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Roberto Clemente, Dodger

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Flatbush Flock
    There was something in the article that because Clemente had not been "protected," another Royal could be drafted as well as he. I cannot currently access the article and don't know whether the opposite would be true.
    The rule was once a player was drafted from that team, that teams roster was then frozen. If Clemente had been protected, then he couldn't have been taken.
    Lets get Eddie Basinski elected to the Polish Sports Hall of Fame.
    www.brooklyndodgermemories.com

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    • #17
      Originally posted by VIBaseball
      Shotgun, my take on Stew Thornley's article was quite different. The basic theme was that people -- and Clemente biographers, no less -- have long taken it as gospel that the Dodgers "hid" Clemente in Montreal. Stew's work points out that we should not take this legend at face value.

      Stew also says that the notion of a race-based quota is not supported by the facts. Although the source is Buzzie Bavasi, and I take it with a grain of salt, Buzzie told Stew that none other than Jackie Robinson said, "'If I were the GM, I would not bring Clemente to the club and send Shuba or any other white player down. If I did this, I would be setting our program back five years.'"
      Buzzie Bavasi let Nolan Ryan walk when he ran the Angels, so Clemente wasn't the only big-time screw-up with a Hall of Famer under his watch. :atthepc

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      • #18
        I couldn't remember offhand who signed Clemente for the Dodgers, so I refreshed myself. It was Al Campanis, who also signed Sandy Amorós out of Cuba and later also signed a number of players from Brooklyn, including Tommy Davis and Bob Aspromonte.

        On a side note, Campanis also enjoyed his only playing time in the majors with Brooklyn in 1943 (.100 in 20 at-bats over 7 games).

        I can't believe it's been more than 21 years since Campanis got himself in racial hot water for his remarks on ABC's Nightline.

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        • #19
          Here's a link to the article noted at the top of this thread. It's posted on the SABR Quebec site and includes a nice picture of Clemente in Montreal uniform.

          http://quebec.sabr.org/1950.htm

          A quote that I find particularly interesting comes from Canadian baseball historian Neil Raymond, who went through the Montreal newspapers for corroboration:

          "What becomes apparent going through the Montreal papers daily (La Presse, The Gazette, The Star) is that this team was not perceived as a player development exercise," maintained Raymond. "They were expected to win. Translation: Sandy Amorós's at bats were deemed a lot more valuable than learning what Clemente could do, building his confidence, or training him by exposing him to opportunities to fail by being overmatched."

          The notion that Clemente was hidden in Montreal continues to be parroted elsewhere.

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          • #20
            Don't forget about Howie Haak...

            Howie Haak, Baseball Pioneer In Latin America, Dies at 87
            By RICHARD GOLDSTEIN
            Published: March 1, 1999

            Howie Haak, a pioneer of baseball scouting in Latin America and a key figure in the Pittsburgh Pirates' snaring of the future Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente from the Brooklyn Dodgers' farm system, died on Feb. 22 in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 87 and a baseball scout for nearly a half-century.

            Long before major league teams built sophisticated training centers in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, Haak, a protege of Branch Rickey, was scouring Latin America by automobile, plane and boat for the Pirates.

            Haak (pronounced Hake) was a catcher in the Cardinals' farm system in the 1930's and early 1940's, when Rickey was the St. Louis general manager. Having moved to the Dodgers, Rickey hired Haak as a scout after he was discharged from the Navy following World War II. When Rickey left Brooklyn for Pittsburgh after the 1950 season, he took Haak with him to build a youth movement.

            In February 1954, the Dodgers signed Clemente, then 19 years old, out of Santurce, P.R., and sent him to their Montreal Royals farm team. Rickey heard about Clemente's potential and sent Haak to watch him play. But when the Royals' manager, Max Macon, saw Haak, he refused to put Clemente in the lineup, fearing the Pirates might be so impressed that they would grab him in the next minor league draft.

            As Haak would recall it: ''I did see Clemente play in Puerto Rico after the season was over and my eyes almost popped out. I told Rickey: 'We gotta draft him. He's better than anything we have.' ''

            The Pirates took Clemente for $4,000 in the November 1954 draft, and when Clemente displayed his talents at the Pirates' spring training in 1955, Rickey told Haak to travel through Latin America looking for more players like him.

            Haak, a burly man who would be known to young Latin Americans as Big Daddy, signed scores of players for the Pirates, including Manny Sanguillen, Omar Moreno and Rennie Stennett of Panama; Tony Pena, Jose DeLeon and Cecilio Guante of the Dominican Republic, Al McBean of the Virgin Islands and Roman Mejias of Cuba.

            ''We thank God for him,'' Sanguillen once said. ''He's opened the door for us.''

            The epitome of the baseball lifer, Haak accumulated countless mileage on his trips in Latin America and the United States, often in a Cadillac equipped with a spittoon as befit the game's champion tobacco-chewer. He wasn't the first major league scout in Latin America; the Washington Senators' Joe Cambria had signed many Cuban players in the 1940's. But Haak traveled more widely than other scouts in Latin America and opened up new territory for major league baseball.

