Monday, December 28, 2009

Roberto Clemente was simply the best ever . . . .

New Year's Eve is just a few nights away and thoughts of 2009 will give way to resolutions for 2010. The end of the year for the last 37 years has always been a moment for me to reflect upon the greatest baseball player I ever saw: Roberto Clemente. He met his untimely death on December 31, 1972 in a plane crash while taking supplies to Nicaraguan earthquake victims. He was more than a Hall of Fame baseball player and never forgot his native Puerto Rican heritage. Best arm ever to play right field. He routinely would throw out a batter who just singled to right and took a big turn toward second base. BTW, he would pick them off with an underhanded throw, like a softball pitcher. He could throw a ball on the fly from the warning track in Forbes Field directly to the waiting catcher crouched behind the plate with the ball never touching the ground. Bob Prince, fabled Pirate broadcaster, described this type of throw  as a "frozen rope." It sure was. I once introduced Roberto to my BFF, Tom Murray, while we were waiting outside the ball park. #21 was a complete gentleman and never once let on he did not know me from the man in the moon. Take a few moments to learn more about this great man go here .
Happy New Year!

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