Tag Archives: Roberto Clemente

Happy Birthday Roberto

Clemente_MontrealRoyals Today would have been Roberto Clemente’s 82nd birthday. While many of you know of his exploits with the Pittsburgh Pirates, did you also know that Roberto was once a part of the Brooklyn Dodgers Triple A affiliate with the Montreal Royals in 1954 ? Roberto would play 18 glorious seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1955-72, his career cut short due to a tragic plane crash on December 31, 1972 while trying to assist earthquake victims of Nicaragua.  Though MLB has no plans to retire the number 21 anytime soon, there are still those who feel it’s time Roberto is given the same honor as Jackie. I’m sure plenty of Dodgers fans, baseball fans, would not mind…

Throwback Thursday with Ross Porter

Recently, my longtime buddy Josh and I had a chance to hear former Dodger Ross Porter speak at the Skirball Cultural Center as he presented Baseball Stories. In this first audio Ross talks about growing up in Shawnee Oklahoma and his favorite team growing up…The Pittsburgh Pirates, and why he was a Pirates fan. 

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A Wild Wild Finish…It’s Just The Beginning…

Leading Off…

Still talking about that wild finish from what Vin called, The Wild Horse ? Baseball is a crazy game isn’t it ?…It’s no stretch when they say it’s a game of inches. If Nationals SS Danny Espinoza is shaded a couple more inches to his left that hard ground ball Puig hits up the middle gives this game a different ending huh ? A couple more inches to his left and Espinoza forgoes the dive toward the ball and instead of a mob at the plate a possible game ending 6-4-3 ends a 4 game losing streak for the NL East leading Nats and they’re the ones walking the post game victory line. Instead, the Nationals are now on a 5 game skid while the Dodgers are currently on a 6 game streak as well as winning 8 of their last 10.

A game of inches this great game is. For every line drive that finds a glove, a routine grounder finds a hole…It happens…That’s the law of averages…That’s baseball…No big deal right ? Puig keeps the rally going…Now we get runners on 1st and 2nd…Until that ground ball hit that was inches from Espinoza’s glove found more than just a hole…

 

yasiel-puig-walk-off-nationals-dodgers Photo: Harry How/Getty Images

 Nationals Center Fielder Michael Taylor, doing a bat flip ( Not that kind… ) after 1 of 5 times he would strike out ( AP Photo: Chris Carlson )

Striking out 5 times was not even the worst part of Taylor’s night. On a night the Dodgers would honor the current Nationals skipper with his own bobblehead, the frantic finish that couldn’t have been scripted by even the most acclaimed Hollywood writer…Michale Taylor’s performance Wednesday night could perhaps be the worst performance ever by a single MLB player.

My fandom for Dodger baseball and the game started in 1980. Dusty Baker was roaming the outfield for The Blue. I’m not so sure if I’ve seen a performance that was worse than what Taylor displayed Wednesday night. And yet, even with that performance, we all would trade in our bad day’s at the office for his…In a heartbeat. 

img_20160623_164222.jpgDusty Baker Bobblehead…I tend to think this looks more like Pedro Guerrero (Photo: Marly Rivera, ESPN)

Around The NL West…

The Dodgers have won 6 in a row, 8 of their last 10. Unfortunately, the Giants have been hot themselves, winning 11 of their last 12, including a just concluded 6-1 road trip. In that span, the Dodgers have gained a mere half game in the standings, finding themselves 6 back. At 41-33, only 4 other teams currently have more wins than The Boys in Blue. Not bad considering the inconsistencies our offense has endured as well as our health issues among the starting 5…

While the Rockies continue to hang around, while Zack Greinke has recovered from a slow start and another solid season from Paul Goldschmidt, the off-season expectations have not panned out for The Snakes. The Padres continue to look up at the rest of the division and may want to unload some pieces before the August 1st non-waiver deadline. I said before the season that Matt Kemp would be on the trading block and I still believe that. Known for his 2nd half of the season finishes, Kemp has actually had some decent offensive numbers to this point, going yard 15 times with 54 RBIs, ranking 4th in the NL with a modest .268 average. 

Because Kemp has been a defensive liability, something we would not have thought of in 2011, an AL team would be a good fit for him for the stretch run ( Yes folks, I’m thinking Matt as a DH, with some occasional starts in the OF). Perhaps the Astros, who have played some good ball lately, would be a good fit for Matt, especially at hitter friendly Minute Maid Park ?

Now back to The Blue. At 6 games back, the NL West race is far from over. The current 6 game wining streak, 4 of which found them pulling it off from the 8th inning on, should hopefully carry the momentum as they embark on a 7 game road trip that begins in Pittsburgh. 

As we all know, The Blue still needs reinforcements both offensively and among the backend of the starting 5. The latest talk has The Blue looking at both Sonny Gray and Julio Teheran to solidify the rotation.

