Tag Archives: Roberto Clemente

Recuerdo Roberto

Clemente

Graceful athlete
Dedicated humanitarian
Forever hero

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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

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

29 March 2019

This playlist was intended for yesterday, but for a variety of reasons I did not do a focused exercise period. Thus I used it today. One day after opening day.
Gym at the Shire. Treadmill. Walking a little faster. Slow jogging for 4 minutes. Stretching.
Take Me out to the Ballgame – Carly Simon
The Star-Spangled Banner – Branford Marsalis
Steal Away – Bobbie Horton
Right Field – Peter, Paul, & Mary
Clubhouse Stomp – The New York Hawkss
Jugando La Pelota – Jesus Coombs
The All American Girls Professionbal League – Rockford Peaches
Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio – Les Brown & His Orchestra
Cross That Line – John McCutcheon
Clemente (Estrella 21) – Edel Borrero
Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball – Natalie Cole
Jardinero Del Amor – Wichi Camacho
Baseball Boogie – Mabel Scott
Say Hey – The Treniers
We Are Family – Sister Sledge

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Filed under Baseball, Exercise, Music, New York, playlist

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 

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Filed under Baseball, Family, Pittsburgh Pirates, Poem

I see him still

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He would have been 83 today. But he died, young. Too young.

And in my mind and in my heart I can see him still, the young man, who I saw live,

Asserting his rights in a racist society

Demanding that all people be treated with dignity and justice

Reaching out to people pushed to the margin by oppression and natural disaster

And in my mind and in my heart I see him still, the young man, who I saw live,

Patrolling the field of green with grace and passion

Slicing a line drive into the gap

Chasing flies with reckless abandon

Arms pumping, racing around the bases

And  unleashing laser throws to the infield that froze runners in place or cut them down if they were foolish enough to try to advance

In my mind and in my heart I see him still

And seeing him, the young man, mist forms in my eyes

and my smile broadens

and my spirit soars.

Gracias, Roberto

Feliz cumpleaños.

See you along the Trail.

The photo comes from the Pittsburgh Pirates Facebook page

 

 

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Make a difference

Any time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on Earth.
– Roberto Clemente

Roberto_ClementeToday Roberto Clemente would have turned 82.

Tomorrow the world marks World Humanitarian Day.

Coincidence?

Clemente was a great baseball player. He was an even greater humanitarian and human being.

I wear his jersey today as a reminder of his challenge to make a difference.

Feliz cumpleaños, Roberto. Te recuerdo.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Baseball, Photo

Racial Prejudice, Racism Intertwined with Baseball

Racial Prejudice, Racism Intertwined with Baseball” was cowritten with the Rev. Dr. Grace Ji-Sun Kim for EthicsDaily.com. Check out more blogs, videos and interviews on EthicsDaily.com.

A mid-August game at Citi Field between the Pirates and the Mets involved good friends and good baseball. It also involved, in our section, a racial moment.

Two young men brought a flag of the Republic of Korea to the game, standing quietly to display the flag each time Pirates’ rookie Jung-ho Kang came to bat.

For much of the game their simple action to honor Kang – who was born in Gwangju and played in the Korean Baseball Organization – went without comment.

When Kang came to bat in the 10th inning, the young men stood again with the flag. This time a number of people in the crowd responded by chanting, “U.S.A.!”

Kang got a hit, but the inning ended with a strikeout and Kang being tagged out in a rundown between first and second.

The chants of “U.S.A.!” began again. It was a moment to mock the Korean fans and the Korean player.

Then a young man took the flag and tossed it away from its owners. Clearly most of those in attendance did not agree, as other fans quickly returned the flag, but the ugly moment of racism remains.

The chanting and the actions represented an effort to support the Mets in a close game. To an extent, beer may have fueled them. But they were rooted in racism.

Racial prejudice and racism have intertwined with baseball, as they have with all of U.S. culture.

Major League Baseball (MLB) excluded black players until Jackie Robinson andLarry Doby broke the pattern of segregation.

Their great courage, with the support of some players and individuals in management, allowed them to endure the hatred of individuals and discriminatory policies, such as not being able to stay at the same hotels and eat at the same restaurants as their teammates.

Henry Aaron endured hate mail and death threats as he chased and broke the home run record.

Roberto Clemente faced prejudice and discrimination while he established himself as one of the first baseball stars from Puerto Rico.

At his career’s beginning, sportswriters who spoke no Spanish mocked Clemente as he struggled to learn English, his second language.

In some ways, baseball in the U.S. has challenged prejudices and stereotypes, and seen some elements of racism dismantled.

And while baseball may be a national pastime in the U.S., it has become an international game.

We still speak about the MLB championship as the World Series even though baseball leagues exist in Cuba, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and elsewhere.

Between 1992 and 2008, teams competed five times in baseball during theSummer Olympics. Cuba won three times; the Republic of Korea once. The U.S. took the fifth gold medal in 2000.

Three World Baseball Classics have been held. Japan has won two; the Dominican Republic one; the U.S. has failed to medal.

International players fill the rosters of MLB teams. The Mets current active roster, for example, includes players from Cuba, Panama, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.

Yet when two young men seek to honor a player from the Republic of Korea, they are met with taunting and disrespect of their flag.

