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View Full Version : Sammy Sosa & Roberto Clemente


Viva Magglio
09-09-2003, 04:57 PM
Some has been made of the Cubs and Sammy Sosa's visit to Puerto Rico because Sosa has often likened himself to Puerto Rican icon Roberto Clemente. Sosa plays right field like Clemente did, and Sosa dons Clemente's #21. Both ballplayers have become icons to their fans. But that is where the comparisions between Sosa and Clemente end.

Roberto Clemente was a team player for the Pittsburgh Pirates from the 1950s until his death in 1971. He died aboard a plane on the way to Nicaragua with earthquake relief supplies when it plunged into the ocean. Clemente was always a hard worker, had to endure a racist media in Pittsburgh that was always overly critical of him, and was always proud of his Puerto Rican heritage.

Sosa, in comparison, has had all kinds of character flaws that I will not spend the time listing here. In short, I do not think Sosa embodies the spirit of Clemente at all. Instead, I think he is using Clemente's good name for his own purpose of self-gratificaiton. Sure, he'll get huge ovations at Hiram Bithorn Stadium tonight. Through no fault of their own, they probably do not know Sosa the same way we do.

If there is someone who embodies the spirit of Roberto Clemente, it's that other right fielder in Chicago. We all know who that is, don't we.

cheeses_h_rice
09-09-2003, 05:01 PM
I think Sham-ME* is popular among every nation in that part of the Atlantic and the Caribbean. There's probably a term for someone from the islands of the DR/Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico, etc. -- whereas Maggs is from South America, and I'd be willing to bet that South Americans aren't treated with as much reverence in Puerto Rico.

Just a hunch, so perhaps I'm wrong.

ode to veeck
09-09-2003, 05:11 PM
let's just talk about one aspect of the many advantages Roberto had over ShamME, his arm.

Roberto had the best arm I ever saw. I remember watching many games on WGN where he threw out multiple runners per game in several different ways, from foolishly trying to advance on deep fly balls, to going from second to home on a single, whatever, 90% of the time Roberto's throw was a strike in the air in perfect position to put the tag on. Defensively, he played right field in Wrigley better than anyone I've ever seen (including all the Flubs regulars over the years)

How many rings does ShamMe have? Roberto was the largest single contributor to the Pirates when they were champs, both by his personal play on the field as well as his leadership. ShamMe is no comparison here

fquaye149
09-09-2003, 05:52 PM
would it be wrong to say i wish roberto and sammy would trade places?

JohnJeter
09-09-2003, 06:10 PM
Couple of things to factor into Clemente vs. Sosa regarding overall numbers, esp. HRs-

-Clemente spent almost all of his career in cavernous Forbes Field

-Clemente spent most of his career in a period that was both favorable to, and dominated by, pitching.

dougs78
09-09-2003, 07:01 PM
Actually, probably the best comparison to Roberto in a modern day player is Vlad Guerrero.

greenpeach
09-09-2003, 08:27 PM
The only thing Sammy has in common with Clemente is his ethnic background & the fact that they both played major league baseball.

Ichiro is the closest thing I've seen to Clemente in the 35 years that I've been watching baseball. He can run, throw, & hit as well as the late Pirate hall-of-famer. He's a joy to watch. I wish the Sox had him. Sorry Maggs ! LOL

ode to veeck
09-09-2003, 09:16 PM
Ichiro's a good comparison, but Clemente also hit for some regular decent power, like the HRs in games 6 and 7 in '71 WS

duke of dorwood
09-09-2003, 09:25 PM
Clemente beat you a lot of ways-and never corked a bat, never bulked up on illegal stuff, and never beat his wife.

jabrch
09-10-2003, 12:04 AM
Originally posted by dougs78
Actually, probably the best comparison to Roberto in a modern day player is Vlad Guerrero.


Vlad is Roberto Clemente...and I'd be proud to cheer for either of them. Mags is a different type of RF. Not as dominant defensively, but still a superb talent, a team leader and a model citizen. I love having him on my club.

Nuff said. I won't compare them to Shamu out of a desire to not insult Vlad, Mags or Clemente.

VeeckAsInWreck
09-10-2003, 12:37 AM
I third that vote for Vladimir Guerrero. That guy is just freakin' awesome.
Although he has been injured, check out these stats. (http://bigleaguers.yahoo.com/mlb/players/5737/)
He is the closest thing to Roberto Clemente, on the field at least.

Off the field, there may never be another like him.

Bisco Stu
09-10-2003, 01:03 AM
Definitely Vlad = Modern day Clemente

Sham-ME is more of a Hank Aaron type (although completely devoid of Aaron's class & dignity).

Uh oh, does this mean Mather High School (where I went) will one day be renamed "Sosa High"???

Tragg
09-10-2003, 06:54 AM
Sosa is the modern day Dave Kingman, with these differences: a)Kingman actually won some home run titles; b)Kingman wasn't hyped to the the gills, so teams when they eventually realized the limitations of the slugger/strikeout type of player, went ahead and traded him often; c)Sosa is a better all around hitter to a degree, but not as much as the stats would indicate as Kingman played in a pitchers era; d)Sosa will play longer, so his home run and strikeout totals will be much higher.

jabrch
09-10-2003, 07:44 AM
Originally posted by Tragg
Sosa is the modern day Dave Kingman, with these differences: a)Kingman actually won some home run titles; b)Kingman wasn't hyped to the the gills, so teams when they eventually realized the limitations of the slugger/strikeout type of player, went ahead and traded him often; c)Sosa is a better all around hitter to a degree, but not as much as the stats would indicate as Kingman played in a pitchers era; d)Sosa will play longer, so his home run and strikeout totals will be much higher.

I hate Sosa more than most, but that's ridiculous. Sosa is worlds better than Kingman. During his past 5 years he has been an excellent hitter. He doesn't sacrifice, move runners or hit well in situations (but then again, our whole team except Robbie doesn't either) but Sosa is still on of the best hitters in the game today. He is also a significantly better defensive player than Kingman, has improved defensively this year, and shows a whole lot more emotion (genuine or not...I don't care...) towards the game.

Kingman was the epitome of Cubfans...