On The Road…PNC Park, Pittsburgh PA

Dre_PNCPark One of 17 of the current 30 MLB parks i’ve visited, September 2005

One of my favorite parks I’ve had the chance to visit. A visit to PNC is definitely worth the hype… If you can, walk across the Roberto Clemente Bridge on your way to the game. The late Pirate legend has a statue outside the left field gate that every baseball fan should view…

Dre_PirateParrot Kicking’ it with The Pirate Parrot. ” Your Bucs we’re not help against the Jints this week ! ” 

9th Inning…BELIEVE

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A 6 game deficit in June is nothing….The Dog Days of Summer is only beginning folks…

 

Magic Number Countdown…11… Celebrating Roberto Clemente Day…

Today MLB Baseball will be celebrating Roberto Clemente Day in honor of the late great Pittsburgh Pirate. Like Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente made his way through the Broooklyn Dodger minor league system, playing for the Montreal Royals in 1954, later to be ” Stolen ” from the Pittsburgh Pirates…

Clemente_MontrealRoyals Roberto Clemente, a one-time prospect of the Brooklyn Dodgers

ClementeBridge_VideoPicofClementeRoberto Clemente day, 9/7/2005 with the Pittsburgh skyline anchored by the Roberto Clemente Bridge…

PNC_CLEMENTEStatue honoring Roberto Clemente outside of PNC Park

Magic Number Countdown…11… Manny Mota

Pinch hitting for Pedro Borbon…

Manny Mota, the one-time pinch hit king of the Dodgers, also spent parts of his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, playing alongside Roberto Clemente. In this next clip, Manny discusses playing with Roberto…

MANNYMOTA Manny Mota, the one-time king of the pinch hits…

Magic Number Countdown… 21… Chris Hatcher, Unsung Hero ?

With last nights 8-4 victory over the Padres, the Dodgers hold the National League’s largest division lead at 7.5 games. The Dodgers have won 9 of their last 11, including this past weeks 3 game sweep of the Giants, and with 30 games left, the magic number to clinch the NL West is 21, currently worn by Cy Young Award Candidate…Zack Greinke…

Dodgers_ Zack Greinke doing some pre-game long toss Zack doing some long toss before a July match up against the Phillies…Other Dodgers to wear 21…

Jay Johnstone

Jim Brewer

Tracy Woodson

Eric Young

Marlon Anderson. Marlon will always be remembered from the four home run game in 2006 .

Honorary 21… Roberto Clemente

Clemente_MontrealRoyals  Though he will always be remembered as a Pirate, Roberto Clemente  was at one time a part of the Dodger organization, playing for the Montreal Royals in 1954, the one time AAA affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Every year in September, Roberto Clemente Day is celebrated in baseball and worldwide. 

Unsung Stretch Drive Heroes

Every now and then, an unexpected name makes a contribution for a pennant contender during the stretch drive. Some of the notable un-notables for the Dodgers include Vic Davalillo and his bunt on Black FridayR.J. Reynolds and the squeeze play. Last night, recent trade acquisition Justin Ruggiano blasted a pinch hit 2 run home run , en route to a 5 run 5th and an 8-4 win. However, this past Monday night, the first of a crucial 3 game series against the Giants, Chris Hatcher, much maligned throughout the season was called upon in the 12th inning to hold it down. Stomachs of every Dodger fan ( including this one ) we’re churning. Yet in what possibly could be the turning point of the season,  Hatcher would hold it down, throwing 3 scoreless innings including a huge strikeout of Marlon Byrd with the go-ahead run at 2nd to keep the game tied…

That would set up this, from Adrian Gonzalez, in the home 14th…

With Greinke and KKKKKKKKKKKKKKershaw ( Yes, the 15 Ks… ) slated the following 2 games, well, you know the rest. The lead in the West would grow to 6.5 games, concluding a 5-1 homestand against the Cubs and Giants. Perhaps talks of the Dodgers struggles against winning teams may have been put to rest ? Maybe. But we certainly can’t overlook the events of Monday evening and the contribution of Chris Hatcher…

Dodgers_Chris Hatcher Chris Hatcher, our unsung hero ?

Extra Innings… Kid N Drei

Marlz_Bubbles As always, featuring Kid Marley Marlz… Hey Kid, ready to head back to San Diego tomorrow ? Do we bring back the bubbles ? It’s been a year since we we’re last seen in Diego

KIDnDREI ‘Til the Next Episode… From the Park at the Park… Kid N Drei…

From 42 to 21, Some Dodgers/Pirates History and a Look at PNC Park

Today would have been the 81st birthday of Roberto Clemente. In his honor, the Smithsonian Museum will be putting on display a portrait of Roberto Clemente as part of it’s ” Recognize ” series, Clemente’s life was tragically cut short on the night of December 31, 1972, in a plane crash during a trip to Nicaragua to provide earthquake relief. Though we know of his baseball accomplishments throughout his career with th e Pittsburgh Pirates, Clemente was at onetime a prospect of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Here is a reblog of a story I did about Roberto Clemente last year prior to a series the Dodgers had with the Pirates. Like Jackie Robinson, Roberto’s impact was felt not only on the field, but off the field as well, a true humanitarian. Happy 81st Birthday Roberto…

A Good Drei With Kid N Drei

The Dodgers take on the Pirates tonight in the 2nd of a 3 game set at PNC Park, with the Boys in Blue winning last night behind 7 strong innings from Hyun-Jin Ryu and some early run support. The Dodgers and Pirates are two of the most storied franchises in the bigs. Both organizations can proudly say that two of the games most influential players played for them.

