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View Full Version : Pa. House asks MLB to retire Clemente's No. 21


Fenway
10-17-2007, 08:53 AM
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania House of Representatives urged Major League Baseball to retire Roberto Clemente's No. 21 in a resolution passed Tuesday.
The lawmakers are the latest group to contend that Clemente should be honored in the same way that Jackie Robinson was for breaking Major League Baseball's color barrier in 1947.
Robinson's No. 42 was retired for all teams on April 15, 1997, the 50th anniversary of his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Jackie Robinson's widow, Sharon, and Hall of Fame player Frank Robinson, who is not related to Jackie, oppose the move. They have argued that Jackie Robinson's contribution was unique in the sport, and that a similar honor for Clemente might diminish baseball's tribute to Jackie Robinson.

http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/20071016_ap_pahouseasksmlbtoretireclementesno21.ht ml

spawn
10-17-2007, 09:03 AM
What exactly did Clemente do to warrant MLB to retire his jersey? Larry Doby's number should be retired before Clemente. I remember someone (I can't remember who) in a thread saying Doby put up with as much when he broke the AL color barrier as Jackie. I read up on that, and that poster was absolutely right. Clemente in no way, shape, or form should have his number retired by baseball.

sox1970
10-17-2007, 09:07 AM
Bad idea. Bad Idea Jeans.

Viva Medias B's
10-17-2007, 09:43 AM
I have said that Roberto Clemente's 21 should be retired in addition to Babe Ruth's 3.

sox1970
10-17-2007, 09:49 AM
I have said that Roberto Clemente's 21 should be retired in addition to Babe Ruth's 3.

I think universally retiring anyone's number is dumb. There are better ways to honor Jackie Robinson, in my opinion. Obviously they aren't going to take away that honor, but enough is enough.

TheOldRoman
10-17-2007, 06:41 PM
What exactly did Clemente do to warrant MLB to retire his jersey? Larry Doby's number should be retired before Clemente. I remember someone (I can't remember who) in a thread saying Doby put up with as much when he broke the AL color barrier as Jackie. I read up on that, and that poster was absolutely right. Clemente in no way, shape, or form should have his number retired by baseball.I know I said those remarks, but I don't know if other poster did, also. As I said before, it wasn't like the AL players were "progressive ideologues" as opposed to the "backwoods racist" NL. They were the same. No AL players had played against Robinson, so the barrier wasn't broken for them in April of 1947.

To the point at hand, I don't agree with retiring anyone's number across the board, even for Robinson. Retiring a number for the team he played on is fine, but there is no reason to retire it for the whole league. The whole point of retiring numbers: "Frank Thomas was a great player. He was so great, that no other player until the end of time will wear a White Sox jersey with number #35 on it. He did so much, and to the fans, he will forever be distinguished as 35." Robinson's tribute isn't because he distinguished himself to every team and was so great that nobody else could ever wear his number on their jersey again. Retiring his number is a tribute to him as a person, not a player. The Dodgers should have retired #42 (which they did), MLB should not have. I believe other players wearing that number on other teams is a far greater tribute, as long as they aren't pieces of ****, like Shammy wearing Clemente's number.

ode to veeck
10-17-2007, 07:09 PM
not before pioneer Minnie Minoso, who lead the way for many after him

Oblong
10-17-2007, 08:18 PM
my problem with this is that it leads to a slippery slope. Jackie Robinson did something that only one person could do. I look at his retirement as both a tribute to him as well as an admission by baseball that their standard was wrong. If they did the right thing then it wouldn't be necessary. It's their responsibility to honor him because if it weren't for their racist policy then Jackie Robinson would have been just another great player from the 40s and 50s.

But Roberto Clemente didn't do anything that nobody else couldn't do. Are we we honoring him for being a great player or for being a humanitarian who died? If it's the former, then stand in line, there's at least 50 ahead of him. Obviously it's the latter. Does that mean the next time, God Forbid, that it happens to another player that we'll retire their number too? He can be honored, and has been, outside of baseball. His great work and, to be frank, notoriety, came from things outside of the game, his charity and the way he died. Let the Pa legislature honor him. Give him the Medal of Freedom.

(when I saw the thread title I first thought it said "Clemens' No. 21)

Railsplitter
10-17-2007, 08:28 PM
I think universally retiring anyone's number is dumb. There are better ways to honor Jackie Robinson, in my opinion. Obviously they aren't going to take away that honor, but enough is enough.

I'm not to thrilled with the idea of teams retiring numbers either. Especially in football, where numbers are restricted by position.

TheOldRoman
10-17-2007, 08:40 PM
my problem with this is that it leads to a slippery slope. Jackie Robinson did something that only one person could do. I look at his retirement as both a tribute to him as well as an admission by baseball that their standard was wrong. If they did the right thing then it wouldn't be necessary. It's their responsibility to honor him because if it weren't for their racist policy then Jackie Robinson would have been just another great player from the 40s and 50s.

But Roberto Clemente didn't do anything that nobody else couldn't do. Are we we honoring him for being a great player or for being a humanitarian who died? If it's the former, then stand in line, there's at least 50 ahead of him. Obviously it's the latter. Does that mean the next time, God Forbid, that it happens to another player that we'll retire their number too? He can be honored, and has been, outside of baseball. His great work and, to be frank, notoriety, came from things outside of the game, his charity and the way he died. Let the Pa legislature honor him. Give him the Medal of Freedom.

(when I saw the thread title I first thought it said "Clemens' No. 21)The same could be said about Robinson. His number was not retired by all teams for him winning Rookie of the Year or MVP. His number is retired for what he did as a person. Likewise, you could argue that, no matter how difficult, there were 50 other blacks that could have did what Jackie did, if given the chance. Plus, as I said before, him playing first didn't help Doby with oppression (although it did pave the way to Veeck signing him). Jackie Robinson had NOTHING to do with the American League. If they must retire the number, they should only do it in the NL, and have #14 retired for Doby in the AL.

Oblong
10-17-2007, 09:07 PM
But it was baseball that caused it to happen with their policy so it's fitting for baseball to be the one to honor him.

But I agree in that it could have been a number of guys to do it. I see it less as a tribute to Jackie in particular as to just the whole situation. It wasn't like Jackie was a trailblazer a la Lewis and Clark or Columbus who made this happen on his own. It took the work of Branch Rickey and others.
Sort of like giving Neil Armstrong credit for being the first guy to walk on the moon when it really took the work of thousands of people and any one of the Apollo astronauts could have done what Armstrong did.