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Roberto Clemente: The Great One -- 2000 publication

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Markusen

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Author: Markusen
Publisher: Sports Publishing. Book Condition
1 review about Roberto Clemente: The Great One -- 2000...

With the grace of greatness

  • Sep 13, 2009
Markusen's biography of "The Great One" focuses more on his baseball career, while David Maraniss' 2006 Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero provides more coverage of Clemente's off-field life. The two make a good bookend to the best right-fielder in Major League history. My "truth in reviewing" disclaimer: as a life-long Pirates fan, I may be slightly biased--but Clemente is still the best at his position anyway!

As I remarked in my review of the Maraniss book, Clemente was a strong individual with a strong, enigmatic, and sometimes misunderstood personality. He wore his Puerto Rican heritage proudly and sometimes on his sleeve, but as an early pioneer in the surge of Latin baseball players that now provides a strong percentage of Major League rosters, and rosters of All-star and playoff teams, it is easy to forget how instrumental Clemente was as the first Latin player elected to the Hall of Fame and as an outspoken champion of minority participation in sports and society. Markusen shows how this powerful pride both helped and hurt Clemente in his relations with teammates, managers, fans, and the media during his career.

Clemente was such a sweet player to watch at the peak of his game, as he was during the 1971 season and the Pirates drive to the 1971 World Series victory, capped by his continuation of his life-long streak of getting a hit in every World Series game he played in his career. Markusen's coverage of the 1971 season is the centerpiece of the book.

If you have only seen Clemente on paper in either of these books, find a video clip of his playing highlights. It will raise your appreciation of his amazing abilities at all facets of the game.

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