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  • Retire Clemente number?

    The daughter of Jackie Robinson thinks Major League Baseball should not retire Roberto Clemente's No. 21, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.......

    I agree....I love Clemente but Jackie Changed the World.........

    Any opinions

    CAv
    You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the $%#%! plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all. ~Earl Weaver

  • #2
    I think hispanics look at Roberto Clemente just as blacks looked at Jackie Robinson. With so many latin players in the game today I think its only fitting that Clemente's number be retired.
    "I was pitching one day when my glasses clouded up on me. I took them off to polish them. When I looked up to the plate, I saw Jimmie Foxx. The sight of him terrified me so much that I haven't been able to wear glasses since." - Left Gomez

    "(Lou) Gehrig never learned that a ballplayer couldn't be good every day." - Hank Gowdy

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    • #3
      like Roberto Clemente (although he is severely overrated by many)but his jersey can be retired by the Pirates, and that's it. He did not have anywhere near the impact Jackie Robinson had. His group of people (hispanics) were allowed into the MLB when Jackie's group (African Americans) were. Roberto did not open the door for hispanics, Jackie did. The barrier out of the MLB was strictly a "color" barrier, since there actually were light skinned hispanics in MLB before 1947. MLB wouldn't allow a player to play because of his skin color, not neccessarily his race. Clemente really had no impact as a racial integrator. The fact he has been called that over the years is strictly because of people getting the facts wrong. He was not the Jackie Robinson of Hispanics in any way.

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      • #4
        I don't think Clemente's number should be retitred league-wide. I think retiring his number would be like retiring Joe DiMaggio's because it was felt that DiMaggio brought more respect to Italian Americans.

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        • #5
          I don't think Clemente's number should be retired by any other team but the Pirates; in fact, I disagree with even retiring 42 for Robinson league-wide. So many players used to wear 42 as a sign of respect for Robinson, and I think that's a better way to honor him rather than having 29 teams that he never played for (including 14 that didn't exist when he played) retire his number. Retired numbers are supposed to honor great players on individual teams; not great players in MLB.
          "Too many pitchers, that's all, there are just too many pitchers Ten or twelve on a team. Don't see how any of them get enough work. Four starting pitchers and one relief man ought to be enough. Pitch 'em every three days and you'd find they'd get control and good, strong arms."

          -Cy Young

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          • #6
            The Pirates can do whatever they want, but if MLB does retire another number besides 42, it should be 3, then 4. Retired MLB numbers should be for IMPACT. Jackie stands alone in that sense. Playing the race card with Clemente is bogus. He was a great human being and a great player for the Pirates, who happened to be of color.

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            • #7
              Jackie Robinson not only paved the way for African American players; he did so for anyone who was not white, including Hispanics.

              The name Clemente cannot lay claim to that same honour; only the name Robinson can and that's why his number transcended the team retirement.
              "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
              Carl Yastrzemski

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              • #8
                Retiring Clemente's number would be like retiring Willie Mays' or Hank Aarons' instead of Jackie Robinson's. It's saying, hey you weren't first, but you're a lot better than the first (and second and third and fourth and so on). Why not Minnie Minoso? Or Bobby Avila? Or Luis Aparicio? Or any of the scores of hispanic players that played in the majors going back to 1902 with Luis Castro?

                I admire Clemente a great deal as both a man and a ballplayer, and I recognize the great things he did in both capacities and how his play influenced a generation of hispanic ballplayers. But he didn't break barriers, he didn't symbolize the changing of the game as Jackie did. His play motivated a group just as Babe Ruth's play did, just as Joe DiMaggio's play did, just as Willie Mays' play did, but there is no rush to retire their numbers. I see honoring Clemente, as not only a disservice to the black hispanics that came before him, but also as a disservice to all the great players that have inspired people. It also mitigates just exactly what Jackie Robinson meant to the game as well as saying that Clemente is more important than players like Mays and Aaron, who should also be honored if Clemente is honored (because while they weren't the first African-American ballplayers, they were better than their predecessors). Heck, I think we'd have to go retire Babe Ruth as well since he hugely influenced the style of the game, the following of the game, and future generations of the game.

                Frank Robinson has also voiced strong objection to retiring Clemente's number around the league. I think Frank is one of the most sage voices in the game and about what the game is and how it should be played. So to me, his disapproval says a lot.

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                • #9
                  I agree with Casey, players wearing the number in Clemente's honor (and Jackie's too) is the greatest honor that can be bestowed on these men on the baseball diamond. The retiring of Clemente's number would be fluff in my opinion, the legacy he left is the substance, let the people he serves as a hero to do the honoring.
                  THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

                  In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

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                  • #10
                    To put it bluntly the only reason anyone is proposing retiring Clemente's number throughout baseball is because he was on the wrong plane at the wrong time. Had he not been on that plane this matter would never have arisen.

