by Eric Beato
As we begin to celebrate the start of a new decade, let's celebrate the memory of Roberto Clemente. We take a look at how Clemente's efforts have endured in the thirty-seven years since his passing.
"Clem Labine was pitching, he came in for relief. Martin was on second base with two outs. Mantle hit a line drive over Pee Wee’s head. He was hitting left-handed, so I was playing him a little around towards right. He hit the line drive and of course Martin took off, there being two outs. Anyway, I saw Martin running, [3rd base coach] Frankie Crosetti was waving him home. I looked up and I turned it loose. Billy Cox let it go or it would have hit him right in the head. It was about that high. Campy had him by several feet. Martin bent over and tried to knock Campy down. Campy sidestepped him with the ball in his mitt, hit him under the neck and turned him a flip. That was the last out of the game. I replaced Jackie Robinson both games. He could handle the outfield pretty well, but he wasn’t used to it."
|Billy Felder 1946 Newark Eagles|
|Felder (far right) throwing out first pitch at Newark Bears Stadium in 2007 / N. Diunte|
|Benny Felder receiving honors at Newark Bears stadium in 2007 / N. Diunte|
|Felder (far right) with Williams, Moore and Irvin in 2007 / N. Diunte|
|Felder (right) with author in 2008 / N. Diunte|
"Now there is another good reason to be rid of the High School Rule as written or proposed: It promotes the "bonus," and that is the greatest menace to the continued solvency of a great many major-league teams. Some teams are spending as much as a half-million dollars yearly in signing new, young, untried players about whose ability nothing positive is known. The bonus inherently affects the player in a number of negative ways. The player's morale is upset. He is often ruined by the sudden possession of large amounts of money. His ambition is stultified. And his self-sufficiency is pronounced (even his habits in the direction of the "good life" are affected).
The club is likewise affected, because it is just too bad to have 25-year-old, tried and true players view with amazement the presence of one or even a half-dozen bonus players who get more money to sign a contract as an 18-year-old than most of them can ever hope to save in a lifetime of playing.
The financial structure of the game is jeopardized. Most clubs cannot possibly pay between $300,000 and $700,000 a year for new, unknown material of tender age and be assured of staying solvent." Branch Rickey's Little Blue Book, p.55