Wednesday, December 15, 2010


"Did they have backsies back then?"

This was one of Robby's many questions while we're watching the long lost broadcast of the 1960 World Series Game 7.

Some of our conversation:

Robby: So that's Roberto Clemente? (I always call Robby "Roberto.")

Me: Yep.

Robby: Wow. (we watch for a few minutes) Dad - I asked Santa for a Clemente Jersey for Christmas. I really hope he brings me one.

Me: I'm sure he will. (getting online now to order)

He wouldn't stop with the questions. Everything from backsies to, "Is this game in New York or Pittsburgh?" to "Who are the Phillies four great pitchers now, Dad?" "Are they better than the Pirates from back then?" It is one of those slivers in time where you feel like you are above the room, just looking down at the conversation, and say to yourself, "Don't ever forget this."

Robby: Is Roberto still alive?

Me: No, buddy. He's not.

Robby: How did he die?

Me: Well... he was delivering food and clothing to poor people in Puerto Rico, where he grew up, and his plane crashed. He died while he was still playing baseball and it was really sad. He had exactly 3000 hits, which is kind of a big deal."

Robby: Oh... did the poor people get their food?

Me: I'm not sure, kiddo. I don't know if he was flying there or flying back but I'm sure that someone made sure that they got some food.

Robby: Well that's good. Making sure they got their food is a big deal, too, right?
At around this time Sammy came down from upstairs (Sammy who has just been to the Baseball Hall of Fame and is becoming a pretty big baseball fan) and Robby immediately says:

Robby: Sam - do you know how Roberto Clemente died?

Sammy: No.

Robby: He died in a plane crash giving food to the poor.

Sammy: (Not really caring) Really.

Robby: No - you don't understand Sam - it was reeeeally sad!
It was about this time that Sammy realized what was on TV. I need to disclose that - despite my best efforts - Sammy is a bigger Yankee fan than Pirates fan. I can't really blame him. The Pirates have sucked since I was slightly older than he is now (MOMENT OF REALIZATION...) Holy shit. I'm old. Holy shit. The Pirates have been horrible forever. Anyway - my only saving grace is that Sammy is a fan of the OLD Yankees - not the current Yankees. He could care less about A-Rod or Jeter - his heroes are Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle.

Bob Prince: Next up to the plate Roger Maris


Me: Yup - he was on the Yankees during this game. What's so special about Roger Maris, Sam?

Sammy: Ummm... he broke Babe Ruth's record, Dad. C'mon!

Bob Prince: (A few minutes later) Coming to the plate... Yogi Berra.

Sammy: This is AWESOME!
I'm a total dork, but Sammy is right - this is awesome!

It seems that baseball does get passed along from father to son and on and on down the line. Just before this broadcast I called my dad and asked him a few questions about the 1960 Buccos.

Spring training is only 2 1/2 months away.