Tag Archives: Roberto Clemente

A baseball pilgrimage

The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory added a statue of Roberto Clemente this fall. Today brought the pilgrimage to view the statue and hold a bat used by Clemente.

Louisville, Kentucky
6 November 2021

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18 August 2021

Roberto 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.

Walking. Germantown.
Stretching. Gym in the Apartment.
Take Me out to the Ball Game – Dr. John
The Star-Spangled Banner – Branford Marsalis
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
Roberto Clemente – Bill Tiberio Band
Roberto Clemente – Nelson Feliciano and His Orchestra (feat. Junior Cordova)
Te Recuerdo – John McCutcheon

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Recuerdo Roberto

Clemente

Graceful athlete
Dedicated humanitarian
Forever hero

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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. 

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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.

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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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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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