Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Roberto Clemente Decoded

Watched a documentary on Roberto Clemente last night. Grew up hearing about him (and about Mazeroski's home run in the '60 World Series), and he always had these eerie connotations for me because of his death in the plane crash. I thought he was much younger when he was killed and that he was taken out in his prime, but he really did have a full career in the big leagues (1955 to 1972 for the Pirates, .371 avg, 240 HR, 1305 RBIs lifetime).

But what I learned last night was his dedication to humanitarian causes and that his plane crashed just after taking off to deliver supplies to Nicaraguans who had lost everything in the earthquake in 1972. He had arranged to have supplies sent, but they were reportedly looted so he decided to go deliver the next round himself. Anyway, it was on American Experience on PBS last night, so check it out if you have a chance. (It was much better than the clunker they had on last week about Walt Whitman. And I like Walt Whitman!)