Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sunday afternoon baseball

What better time to talk about a great american past time than a Sunday afternoon? A Pittsburgh Pirate fan for years, I remember the scary 1979 uniforms and "We are Family." I also remember when they were a good team in the early 90's, no thanks to Barry Bonds (don't get me started). Now I only get to see ball games when visiting home and if they play the Indians, a rarity, or the Cubs.

I keep up via ESPN, though they rarely report about the Pirates, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette online. Beyond reading about the hopeful two-game winning streak, two book reviews in today's paper caught my attention. The first is a new biography on Roberto Clemente; 'Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero'. The second title is 'The Team That Changed Baseball: Roberto Clemente and the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates'.

I was just a kid when Clemente lost his life in 1972, but I remember listening to games on the radio sitting on the front porch with my grandfather. During those Sunday afternoons he taught me to keep score listening to the game. My parents have an album of the 1971 World Series, so I have heard Clemente speak and have seen videos of his play. Because I'm a Three River's Stadium baby, I never saw Forbes Field. I have seen the remaining outfield wall in Oakland, realize a building at Pitt sit on the grounds, and have stood on home plate at Pitt. Maybe it's time to relive some of the Clemente magic.

Bring on the 2006 All Star game, PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA.

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