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Sunday, September 30, 2012

In Which A Baseball Anniversary Conjures A Treasured Memory 

Okay, so today, September 30th, marks the 40th anniversary of Pirate's Baseball great, Roberto Clemente's 3000th hit. He's the only Pirate to ever achieve such a feat. Little did we all realize this would be Roberto's last hit ever. He perished in an airplane crash on the final day of 1972 delivering supplies to Nicaragua as part of an earthquake relief mission. He had heard the Nicaraguan army was commandeering other shipments of supplies, so he chose to deliver the much needed articles himself to guarantee the precious cargo got to the people who needed them. 

He was like that. 

I was 12 on September 30, 1972. My Dad made me come with him to Three Rivers Stadium that day, but I had no idea why he was hell-bent on dragging me along. I didn't get the significance until later. When Roberto got a standing double, and tipped his hat in front of the scoreboard flashing 3000, my Dad stood, uttered "way to go, Roberto" and teared up. We left shortly afterward. 

I knew something special just happened. Sure, Clemente made sports history that day, but I got to witness this remarkable moment next to my Dad.

I win. 

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