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3,000 Hits, One Enduring Mystery


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Barry wasn't the kind of jerk who was nice to people only when he needed something from them. As far as I could tell, Barry was pretty much an ass to everybody all the time. Instead of berating me directly or just ignoring me, Barry would sometimes talk about me like I wasn't there. Sometimes he would tell Bobby Bonilla, who had the locker next to him, that I was lying to them and these autographs weren't for fans and that I was just selling these pictures to professional dealers, that I was another no-talent white man exploiting black men who possessed real ability.

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Baseball's Last Hero: The Roberto Clemente Story

An independent movie, scheduled to premier in 2013.


'Baseball's Last Hero: The Roberto Clemente Story' blends baseball with a redemptive story of sacrifice. In the words of the Gospel of John, "Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends..." These words from scripture inspire Puerto Rican baseball superstar Roberto Clemente to make a difference, to die giving. The film traces the life of the greatest right fielder of all time, as he faces and overcomes the racist reporters of the Pittsburgh Press and struggles to prove his talents despite the baseball writers conspiring to cheat him out of his due recognition. Baseball's Last Hero is a love story at his core. Roberto meets the love of his life, Vera, and they create a family, a safe haven for Roberto who is plagued by nightmares and a growing sense he will die young. Roberto's love for the poor compels him on a mission of mercy. On New Year's Eve 1972, following eighteen magnificent seasons in the major leagues, Roberto Clemente dies a hero's death, killed in a plane crash as he attempts to deliver food and medical supplies to Nicaragua after a devastating earthquake. Clemente is a work of artistry in a game too often defined by scorecards. During his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he leads his team to championships in 1960 and 1971, getting a hit in all fourteen World Series games in which he plays. His career ends with three thousand hits, the magical three-thousandth coming in his final at-bat. In his final years, his faith grows. To Clemente, wealth and fame are created to be resources of compassion to those less fortunate. His moral global responsibility extends beyond the playing field. "Baseball's Last Hero" retraces Clemente's final days, from the earthquake to the accident, the mission of mercy that exemplifies his commitment to sacrifice. At a time when athletes are in the headlines for greed and steroid abuse, the movie is at once a call for modern day heroes who will dedicate themselves to service and an introspective look at ourselves.

Richard Rossi, Writer-Director

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