Results tagged ‘ roberto clemente ’
The Pittsburgh Kid Neil Walker hit a bases loaded two out grand slam off of Ryan Dempster in the 5th inning as the Pirates went on to beat the Cubs 6-3 on opening day 2011.
Walker was just the second Pirate in team history to hit a grand slam on opening day. The other? The great one, Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente on April 10th, 1962. Walker, who grew up in Pittsburgh, will forever be a part of Pirates history –the team he grew up rooting for.
Trailing 2-0 to the Cubs, Ryan Doumit lead off the 5th with a single to center field. Ronny Cedeno worked a walk and pitcher Kevin Correia came to the plate. It looked like Manager Clint Hurdle’s extra work in spring training paid off as Correia dropped down a perfect sac bunt to move the runners. Ryan Dempster walked a second batter in the inning, Jose Tabata, to load the bases. Walker worked a seven pitch at-bat before driving a 3-2 fastball over the right field wall. Wrigley field was quiet as four Pirates touched home plate and took a 4-2 lead.
Walker told Stan Savran of Root Sports after the game, “I got ahead in the count. I had to make sure I wasn’t trying to do too much but use the big part of the field. He just walked two guys so I really wasn’t trying to do too much but get myself in a good position to hit and swing the bat. Fortunately I got into 3-2 [count] and he kind of made a mistake over the plate and was able to do something with it.”
“Definitely a special feeling, there’s no doubt about it. More along the lines of helping the team win today is more special. We had a great game today.”
Walker doubled in the 7th inning before Center Fielder Andrew McCutchen homered off of Dempster in the 7th to stretch the lead, 6-2.
Right-hand Pitcher Kevin Correia made his Bucco debut and his first career opening day nod. He was greeted on the mound by Manager Clint Hurdle n the 7th inning with two words: “Great game.” Correia allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts over six plus innings.
The Cubs scored in the bottom of the 7th after a wild pitch thrown by lefty Scott Olson advanced Darwin Barney to second base. Kosuke Fukudome drove him in with a single to cut the lead to 6-3.
Set up man Evan Meek came into the pitch the 8th. He allowed a lead off hit but retired the next three in a row, including a pair of strikeouts to end the inning.
Joel Hanrahan, who Hurdle selected as the teams closer in spring training, allowed one hit and a walk in the 9th before striking out both Blake Dewitt and Marlon Byrd with 98 mph fastballs.
With the Pirates 6-3 victory, they have now won five straight opening day games which is tied for the lead in the majors with the New York Mets.
- Only 10 days until the Pirates pitchers and catchers report to Bradenton, FL. For spring training. On Friday, the buses left for sunny Florida. The seasons almost here! Get Ready!
(Picture via @bucsinsider)
- Neil Walker won’t be spotted in Dallas this weekend for the Superbowl, as he is staying in Pittsburgh for a friends wedding and will watch the game at home with friends and family.
“I’ve been to the last two, so it’s a tough bullet to bite right now,” joked Walker, when asked about his absence in Dallas. “I told my friend [on Tuesday], ‘You know how much I like you since I’m not going to the game.’ He knows.”
Joel Hanrahan might not have been rooting for the Steelers as long as Walker, but he will be wearing a James Harrison jersey at the game on Sunday. Hanrahan’s mind, however, is on still on the bright future of the Pirates.
“Hopefully,” Hanrahan said this week, “they will be asking us for playoff tickets this year.”
- On Thursday, Roberto Clemente’s son, Luis, threw out the first pitch before Puerto Rico’s match up against Mexico during the Caribbean Series.
“My father played in many of those [Caribbean] Series, and to be recognized still today and for us to be invited is a great honor,” Clemente said. “Our family has worked hard to make sure that his legacy is still strong.”
“I suffered a lot with Dad’s death and, eventually, I came to a point in my life where I had the know-how and the contacts to honor my commitment to his memory,” Clemente said. “I see what Dad meant to people, and how he truly was an inspiration to millions of people. I made a promise to his memory and that he would not die in vain. I’m going to keep it.”
To Jose Tabata, 21 is not just another number. It means so much more to him than that.
Tabata, for the first time got to the opportunity to meet Vera Clemente, widow of Roberto Clemente, as well as his two sons Roberto Jr. and Luis earlier in the week for Roberto Clemente Day.
“I talked to Luis a little bit about Roberto. I told him he was my superstar” since childhood, Tabata tried to explain in his second language. “I told him I loved Roberto because he did everything for everybody.”
“I see him..my superstar”, Tabata said.
He even showed the Clemente family a photo of the tattoo he has of Clemente across his chest.
Luis Clemente responded by saying
Is it one of Tabata’s goals to one day be nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award?
Roberto Clemente lost his life helping others so it’s fitting that the Pirates players, on Clemente day, made a huge impact on the lives of young children on the North Shore.
The entire Pirates team and Greg Brown visited the Pittsburgh King Pre K-8 School on the North Shore. They visited and hand-delivered truck full of of goods to the Children.
Vera Clemente, along with her sons Roberto Jr. and Luis, spoke on the importance on pride for yourself as well as for your community.
After the essembly, the Pirates players unloaded the trucks full of t-shirts, copies of the book ”Roberto Clemente: The Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates, baseball and softball equipment and other physical education equipment.
You can check out the photo gallery here.