            Haak became involved in controversy in May 1982 when he suggested that Pirate fans were staying away from Three Rivers Stadium because they wanted more white players in the lineup. The Pirate owner, John W. Galbreath, called Haak's remarks ''very unfortunate,'' but blacks on the Pirates defended Haak, presumably mindful of all the black players from Latin America he had signed. He remained with the Pirates through 1988, then spent five years as a scout with the Houston Astros.

            Haak looked for pitchers with a good fastball and position players with speed and strong arms, figuring that pitching mechanics and hitting techniques could be taught. He took copious notes and had his wife, Crystal, who survives him, type them up.

            He never took Spanish lessons, learning the language in the course of his scouting trips. As he put it: ''I know enough Spanish to run tryout camps and get the good guys' signatures on contracts.''
            http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...50C0A96F958260

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            • #21
              An alternate link to the article VIBaseball provided...

              http://milkeespress.com/clemente1954.html

              You will also find boxscore stat lines for Clemente's 1954 season with the Montreal Royals via this link.

              Thanks and you're welcome VI.
              Last edited by Buczilla; 02-09-2009, 02:53 PM.

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              • #22
                That is the article, Buczilla -- you've clearly found another link to it besides the one I posted earlier today. I see you edited your post, but we could keep the alternate link.

                Thanks also for the info on Howie Haak. It's worth underscoring the Rickey tie-in for purposes of this forum.

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                • #23
                  Here's Roberto as a Montreal Royal..................
                  Attached Files
                  you can take the Dodgers out of Brooklyn, but you can't take the Brooklyn out of the DODGERS
                  http://brooklyndodgermemories.freeforums.org/

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    I don't know who's right, but here goes. Clyde Sukeforth had been in the Dodger organization under Rickey and scouted Jackie Robinson. He was the bullpen coach who told Charlie Dressen that Erskine had bounced his curve, so Dressen called in Ralph Branca to pitch to Bobby Thomson, so the Dodgers let Sukey go. He joined Pittsburgh as a scout. He claimed to have seen Clemente warming up, then not playing, and thought the Dodgers were trying to hide him in Montreal. At a meeting in Pittsburgh, Sukeforth said he suggested Clemente. Another scout said he didn't think Clemente had much of a throwing arm. Sukey said he replied that the question in his mind was whether Clemente's arm was better than Furillo's. Rickey, he said, sent scouts to look and then drafted Clemente. Which account is accurate? I don't know.

                    Remember that Rickey and O'Malley had had their big fight in 1950 over ownership. Red Barber even remembered the day the two of them were in the booth next to his, swearing at each other, and Red leaned in extra close to the microphone in hopes it wasn't going out over the air. By 1954, O'Malley felt no more charitably about Rickey than he had in 1950. And Rickey apparently had engaged in "hiding" players before--he and Larry MacPhail supposedly included a plan to hide Pete Reiser in the minors so that Rickey could get him back. When that proved impossible, that's why MacPhail added 125k to the deal for Joe Medwick--he was really paying for Reiser.

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                    • #25
                      Dodgers Lose Clemente

                      Here's the official letter......................
                      Attached Files
                      you can take the Dodgers out of Brooklyn, but you can't take the Brooklyn out of the DODGERS
                      http://brooklyndodgermemories.freeforums.org/

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Here's a pretty good what-if article speculating about how the Dodgers might have looked if they'd kept Clemente in the organization. One of the main points is that he quite likely would have been the left fielder, since Furillo was still playing at a high level in right. Another leap into the unknown is the idea that if Clemente had been in left instead of Sandy Amorós, he would not have made the game-saving catch that Sandy did -- even though Clemente was a first-rate fielder, he was a righty, and Sandy made the play because he was a lefty.

                        http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/pro...ed-in-brooklyn

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                        • #27
                          As great as Clemente became, he would not have been in Brooklyn in 1955.
                          Lets get Eddie Basinski elected to the Polish Sports Hall of Fame.
                          www.brooklyndodgermemories.com

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by VIBaseball View Post
                            Here's a pretty good what-if article speculating about how the Dodgers might have looked if they'd kept Clemente in the organization. One of the main points is that he quite likely would have been the left fielder, since Furillo was still playing at a high level in right. Another leap into the unknown is the idea that if Clemente had been in left instead of Sandy Amorós, he would not have made the game-saving catch that Sandy did -- even though Clemente was a first-rate fielder, he was a righty, and Sandy made the play because he was a lefty.

                            http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/pro...ed-in-brooklyn
                            Last night I watched game 3 of the 1969 World Series, and seeing the catch that Tommie Agee made off of Elrod Hendricks made me think that a right handed fielder could have made the same catch that Amoros made off of Berra.
                            Last edited by EdTarbusz; 07-18-2010, 12:59 PM.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by EdTarbusz View Post
                              Last night I watched game 3 of the 1969 World Series, and seeing the catch that Tommie Agee made off of Elrod Hendricks made me think that a right handed fielder could have made the same catch that Amoros made off of Berra.
                              Itcertainly was possible for a righthanded fielder to make the Amoros play. It would have been a much tougher catch, backhanded, reaching across the body.
                              Lets get Eddie Basinski elected to the Polish Sports Hall of Fame.
                              www.brooklyndodgermemories.com

                              Comment

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