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Monday, December 31, 2012

40 Years Ago Today

40 years ago today, baseball lost a legend.  Roberto Clemente was killed when his plane crashed as he was attempting do deliver goods and relief aid to earthquake ravaged Nicaragua.  He passed away doing something he enjoyed, helping others.  Clemente was a legendary player, one of the all-time great people, let alone players.  At the time of his death, he had exactly 3,000 hits, 240 home runs and a lifetime average of .317.  He was a 4-time batting champion (1961, 1964, 1965 and 1967).  He hit more than 200 hits in a season 4 times.  He was the 1966 NL MVP.  He hit .300 or better 13 times out of 18 seasons.  He won the World Series with the Pirates in 1960 and 1971.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1973 by a special election shortly after his death. 

His close friend, Manny Sanguillen, was the only Pirates player who did not attend Clemente's funeral because he was diving in the waters where the plane had reportedly crashed in an attempt to find Clemente's body.  That's friendship, right there.  True friendship.

So, tonight, as the curtain closes on another year, I am glad to shine a light on a true baseball legend and a great man.  Rest in peace, Roberto.
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