'Baseball's Last Hero: 21 Clemente Stories' 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 ...
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'Baseball's Last Hero: 21 Clemente Stories' 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 ... Written by
Richard Rossi Writer-Director
Richard Rossi hits it of the park with his long-awaited passion project to bring his childhood hero to life. Richard grew up in Pittsburgh, playing hooky from school to sneak into the Pirates locker room and bask in the glory of his idol Roberto Clemente. He sat in the right field General Admission seats watching the Great One make magic. The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reported that Rossi wrote about Clemente for so many writing assignments at Saint Athanasius School in the West View section of Pittsburgh that the nuns there chastised him for his Clemente obsession. Now, forty years later, we are the beneficiaries of his Clemente stories. Rossi also appears in a supporting role as "Birddog," the scout who recruited Clemente for the Pirates. Olympian athlete and actor Jamie Nieto is stellar in bringing Clemente's physical mannerisms, accent, and overall grace to the big screen. Project Runway winner Marilinda Rivera is absolutely beautiful and believable as the love of his life, his wife Vera Clemente. Isaac Bar-jonah as Sangy and Charles Hoyes as Murtaugh bring strong support. I was in the audience at one of the initial theatrical screenings. The lines were around the block. I hadn't seen that for a film since "Star Wars." And it was the first time I've been in a theater in which the audience erupted in a standing ovation. Every baseball fan needs to see this movie. And even for those who don't follow baseball, the love story and the message of sacrificial love is presented in such a substantive way that people of all faiths and backgrounds will find it one of the richest presentations of the deeper spiritual and universal truths we share as humans. I bought 50 copies on Amazon to share with others and everyone who has watched it was touched as deeply as I was. This film isn't just a movie...it's a movement!
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