Tuesday, August 9, 2011
"My God, Blass thought. Clemente! He's invincible. He doesn't die. He plays as long as he wants to and then becomes governor of Puerto Rico."
I FINALLY got around to reading the Roberto Clemente biography by David Maraniss titled, "Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero."
This is just a cool book. First off, it is about Clemente. Personally, I love number 21. he is such a mythical figure. He died way before I even came along, but he is so fascinating.
Maraniss shows us a lot about Roberto in this book. The title alone really gets Clemente right. Words like grace, passion, and hero are all very appropriate for the Pirates legend.
I think anyone stopping by this blog knows the story of Roberto Clemente, but if you don't, pick up this book. Sure, it is huge, but it is so good you will read it in no time.
Roberto Clemente is one of the few characters in history who truly sacrifices everything for a cause that he believes in. He personally tries to take food and medical supplies to Nicaragua after a major earthquake. He wants to accompany the supplies himself to make sure that the people get the needed items.
I can think of people in our modern times who might sign a check, or help out a little, but I can't think of someone actually going to a devastated area to make sure the government does not take the supplies.
Maraniss does a great job of covering Roberto's career. He also details the state of the people in Nicaragua. I was not aware of the details concerning the bad condition of the aircraft.
Two of my other favorite baseball characters make appearances in the book. I have met Steve Blass and Manny Sanguillen a couple of times. I love these guys and their connection to Clemente. If you attend a Pirates game in Pittsburgh, Manny is pretty easy to locate. Blass is around too, and it is so great still having these guys around.