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 three-thousand hits, the magical three-thousandth 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.
|Series:||Atria Espanol Series|
|Edition description:||Spanish-language Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Hometown:Washington, D.C., and Madison, Wisconsin
Date of Birth:August 6, 1949
Place of Birth:Detroit, Michigan
Education:University of Wisconsin
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Roberto Clemente was one of the greatest baseball players of all time. His stats are incredible with 3000 career hits, a .317 lifetime batting average, and winning 2 World Series. However his impeccable stats were not what was truly amazing about this man. David Maraniss does an excellent job diving deeper into the rough times and Clemente's true character through out the book. Maraniss describes Clemente as a role model and icon for all young Latino players during that time. Clemente had to deal with many hardships being the first Puerto Rican to play in the Major Leagues. Reporters would quote him in his broken English showing no respect for him. His love for his country and family would keep him moving forward through out this book. But Maraniss doesn't just highlight all the good points of Clemente. He is known for being a hothead and some people saw him as self centered player. Though if you read this book from cover to cover you will see this is not true. He was one of greatest players of his time but Clemente suffered from insomnia and would not have been referred to has a happy person. He was commonly found napping before games do to his bad case of insomnia. However there is a high point in the book when Clemente wins his first World Series he can feel "radiating happiness" as he is mobbed by the fans. In the end Clemente overcomes the racial struggles and becomes one of the greatest players to ever live. He was good to his country, family, and friends and is a new role model for me. Maraniss does a great job telling the tragic but heroic story of Clemente.I would recommend this book to not just baseball fans but all readers.