Yankees Stadium. The first time I saw the Yankees play was against the Pittsburgh Pirates on 13 October 1960. The Pirates, my Pirates, won. I have remained a Pirates fan every since through triumphs, and a whole bunch of losing and frustration.

But my friend Don had tickets from his work and so, with Don and our friends John and Jim, I went to the game.

The Yankees put on a show of power. CC Sabathia pitched well. And a fun time was had!

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Friends, Pittsburgh Pirates, Sports