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Old 12-31-2012, 06:13 PM   #1
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Default 40 years ago the Great One died

Roberto Clemente died trying to make sure that humanitarian aid got to those who needed it in Nicaragua. If you ever saw him play you know why he was known as the Great One but his greatness went beyond the baseball diamond.
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Not a New Yearís Eve goes by where I donít, for at least a few minutes, remember Roberto Clemente. For it was New Yearís Eve 1972 ó 40 years ago today ó when Clemente died a hero, trying to airlift relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Clemente was truly heroic and brave, not because he was forced into some dire situation. He was heroic precisely because he didnít have to face anything at all if he didnít want to. He was a man of means and status and he could have ushered in 1973 in comfortable circumstances in his native Puerto Rico, writing checks to a relief fund to help those earthquake victims. He could have organized a benefit. But he didnít. He sent on relief supplies himself, and when he realized that some of supplies he was sending to Managua were being pilfered by crooked officials, Clemente got on board the next flight himself to ensure that they got to those who needed them the most. It was the last decision heíd ever make.
The plane took off a little after 9 p.m. on New Yearís Eve with five on board. The plane ó overloaded and in poor mechanical condition to begin with ó encountered problems almost immediately. The pilot tried to return to the airport but it was too late. It crashed into the Atlantic Ocean about a mile from the coast, killing all aboard. Clementeís body was never recovered.
http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/20...0-years-later/


More on the life of Clemente on ESPN: http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/87...-model-all-mlb
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: 40 years ago the Great One died

I remember ! I was only 12, but my top drawer of my dresser was filled by my baseball card heroes of the day. It was my heyday in loving baseball.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: 40 years ago the Great One died

I remember hearing about that on the radio the day after it happened. I did not realize he was never recovered from the wreck of the plane on the seabed.
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