Dre_JackieNRoberto Two of my favorite pieces of baseball art, honoring Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente, numbers 42 and 21 respectively .

Most of you are familiar with Jackie Robinson’s story. You may also be familiar with Roberto Clemente as well, especially if you are a fan of the Bucs. But did you know that Roberto Clemente played one season with the Montreal Royals in 1954 , the Triple A affiliation of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The same organization where Jackie Robinson played before his…

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AT&T Park vs PNC Park

Over the years I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to various yards throughout my Stadium Journey quest.  Putting personal bias aside, AT&T Park and PNC Park are no doubt two of the most scenic yards I have ventured to.  So, in Drei’s book, how do they match up ?  

Both yards are very intimate in size.  Both have scenic backdrops.  Both have a sense of charm that are reflect the local culture….

In and around AT&T Park, with a Touch of Blue….

In and around PNC Park, Sept 2005…

These two yards really do rank highly in my ballpark journey’s.  Outside The Ravine, if I had to choose which yard get’s the edge for that top spot in Drei’s book of ballpark’s traveled ?  Hmm ?  I think i’m gonna have to go with a tie-breaker on this one.  Who get’s the tie-breaker ?

PNC_NIGHT

Slight edge to PNC Park.  Two factors.  The first was a hard one.  Skyline or water ?  At night, the Pittsburgh skyline, accented with the Roberto Clemente Bridge, makes for a more picturesque backdrop especially at night.  The second factor ?  Let’s just say this…  A Dodger fan just wrote this piece….

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Kickin’ it with The Pirate Parrot.  Hey, 2 straight October’s at PNC Park for you !!!

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Roberto Clemente statue outside the left field entrance with the Roberto Clemente bridge in the back.  Roberto Clemente started off in the Brooklyn Dodger organization, playing for their farm system in 1954 with the Montreal Royals.

For You Ballpark and Other Stadium Travelers…

Here’s a couple of formal reviews of AT&T Park and PNC Park .  Need some tips on your ballpark travels for 2015 or other stadium ventures ?  Check us out at Stadium Journey for your sports themed travel tips !!!

 

From 42 to 21, Some Dodgers/Pirates History and a Look at PNC Park

The Dodgers take on the Pirates tonight in the 2nd of a 3 game set at PNC Park, with the Boys in Blue winning last night behind 7 strong innings from Hyun-Jin Ryu and some early run support. The Dodgers and Pirates are two of the most storied franchises in the bigs. Both organizations can proudly say that two of the games most influential players played for them.

Dre_JackieNRoberto Two of my favorite pieces of baseball art, honoring Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente, numbers 42 and 21 respectively .

Most of you are familiar with Jackie Robinson’s story. You may also be familiar with Roberto Clemente as well, especially if you are a fan of the Bucs. But did you know that Roberto Clemente played one season with the Montreal Royals in 1954 , the Triple A affiliation of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The same organization where Jackie Robinson played before his historic entrance to the bigs in 1947.

Clemente_MontrealRoyals Roberto Clemente, Montreal Royals, 1954. Imagine Roberto Clemente donning the Dodger Blue and roaming the outfield of Dodger Stadium in the 60s …

There are plenty of tributes to Roberto Clemente in around PNC Park, one of my favorite yards I’ve had the privilege to visit.

ClementeBridge The Roberto Clemente Bridge, closed off to vehicular traffic on game days so fans can walk across the river to the park…

ClementeBridge_VideoPicofClemente Paying tribute to Roberto …

plaque

ClementeStatueNBridge Statue honoring Roberto Clemente behind the left field entrance of PNC Park with the Roberto Clemente Bridge in the distance. Perhaps someday Dodger Stadium will have a statue of Jackie Robinson. In the meantime, we do have the number 42 up on the top deck …

42_RetiredNumberTopDeck

If you do want to see a statue of Jackie Robinson…

Jackie_Statue Located along the 1st base concourse at Jackie Robinson stadium in L.A.’s west side, where the UCLA Bruins baseball team plays it’s home games .

Trivia

Clemente_21footwall Why is the right field wall at PNC Park exactly 21 feet high ?

More from my past visit to PNC Park, a yard that you ballpark road-trippers must visit…

PNC_behindhomeplate What a view …

Dre_PNCPark Greetings from PNC Park, September 2005 …

Dre_PirateParrot Another one of my furry friends i’ve befriended on my ballpark travels, the Pirate Parrot. Perhaps our teams may see each other in October Mr. Parrot ?