Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero / Edition 1by David Maraniss
Pub. Date: 04/25/2006
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
On New Year's Eve, 1972, following eighteen magnificent seasons in the major leagues, Roberto Clemente died a hero's death, killed in a plane crash as he attempted to deliver food and medical supplies to Nicaragua after a devastating earthquake. David Maraniss now brings the great baseball player brilliantly back to life in Clemente: The Passion and Grace of… See more details below
On New Year's Eve, 1972, following eighteen magnificent seasons in the major leagues, Roberto Clemente died a hero's death, killed in a plane crash as he attempted to deliver food and medical supplies to Nicaragua after a devastating earthquake. David Maraniss now brings the great baseball player brilliantly back to life in Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero, a book destined to become a modern classic. Much like his acclaimed biography of Vince Lombardi, When Pride Still Mattered, Maraniss uses his narrative sweep and meticulous detail to capture the myth and a real man.
Anyone who saw Clemente, as he played with a beautiful fury, will never forget him. He was a work of art in a game too often defined by statistics. During his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he won four batting titles and led his team to championships in 1960 and 1971, getting a hit in all fourteen World Series games in which he played. His career ended with 3,000 hits, the magical 3,000th coming in his final at-bat, and he and the immortal Lou Gehrig are the only players to have the five-year waiting period waived so they could be enshrined in the Hall of Fame immediately after their deaths.
There is delightful baseball here, including thrilling accounts of the two World Series victories of Clemente's underdog Pittsburgh Pirates, but this is far more than just another baseball book. Roberto Clemente was that rare athlete who rose above sports to become a symbol of larger themes. Born near the canebrakes of rural Carolina, Puerto Rico, on August 18, 1934, at a time when there were no blacks or Puerto Ricans playing organized ball in the United States, Clemente went on to become the greatest Latino player in the major leagues. He was, in a sense, the Jackie Robinson of the Spanish-speaking world, a ballplayer of determination, grace, and dignity who paved the way and set the highest standard for waves of Latino players who followed in later generations and who now dominate the game.
The Clemente that Maraniss evokes was an idiosyncratic character who, unlike so many modern athletes, insisted that his responsibilities extended beyond the playing field. In his final years, his motto was that if you have a chance to help others and fail to do so, you are wasting your time on this earth. Here, in the final chapters, after capturing Clemente's life and times, Maraniss retraces his final days, from the earthquake to the accident, using newly uncovered documents to reveal the corruption and negligence that led the unwitting hero on a mission of mercy toward his untimely death as an uninspected, overloaded plane plunged into the sea.
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Table of Contents
Memory and Myth
1. Something That Never Ends
2. Where Momen Came From
3. Dream of Deeds
4. The Residue of Design
5. ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!
6. Alone at the Miracle
7. Pride and Prejudice
10. A Circular Stage
11. El Día Más Grande
12. Tip of the Cap
14. Cockroach Corner
15. December 31
16. Out of the Sea
Myth and Memory
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I grew up in NE. PA, listening to the Pirates on the KDKA and watching them on the occasional "Game of the Week" on Saturdays. I have always been a Clemente fan. Despite what the press of the time said and felt about him, I always felt that he was a class act and in a league of his own. The Maraniss book is probably the best I have read on Clemente, reminding me of what it was like to grow up in that moment in history. Clemente is one of the great "what if's" in baseball - it would have been interesting to see what other records he would have set in his remaining years in baseball; however, God needed him more........
The book Clemente is an outstanding biography about a legendary baseball player. This book does an excellent job of describing Clemente¿s entire life with and without baseball. Before Clemente knew he had a chance of playing professional baseball he was just a young and ambitious kid looking for a shot. Clemente loved the game more then anyone else and when ever he got an opportunity to play he was very thankful. Clemente, being the determined person he was fought through his rough childhood and moved on to bigger and better things. Roberto not only became one of the best right fielders of all time, winning countless gold gloves and other awards, but he was also known as a man who thought of others before himself which made him very special. Sadly, Roberto Clemente died in a plane crash while trying to help survivors of a terrible storm in Nicaragua which ended a fantastic career. This book really teaches a great lesson of if you desire something don¿t let anything hold you back. Clemente demonstrated this lesson more then anyone else which makes him a true hero and great role model for everyone.
One of the best bios writen. The pages of the book brought this man, this hero (Clemente) to life again. The essence foundin this book, defines what a hero is and ought to be
i thought that the biography on Roberto Clemente was interesting and i liked the biography alot. I never knew before how badly different races were treated in baseball at this time period. i would recomend this biography to anyone who likes baseball and wants to learn about the life of the great Roberto Clemente. Roberto Clemente was one of the best baseball players of his time and he should of got alot more apreciation from the begining. When Roberto first started out he was the first and only black puerta rican in the whole league. The biography is good because it is interesting i learned alot of facts i never knew. Before i read este libro yo nunca knew much about Roberto, I just thought that he was an average player but after reading este libro i think that he is one of the best rightfielders in baseball history. i recomend este libro 100 percent. i would recomend it to the ages of 14 up because anyone younger wont get what the book is also about and wont be able to fully understand the importance of Roberto Clemente.
Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero is a great book about the life of my hero, Roberto Clemente. It tells of his life growing up in Carolina, Puerto Rico in a poor Latin home with many family members. It also tells of when the city got the news that their own Roberto was going to be one of the first Hispanic players in the Major Leagues. You can read about the American's reactions to the hard throwing outfielder and the struggles he had with segregation in the states. Clemente was a special man. He was so special that he has an award named after him. In this special book you can follow his whole life. You will be with him through the good times and through the bad. You can here some of the funny anecdotes that went with this serious, silent man, too. My least favorite part, but possibly the most important part of the book is when he dies. You will read of the countless searches for his body and what they think crashed the plane. You can even read the rare story of how his team mate Manny Sanguillen volunteered to search the shark infested waters for his body. As many of you know though, they never found his body. They only found a sock left. This an amazing book for all ages young and old. I would advise everyone in the world to read this book at least once. If this story doesn't touch and amaze you, there is something wrong. Go out and buy this wonderful book about Baseballs Last Great Hero.
As a kid growing up in 1970s Philadelphia, I eagerly looked forward to visits from our cross town rivals, the Pittsburgh Pirates. Make no mistake, I disliked the 'Bucs as much as any good Phillie fan would, however, I idolized their superstar outfielder, Roberto Clemente. Thanks to this tremendous biography, the player I idolized as a kid, is a man I can admire as an adult. David Maraniss has done an exlempary job recapturing an era in baseball's timeline when it reigned number one in the hearts and minds of sports fans accross the nation. He has also provided significant insights regarding the prejudices and road blocks Hispanic ballplayers - especially those with dark complexions - faced trying to enter the American game. While Roberto Clemente was not the first to cross this ethic line, he was certainly one of the first true bona fide superstars of Carribean descent. The Clemente that emerges from this fine work is a very complex man. Fiercly competive, tenacioulsy focused. honorable and compassionate, and deeply principled. I cried as a thirteen year old when hearing the news of Roberto Clemente's untimely - and as Maraniss's story point out, totally avoidable - death. As an adult, I alos shed a tear when finishing this book. Thank you David Maraniss for an insightful and moving foray into the life of a man whose Hall of Fame accomplishments on the diamond were overshadowed by his commendable endeavors off the field.
Baseball biography at its best, especially when so much attention is being given to the darker side of today's game, namely steroid use and absurd salaries! A refreshing, entertaining, and extremely informative history of better days!