It has been 45 years to this date that our hero, Roberto Clemente, passed away in a tragic plane accident off his home shores off of Puerto Rico on New Year’s Eve Day in 1972.
We will have our own personal reflections and thoughts on this day. Personally, I was only 2 when this tragedy occurred, yet I grew up a passionate baseball fan that did not remember Clemente at all. But, I not only enjoy baseball as a fan, but I am involved in the business side of the sport. I have learned some fundamental truths about the game and sports in general;
- Always respect the fans and their passion for your product and brand
- Local ownership matters
- Be involved in your community and champion local business, charity and service organizations as the greater good benefits from a professional sports team
- Sign players with strong characters who want to help their community.
I can’t think of a better reflection of this philosophy than Roberto Clemente.
I am so fortunate to work with a former MLB player who not only met Roberto, but played against him as a San Francisco Giant. Hal Lanier, our manager at the Ottawa Champions, has a great story of receiving hitting tips and 2 baseball bats from Clemente that prompted Lanier’s longest career hit streak in 1970. There is something truly poetic about Roberto who was taken long before his time.
Roberto is my hero and mentor.