Biggio Wins Clemente Awardby Deb
The long time Astro won the 2007 Roberto Clemente Award. He received his award Saturday, at Coors Field before game three of the series. Biggio retired after this year after 20 seasons in the majors.
But who was Clemente? What does this award mean?
Once said about Clemente: He could field a ball in New York and throw the guy out in Pennsylvania.
He played in two World Series' and helped the Pirates defeat the Orioles in the 1971 series.
Tim McCarver called him the greatest right fielder of all the time.
And yet...with this stellar career, that's only part of the man that was Roberto Clemente. Throughout his career he continued to deliver food and baseball supplies to his birth place, Puerto Rico.
He won 12 Gold Gloves.
Clemente was a Hall of Fame right fielder with the Pirates. He died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while trying to deliver relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. He finished his career with exactly 3,000 hits.
He also died a hero's death. When Nicaragua suffered a fatal earthquake....
Roberto again began sending relief supplies. The first three flights were confiscated by corrupt officials and never made it to the people that needed it, so Clemente decided to accompany the fourth flight. The plane he chartered had a history of mechanical problems and was 5000 pounds over it's limit. It crashed into the ocean and Clemente's body was never found. Manny Sanguillen was the only Pirate not to attend the funeral, he searched for the body instead.
Every year the MLB gives the Roberto Clemente award to the player that best follows Clemente's unselfish, humanitarian way. This year the spotlight is on Biggio. He is the national spokesman for the Sunshine Kids Foundation.
This foundation supplies fun, support for cancer kids. He doesn't just give his money. He gives his time as well and wears the Sunshine pin on his Astros cap. His foundation is one of the reasons he never became a free agent. He loves it that much.
Biggio began his career as a catcher before making the switch to second base. He helped the Astros to their only World Series in 2005 though they were swept by the Sox. Biggio always played with a lot of heart. On and off the field. And now he follows Clemente and the others before him....Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken Jr., to name a few, as this year's Humanitarian of the year. Salute to Craig and the image he puts out there for others to follow in his footsteps.