Poem By: Dave CrawleyBy Dave Crawley

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Forty years ago on New Year’s Eve, the Pirates lost a hero who transcended his sport.

Roberto Clemente’s plane, bearing supplies for earthquake victims in Nicaragua, went down in the Atlantic.

Remember him with an…

Ode To Roberto

“Arriba!” we cried, as we watched him bestride
Those now silent outfields of yore.
“Arriba!” we cheered, for the man we revered.
It swelled to a deafening roar.

He was power and grace, with sinews of lace.
He did things that no one else can.
When we speak of the game, we whisper his name:
“Roberto. El hombre. The man.”

The bigger the game, the harder he came.
He was the king in the clutch.
He was toast of the town when the Yankees went down.
In October, he did have the touch.

He got the job done in ’71.
He swung, and the Orioles fell.
In times of travail, when others might fail,
Roberto answered the bell.

He never forgot that old empty lot,
Where he first learned the ways of his sport.
To kids on the climb, he gave of his time,
As if knowing his time would be short.

They watched him leave on that New Year’s Eve,
From the wave-battered coast of San Juan.
In the blink of an eye, he rose to the sky.
In the blink of an eye, he was gone.

“Arriba” we cried of the Pirates’ pride,
In the days when the legend began.
Though quick with a bat, he was much more than that.
Roberto. El hombre. The man.

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