Refresh your driving skills and learn about new car technology with the AARP Driver Safety page.
by //etc/aarp/datashare/authors/Q/Carlos-J-Queirs, AARP VIVA, April 2006
En español | It’s October 1971, and the Pittsburgh Pirates have just edged out the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 in the seventh game to win the World Series. With millions watching and listening, MVP Roberto Clemente speaks: “En el día más grande de mi vida, para los nenes, la bendición mía y que mis padres me echen la bendición.”
After 17 seasons, this was Clemente’s moment—and it was Spanish that flowed instinctively from him, words blessing his sons and asking his parents for their blessing.
“That moment was the essence of Roberto Clemente and symbolizes why he is so revered in all of Latin America,” said David Maraniss, the author of Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero (April 2006 in English, July 2006 in Spanish), in an interview.
But the biography is about more than baseball. With the same attention he gives to play-by-play accounts of the Pirates’ 1960 and 1971 World Series victories, Maraniss delves into Clemente’s character. What he unearths is not only a complex view of a hero but a vivid portrait of the cultural landscape of the United States.
“I tried to write a universal story through Clemente, who is a universal character,” said Maraniss, a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer.
The arc of Clemente’s life was high and short, like a pop fly to the infield. At 38, on New Year’s Eve 1972, he died in a plane crash while delivering aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. His body was never found. In his brief life, he rose from poverty to become immortalized as the first Latino player to reach baseball’s Hall of Fame. Readers will walk away with an understanding of the myth and the man who, in the words of the author, “became, in death, larger than life.”
Read more in our one-on-one interview with David Maraniss.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Members save 15% all day, every day at participating locations.
Members save 15% on train tickets.
Members save 15% on in-store purchases of frozen yogurt, treats and apparel.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at