Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Repoz
Editor - Baseball Primer

Syndicate

Al Oliver Newsbeat

Friday, March 23, 2018

‘Roberto was our brother’: Dave Parker recalls first Pirates spring training after Clemente’s death

Roberto Clemente was more than a humanitarian, more than our spiritual team leader, more than a baseball angel. Roberto was our brother, and I never experienced a life shock this close to me. I started getting phone calls from friends and family, asking whether I heard what happened. Sometimes people want to connect with you over a tragedy, be there for you, and it’s genuine and all, but sometimes you just need to sit down by yourself and process what happened.

.....

They had me playing center all last year in the minors so I would get more balls hit to me and improve my fundamentals. My manager was Timmy Murtaugh (Danny’s kid) and he took great care of turning me into a quality defender (the Pirates signed me as a catcher, but that’s a story for another day). Could I play center for Pittsburgh? Not with Al Oliver there. We all called him “Scoop,” and he was, without a doubt, the most competitive dude I ever played with. Hardest worker on the team, 25 years old, hit .312 in 600 plate appearances the year before; he wasn’t going anywhere. And I haven’t gotten to Gene Clines yet — he led the team with a .334 batting average in ’72, 20th place in the NL MVP voting, and they weren’t even sure he had a starting spot because left field was being left open.

The organization wasn’t sure who would play there. Willie Stargell, another one of our team leaders, moved to first base when Bob Robertson, the Pirates’ postseason star home run hitter in ‘71, fell into a slump. Virdon told all the beat guys that Willie would be the starting first baseman, and with a good spring Bob Robertson would be the everyday left fielder, where he played a total of 25 times in five years. Oh yeah, and then we had a rookie named Richie Zisk, who only batted .308 and hit 26 homers at Triple-A Charleston. He hit for average, for power, and management let the reporters assume Richie was definitely making the team.


 

 

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogIt’s not just ownership that’s keeping Jose Reyes a Met
(16 - 5:04am, Apr 20)
Last: MuttsIdolCochrane

NewsblogOTP 2018 Apr 16: Beto strikes out but is a hit at baseball fundraiser
(867 - 3:05am, Apr 20)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogAt long last, have you no sense of OMNICHATTER for March 19, 2017
(73 - 1:45am, Apr 20)
Last: Dale Sams

NewsblogBryan Price dismissed as Reds manager | MLB.com
(83 - 12:49am, Apr 20)
Last: Rennie's Tenet

NewsblogOT - 2017-18 NBA thread (All-Star Weekend to End of Time edition)
(2218 - 12:25am, Apr 20)
Last: f_cking sick and tired of being 57i66135

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-19-2018
(15 - 11:45pm, Apr 19)
Last: Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant

Sox TherapyAre The Angels A Real Team?
(10 - 11:29pm, Apr 19)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogBraves sign Jose Bautista to a minor-league contract, will play third base
(25 - 10:50pm, Apr 19)
Last: Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant

NewsblogOT: Winter Soccer Thread
(1495 - 10:47pm, Apr 19)
Last: SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY

NewsblogUpdate: Cubs' Anthony Rizzo calls his shorter-season, pay-cut comments 'my opinion'
(110 - 9:39pm, Apr 19)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogDeadspin: The Mets Previewed A Dark, Mets-y Future Last Night
(22 - 7:39pm, Apr 19)
Last: Walt Davis

Gonfalon CubsHome Sweet Home
(60 - 5:51pm, Apr 19)
Last: Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington

Sox TherapyLining Up The Minors
(7 - 2:54pm, Apr 19)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1942 Discussion
(10 - 9:55am, Apr 19)
Last: DL from MN

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-17-2018
(36 - 7:46am, Apr 19)
Last: Hysterical & Useless

Page rendered in 0.7055 seconds
45 querie(s) executed