                    The unique honor bestowed on Robinson was for his contribution to the game. Clemente's humanitarion work, while highly laudable, was no more than numerous other players have made.
                    Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KCGHOST
                      To put it bluntly the only reason anyone is proposing retiring Clemente's number throughout baseball is because he was on the wrong plane at the wrong time. Had he not been on that plane this matter would never have arisen.

                      The unique honor bestowed on Robinson was for his contribution to the game. Clemente's humanitarion work, while highly laudable, was no more than numerous other players have made.
                      Clemente died trying to help people who were in dire need from a major cataclysm. This was not a player stopping by a Habitat for Humanity house
                      and driving a few nails, or donating autographed bats to auction for charity. I
                      don't think that many other players have done something that dangerous to help people in trouble of their own free will.
                      I agree 100% that Clemente's impact on the game of baseball was nothing like Robinson's, and you could probably argue that Jackie died young because of the stress of his groundbreaking role. However, I think that it is more than appropriate that Clemente's death in a brave attempt to help others be remembered in the same way.
                      And, I think that Robinson's daughter is way out of line to suggest that this honor for Clemente is not appropriate. I don't think that she understands the real reason why it is being proposed. You have to consider the reason Clemente was on that plane and the risk he was taking, not his bad luck in going down. How many pampered players would even consider flying to the site of a major disaster before there was any chance to ensure the safety of the area?
                      "I throw him four wide ones, then try to pick him off first base." - Preacher Roe on pitching to Musial

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                      • #12
                        Clemente is absolutely beloved in Latin America, not just his native Puerto Rico. Personally, I'd like to hear what players like Cepeda, Marichal, Carew, etc. have to say about this.
                        Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
                        Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
                        Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
                        Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
                        Robin Bill Ernie JEDI

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hellborn
                          Clemente died trying to help people who were in dire need from a major cataclysm. This was not a player stopping by a Habitat for Humanity house
                          and driving a few nails, or donating autographed bats to auction for charity. I
                          don't think that many other players have done something that dangerous to help people in trouble of their own free will.
                          I agree 100% that Clemente's impact on the game of baseball was nothing like Robinson's, and you could probably argue that Jackie died young because of the stress of his groundbreaking role. However, I think that it is more than appropriate that Clemente's death in a brave attempt to help others be remembered in the same way.
                          And, I think that Robinson's daughter is way out of line to suggest that this honor for Clemente is not appropriate. I don't think that she understands the real reason why it is being proposed. You have to consider the reason Clemente was on that plane and the risk he was taking, not his bad luck in going down. How many pampered players would even consider flying to the site of a major disaster before there was any chance to ensure the safety of the area?
                          No one is trying to say Clemente wasn't an exceptional human being, but players should not be honoured on the field for what they do off the field.

                          Everything Robinson endured off the field was directly related to what he was doing on the field.

                          Clemente flying down there was not related to baseball. He did not break any barriers in MLB. He was a great player like so many before and after him, but he is not deserving of this kind of honour and Robinson's daughter, whatever her reason might be, is right on this one.
                          "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
                          Carl Yastrzemski

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                          • #14
                            i don't know where i weigh in on this subject but i think it is being clouded by the jackie robinson discussion - robinson is robinson and clemente is clemente - if there was discussion on reasons why clemente should receive such a distinction i would be interested in hearing - i don't think anyone is saying clemente is robinson so why is that discussion dominating the subject

                            but with that in mind robinson got the distinction not strictly because of his contributions to baseball but because of his impact on society as a whole - perhaps no other athlete save ali has transcended their sport in such a fashion - but that is my point of view - a white american from a mid-atlantic state - i would be interested in how others see clemente as transcending baseball

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                            • #15
                              Few admire Roberto more than I. But I fail to see how retiring one's number honors them in any way. Others choosing to wear their old number feels like more of an honor.

                              I also oppose retiring numbers outside of an individual team. That is a bad precedent. Shouldn't have happened for Jackie Robinson, nor The Babe, nor anyone else. Too heavey-handed symbolism.

                              To retire Robinson's number league-wide is something I had not heard of. And it smacks of rank hypocracy, until the Hall of Fame loosens up it eligibility requirements for former NL players. Which I heard is a distinct possiblity sometime soon.

                              And Brian is quite perceptive in citing Robinson's achievement wasn't strictly baseball related, but how baseball's integration impacted American, and by extension, the world's, society. It was a VERY BIG DEAL. Similar to the Emancipation Proclamation, Phase 2 - The implemenation/execution.
                              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 01-25-2006, 11:37 AM.

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