The words and actions of a few remind us of how far we have come and of how far we have to go to overcome prejudice and dismantle racism.

Asian Americans from all countries are often viewed as the perpetual foreigner, no matter how many generations a family has lived in the U.S.

African Americans, Latinas and Latinos and indigenous peoples experience similar realities within the dominant culture.

Too often we value people by their looks or backgrounds, creating structures that identify some as belonging and inside and others as foreign and outside. This contributes to moments such as the incident at the baseball game.

Jesus calls us to accept everyone as equal and as members of the family of God.

John’s Gospel tells the story of Jesus meeting a Samaritan woman at a well (John 4).

The customs and structures of the time said Jews and Samaritans should have no dealings with one another.

However, Jesus engages her and asks for a drink of water. Their conversation ends with the Samaritan woman returning to the city to tell her neighbors of her encounter.

In this meeting at the well, and in his other actions and teachings, Jesus reminds us that we are made for relationship; we are made for each other. Jesus calls us to see people not as “foreigners” but as our neighbors.

We are all God’s children in our places of worship, neighborhoods, at sporting events and wherever we find ourselves.

Support your team, loudly and passionately, to be sure. But do so in ways that do not demean, subordinate or disrespect others.

Celebrate our human differences that enrich our lives and our society. Treat all people with dignity and respect. And do so in all places, including at sporting events.

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Filed under Antiracism, Baseball, New York, Pittsburgh Pirates

Make a difference

Any time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on Earth.
– Roberto Clemente

Roberto_ClementeToday Roberto Clemente would have turned 82.

Tomorrow the world marks World Humanitarian Day.

Coincidence?

Clemente was a great baseball player. He was an even greater humanitarian and human being.

I wear his jersey today as a reminder of his challenge to make a difference.

Feliz cumpleaños, Roberto. Te recuerdo.

See you along the Trail.

 

 

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Filed under Baseball, Human Rights, Pittsburgh Pirates

Feliz cumpleaños, Roberto

Roberto_ClementeRoberto Clemente would have been 80 yesterday.

Today is World Humanitarian Day.

It seems fitting that these two days fall so closely together.

As great a ballplayer as he was, Roberto was a greater humanitarian, a greater man.

Feliz cumpleaños, Roberto. Te recuerdo.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Baseball, Current Events

The Pirates made me happy, very happy

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ play on the field this year made me happy.

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ call on Spirit Day for an end to bullying against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered young people made me very happy.

On October 9, I watched in Louisville as the Pirates improbable season came to an end.

As have others who bleed black and gold, I have seen the Buccos endure a challenging stretch. After twenty years of futility that included promising beginnings and late season collapses in 2011 and 2012, I did not have high hopes for this year.

Things began well. That has happened before. On April 28, we held first place in our division.

The season continued and the Pirates played well. By mid-August, a winning season seemed likely. The day after Labor Day, the Pirates won game 81, guaranteeing the first non-losing season since 1993. And that made me happy. I dared to dream of the playoffs.

Four straight losses followed. Three of those games St. Louis won. Those losses knocked us back in the race for first-place. They did not eliminate us but it made a wild-card spot seem the most logical possibility.

Gerrit Cole, Tony Watson, and Mark Melancon combined for a four-hit shutout on September 9. Win 82. A winning season. And that made me happy.

The wins kept coming. We lost some, too. Meaningful Pittsburgh Pirates baseball in September made me happy.

September 23 brought the win that clinched a wild card spot. There would be Buctober! And that made me happy.

Five days later we beat Cincinnati to gain the home field advantage in the wild card game. And that made me happy.

My friend Bob came by with Iron City Beer and on October 1, the Pirates beat Cincinnati again to advance in the playoffs. And that made me happy.

The Pirates met St. Louis in the divisional series. We took a two game to one lead. Then St. Louis won the last two games and the series and our season ended. And that made me sad.

Taking the year as a whole, I am happy. The Pirates played exciting baseball and achieved far more than I had expected.

However, on October 17, the Pittsburgh Pirates organization did something that made me very happy. They joined Major League Baseball and other teams to offer a game-changing statement of support through social media yesterday for GLAAD’s annual Spirit Day, asking fans to take a stand on bullying against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth.

Go purple for #SpiritDay 10/17! Support LGBT youth and stand against bullying. Join us now: http://glaad.org/spiritday 

They added a purple frame to their Facebook icon. I should note that the Pittsburgh Penguins also participated in Spirit Day.

As do all people and institutions from the dominant culture, the Pittsburgh Pirates struggle with issues of race and diversity. But they have done things right as well. On Sept. 1, 1971, the Pirates became the first Major League franchise to field a starting lineup of nine players who were either African-American or Hispanic/Latino.

My favorite Pirate is Roberto Clemente – an amazing player and an even greater humanitarian and human rights activist. Each year since 1973, Major League Baseball has presented the Roberto Clemente Award to the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team. The award recognizes those individuals who truly understand the value of helping others.

The Pirates’ stand for justice and dignity made me very happy.

Then I learned that the Pirates had taken such a stand before in 2011:

And that makes me very happy too.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Baseball, Current Events, Human Rights