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Clemente was a great baseball player and David captures his character well, and the narrator was fine. Clemente's humanitarian side was interesting, and the details of the plane crash were riveting. Even so, the story of a great ball player overcoming cultural prejudice, acting as a genuine philanthropist, and meeting a tragic end was -- well, duller than I expected. David Maraniss's "They Marched into Sunlight" was superb and prompted me to try this book. I also liked "When Pride Still Mattered" -- a biography of Vince Lombardi better than this one.
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This book should be required reading/listening for all baseball fans young & old. It's one of those titles that really played with my emotions throughout.
At times I was angry, such as the annual Jim Crow treatment Roberto received in Florida Spring Training every year; the measly 13,000 fans who showed up to witness his 3,000th hit; and the fiasco that surrounded the incompetent owner & pilot of his fateful Earthquake relief flight.
Other moments literally sent chills up my spine, such as the thrilling Game 7 of the 1960 World Series and Ritchie Hebner's & Earl Weaver's account of THE THROW in the 1971 Fall Classic.
As a lifelong Pirate fan there was so much that I never knew about the man until I listened to this: his brother's death also on New Year's Eve 18 years earlier; the death of his sister which haunted him throughout his life; and his constant predictions that he would die young: even telling friends that it would happen over the Christmas/New Year's Holiday in 1972.
My only complaint whatsoever with this was that only the abridged version is available here or on CD in your lcoal bookstore. An unabridged version would've been much nicer since there's a big gap from Clemente being awarded the 1966 MVP to Game 1 of the 1971 World Series. That's the only reason I give this 4 stars instead of 5. I would've like to have heard about Roberto's reaction to Three Rivers Stadium opening in 1970 since he constantly complained about Forbes Field!
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