Clemente by David Maraniss
The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero

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Synopsis

Pulitzer Prize winner David Maraniss’s brilliant rendering of the life of one of baseball’s most iconic figures captures both myth and man in daunting sweep and meticulous detail.

On New Year’s Eve 1972, beloved Pittsburgh Pirate Roberto Clemente died a hero’s death, killed in a plane crash while attempting to deliver food and medical supplies to Nicaragua after a devastating earthquake. His career ended with four batting titles, two World Series championships, and three thousand hits; he and the immortal Lou Gehrig are the only players in history to have the five-year waiting period waived so they could be enshrined in the Hall of Fame immediately after their deaths.

But Clemente was also that rare athlete who rose above sports to become a symbol of larger themes. Born at a time when there were no players of color in American baseball, Clemente went on to become the greatest Latino player in the major leagues. With determination, grace, and dignity, he paved the way and set the highest standard for his peers both on and off the field: his famous motto was “If you have a chance to help others and fail to do so, you are wasting your time on this earth.” The end of the book reveals the corruption and negligence that led Clemente toward his untimely death as an uninspected, overloaded plane plunged into the sea.
 

About David Maraniss

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David Maraniss, an associate editor at The Washington Post, is the author of critically acclaimed bestselling books on Bill Clinton, Vince Lombardi, Vietnam and the sixties, Roberto Clemente, and the 1960 Rome Olympics. He won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of Clinton, was part of a Post team that won the 2007 Pulitzer for coverage of the Virginia Tech tragedy, and has been a Pulitzer finalist three other times, including in the nonfiction history category for They Marched Into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967. He lives in Washington, D.C., and Madison, Wisconsin.
 
Published March 26, 2013 by Simon & Schuster. 416 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Sports & Outdoors, History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Clemente

Kirkus Reviews

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Mediocre players receive immense publicity while true stars are not highlighted as they deserve.” He wasn’t thinking selfishly only of himself, but of Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, Julio Roubert and other players who had just crossed a sometimes double color line—not just against blacks, but aga...

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The New York Times

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As baseball's first Latino superstar, Roberto Clemente was a hero on field and off.

May 07 2006 | Read Full Review of Clemente: The Passion and Gra...

BC Books

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Multiple planes of supplies collected by Clemente were delivered, but word got back to the superstar outfielder that government greed and corruption prevented the supplies from being delivered.

May 28 2009 | Read Full Review of Clemente: The Passion and Gra...

BC Books

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As a lifelong baseball fan, I knew Roberto Clemente was a great player who died too young, and that's about all I knew.

May 28 2009 | Read Full Review of Clemente: The Passion and Gra...

Book Reporter

So it is again in CLEMENTE: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero, a superb account of not just a man, but of an era when life in America and life in baseball underwent cataclysmic changes that profoundly altered the characteristics of both entities.

Apr 03 2007 | Read Full Review of Clemente: The Passion and Gra...

PopMatters

Orlando Cepeda, signed by the San Francisco Giants in 1958, says Clemente “told me that it was very lonely for him because of communication, he couldn’t communicate.” Fans’ responses were initially mixed, and Clemente spent hours after games signing autographs, in part because he felt isolated by...

Apr 21 2008 | Read Full Review of Clemente: The Passion and Gra...

Bookmarks Magazine

Denver Post 4 of 5 Stars"As a biographer, Maraniss simultaneously captures Clemente the baseball star, Clemente the family man, Clemente the civil rights pioneer, Clemente the humanitarian and Clemente the occasional diva.

Aug 29 2007 | Read Full Review of Clemente: The Passion and Gra...

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Michael Manley 18 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 4 out of 5

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