Month: August 2017

Carta Abierta Para Vera Cristina Clemente

Para Vera Cristina Clemente;

De parte de la Herencia Hispana del Béisbol Museo del Salón de la Fama, yo quiero extenderle mi más sinceras gracias a usted y su familia por ser parte de nuestra misión.  Nuestra misión es no solamente traer conciencia en la influencia hispana en el béisbol pero nuestra misión es traer conciencia de la influencia hispana más allá del diamante.  Su esposo Roberto Clemente dejó huellas en el mundo como uno de los mejores jugadores de béisbol.  Para nosotros que estudiamos el deporte, sabemos el impacto que el señor Clemente dejo fuera y dentro del deporte.  Su integridad, acercamiento y humanidad ayudó a moldear el carácter de muchos que han llegado después de el y le enseñó a devolverle a esos que están en necesidad.  No solo cambió el juego de béisbol pero le dejo a los hispanos una figura a la cual admiramos por sus actos de bondad y amor por los seres humanos .

Señora Vera Cristina Clemente fue un placer para mí tener la oportunidad de conectarme con usted y compartir algunos de mis pensamientos y deseos para mi futuro con la Herencia Hispana de la Fama del Béisbol.  Su abrazo cálido de bienvenida me recordó el abrazo de mi madre que también nació y se crió en la bella tierra de Borinquén.  Instantáneamente me atrajo su atención por su sonrisa y sus palabras de aliento.  La herencia hispana de béisbol museo de la fama me dejo saber la humildad de usted pero la descripción se quedo corta porque no pudo capturar la belleza que usted tiene como ser humano.  Yo humildemente estuve ante su presencia cuando usted hablo de Bernie Williams y el impacto que él tuvo en el deporte.  Mientras yo miraba a mi alrededor y observaba la audiencia pude darme cuenta que se beneficiaron grandemente con sus palabras cálidas y se llevaron en sus memorias un recuerdo de usted que les durará para siempre.

El Museo de la Herencia Hispana de Béisbol le encantaría trabajar con usted y su familia para traer conciencia del nombre de Clemente dentro y fuera del deporte.  El mundo necesita saber cuántos corazones su familia ha tocado y cuantas vidas su familia ha cambiado.  La inspiración solo se puede medir con nuestras acciones y sus acciones continúan enseñándole al mundo el tipo de inspiración que usted y su esposo Roberto Clemente tuvieron en este mundo.

Gracias por su tiempo y por compartir su amable energía conmigo, esos minutos cambiaron mi vida. Me encantaría poder comunicarme con usted nuevamente, quiero dejarle saber que el hall del museo de la herencia hispana de la fama está muy agradecido por su apoyo y presencia en nuestra esquina.

 

James Hernandez

Bernie Williams Induction

By: James Hernandez

As I sat in the front row at the All-Star Clubhouse during FanFest weekend and witnessed Bernie Williams’ induction into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame, I vividly recalled the sound of fans chanting “Bern, Baby, Bern!” as Williams would round the bases after hitting many go-ahead home runs. Gabe “Tito” Avila delivered a heartfelt speech welcoming Williams as the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame’s 65th inductee.  “You inspired me like Roberto Clemente inspired me!”, exclaimed Avila.  Fans and media gathered in the All-Star Clubhouse to recognize Williams’ accomplishments and contributions to the sport of baseball.

Sixteen years playing in pinstripes for the New York Yankees, Williams had an impressive baseball career as a 5-time All-Star, 4-time World Series champion, 1996 ALCS MVP, and was undoubtedly one of the key contributors in the New York Yankees dynasty between 1996-2000.  Seated next to the late, great Roberto Clemente’s wife Vera Cristina Zabala, Williams’ modest demeanor showcased genuine humility while Avila delivered his poignant induction speech.  The audience cheered as Williams’ most notable achievements were mentioned.   Shortly thereafter, Williams addressed the fans with words which echoed throughout the clubhouse.  He thanked Avila and the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame for the induction, “I’m very honored to receive this great award.  As a Puerto Rican myself, born in Santurce, I always try to represent my Hispanic heritage as best as I could.”

As a correspondent and a fan, I couldn’t help but reflect on the golden years Williams shared in New York with the likes of Derek Jeter, Paul O’Neil, Joe Torre, Andy Pettite, and Jorge Posada, to name a few.  His contribution to the New York Yankees franchise was unquestionable, and shortly after his retirement from baseball, his number 51 was retired by the Bronx Bombers.  Today, Williams fields questions instead of pop flys and line drives to center field.  Audience members and the ceremony’s host, La Vida Baseball’s Adrian Burgos, Jr., engaged Williams with questions about his baseball career, the World Baseball Classic, his childhood in Puerto Rico, and his successful career as a jazz musician.  In his answers, Williams’ humble nature shone through; he even made a point to acknowledge Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, who will be inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame this year, “Ivan Rodriguez, the best catcher that I saw in my generation.  Con mucho respeto a el señor Benito Santiago, que tambien fue tremendo jugador but I never got a chance to play against him.  I did play against Pudge — a great competitor.”

Bernie Williams is truly a class act, and continues to carry the torch for Major League Baseball, Hispanics in baseball, and for his home Puerto Rico.  The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame leaves Mr. Williams with these words in chant: “Thank you, Bernie!”

 

Open Letter to Mrs. Vera Cristina Clemente

Hello Mrs. Vera Cristina Clemente,

On behalf of the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame, I want to extend my greatest appreciation to you and your family for taking part in our mission.  Our mission not only to bring awareness to the Hispanic influence in baseball but our mission to bring awareness to the Hispanic influence beyond the diamond.  Your husband, Roberto Clemente, left his mark on the world as one of the greatest baseball players to ever live.  For those of us who have studied the game, we are well aware of the impact Roberto had outside of the sport of baseball as well.  His integrity and humanitarian approach helped shape the character of many who have come after him to find purpose in giving back, especially to those in need.  Not only did he help change the game of baseball but he gave the Hispanic people someone to look up to with his selfless acts and love for mankind.

Mrs. Vera Cristina Clemente, it was my pleasure to get an opportunity to connect with you and share some of my thoughts and desires for my future with the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Hall of Fame.  Your warm welcoming hugs reminded me of my mothers kind touch who was also born and raised in the island de el boriken.  I instantly gravitated towards your smile and kind words of encouragement.  The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame briefed me on the type of person you are but their description could not have captured your beautiful being as a whole.  I was humbled to be at your presence as you delivered your speech about Bernie Williams, and the impact he has had on the game.  As I looked around the crowded room, it was obvious that the audience in attendance also benefited greatly from listening to your kind words and were able to take home a lasting memory.

The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum would love to work with you and your family in bringing awareness to the Clemente name in and outside of Baseball.  The world needs to know how many hearts your family has touched, and how many lives your family has changed.  Inspiration can only be measured by our actions, and your actions continue to show the world the type of inspiration you and your husband Roberto had on this world.

Thank you for your time, and for sharing your loving energy with me for those brief minutes that changed my life.  I look forward to connecting and building with you again, and the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum of Hall of Fame is grateful for your support and presence in our corner.

 

James Hernandez