Jan 1, 2014
41 years ago my mom came into my room to wake me. She sat on my bed, and through tears, told me the news.
Roberto had died.
HOW? She told me about the plane crash. The earthquake. Roberto’s mission of mercy.
Then I asked all the questions that are yet unanswered. Why was the plane so heavy? Why didn’t someone stop him? Why did HE have to do it? Why Roberto?
Pirates’ fans were still reeling from Bob Moose’s wild pitch that gave the Reds the pennant. How could we endure this?
Roberto Clemente was, for me, the core of Pirate baseball. I was too young to think about him being a pioneer for Latin players, or to care about sports writers who contended that he didn’t play hard every day and nursed his injuries a bit too long.
He was The Great One. Bob Prince shouted “Arriba! Arriba!” when he came to the plate…”Hooray!” I shouted the same as I threw a tennis ball off a cement block wall for hours on end, playing out entire games in my mind – Roberto always the hero.
I cried for hours. Cried when the season started without him. Still get emotional when his widow receives an honor for him.
We have gone on. Won the World Series. Lived through 20years of losing.
It is 42 days until Spring Training opens. 2014 holds high hopes for Pirate fans. There is much to love about these Buccos…
But today, we remember the grief of losing #21.
Stay tuned for more Pirate love…there is a project brewing!!
Beth Painter is a writer and motivational speaker. You can follow her on Facebook on the “Think Big focus small” page.
Beth is available to speak to your group about how to make your dreams and desires come to life!