Happy New Year everyone. Howard Cole over at the OC Register reminds us that 39 years ago, Roberto Clemente died in a plane crash during a charitable Nicaraguan Earthquake relief mission. I remember hearing the news with shock as Curt Gowdy announced it the next day at the beginning of the Rose Bowl game between USC and Ohio State. I was 11 years old and my memories of Clemente will always be of awe and amazement.
I personally saw Clemente at his best, having attended a regular season game on August 22, 1970, a 2-1 Pirates 16 inning victory over the Dodgers in which Clemente absolutely dominated.
His stat line from that game was: 7AB, 1 Run (the game winner), 5 Hits, 1 RBI, 1 Stolen Base. Additionally, he made an outstanding catch and rocket like throw that held a runner from scoring. I was a young kid when I saw that game, but I’ll never forget the impression he made on me. Anybody that witnessed it had to have left the stadium that night knowing he was an absolute superstar and true Hall of Famer.
I’m sure all my dad remembered from that game was it was well past midnight and his dumb kid wouldn’t let him go home. I know he joked about that for years to come. The box score and game review at baseball-reference.com shows us all how much the game has changed since then. LINKED HERE (Wow! 16 innings in only 4 hours and 21 minutes).
A few last words on 2011.
The “I told you so” Award for 2011 goes to: Me
First, based on my prediction on May 10th in which I stated that MLB will force McCourt to sell the team but he’ll get to keep the parking lots and charge exorbitant prices to the new ownership group for years to come.
My further prediction was that the new ownership would determine that it would be better that they just build a new stadium rather than pay McCourt. We’ll wait and see with that one.
Second, on June 29, 2011, I stated that the Dodgers needed to be very cautious with Rubby De La Rosa since he had never pitched at any level more than 110 innings in a season. We know the rest, within a month, he was getting Tommy John surgery.
|Julie Jacobson, Associated Press|
The “Almost got it right” award also goes to me.
On June 30, 2011, earlier than many, I wrote that Kemp and Kershaw would win the MVP and Cy Young Award while playing for a Last Place team. Got the Cy right, should have got the MVP right. Last place? Well, they were in last when I wrote the piece. Nice to be wrong on that one.
The “Worst Prediction of the Year” award goes to: Me again
I said on March 26, 2011 that the Arizona Diamondbacks would finish in last place with a 68-94 record. I stated that their starting pitching was questionable, their bullpen was awful and there was uncertainty at 1B, 3B, LF, and C.
Instead of 68-94, I meant to say 94-68, which is right where they finshed. Dyslexia to blame.
Great recall, story of 1970 game, Evan. Again, have to laugh - what you were immersed in during that era in California (baseball cards, piano practice backyard pickup games)precisely mirrored my early life in Minnesota (and at the same age, to boot). Clemente's passing was devastating to me. His story was compelling to me - rushed out to buy any books, mags, with detail about him in '73. Especially remember "Numero Uno," captured the man in all his pride, humanity, magnanimity. Great man, great player! Also: please check your email soon, have a request.ReplyDelete