UnitedHealthcare Health insurance that includes all Western PA hospitals
Monday December 5 2016
Leave this field empty.

Clemente exhibit opens on North Shore

PSR Logo
At the North Shore Saloon, a mere one-hop throw from Roberto Clemente's legendary right arm to The Great One's statue at PNC Park, Les Banos gazes at a photo he took of his best friend and smiles.

"When I look at this picture," said the Pirates team photographer from 1969-1977, pointing to the snapshot of Clemente crouching on Three Rivers Stadium's turf next to his three boys with wife Vera standing behind them, "it brings back such pleasant memories."

Keeping Clemente's memory alive is what motivated the new Clemente Exhibit At North Shore, located inside the North Shore Saloon across from PNC Park. The permanent exhibit, a collaborative effort between North Shore Saloon owner Mike Pitterich and Duane Rieder, owner and curator of the Roberto Clemente Museum in Lawrenceville, features Banos' photographs as well as memorabilia and a video chronicling Clemente's Hall of Fame career and humanitarian work.

"People who are old enough to have seen him play, we want to take down memory lane," said Jim Lachimia, a North Shore Saloon spokesman. "People who aren't old enough and maybe have only read about him or heard about him, we wanted to help create a vivid picture of who Roberto was, the kind of player he was and what he stood for. Out of respect for Roberto, we want to help keep his legacy alive."

The exhibit at 208 Federal Street is open from 11:00 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays when the Panthers and Steelers are away. Admission is $5 per person, with proceeds benefiting the Clemente Museum.

Fans can view pictures of Clemente receiving the 1971 World Series MVP Award, recording his 3,000th hit, and teaching youngest son Roberto Enrique the coiled-spring batting stance that produced 15 All-Star selections. Bats, helmets and a uniform from the Clemente Museum are also part of the exhibit.

"I'm an old baseball fan," Pitterich said. "I remember being eight, nine and seeing him play at Forbes Field." Pitterich marveled at the 38 ounce bat that the 5-foot-11, 175 pound Clemente used at the urging of Pirates hitting coach George Sisler, who hoped the heavy lumber would allow Clemente to stay back on the ball.

"The guys that weight lift now, they can't even touch the bat," Pitterich quipped. "We had Derrek Lee try out a similar bat the other day, and he got foul balls."

There's also Clemente's original 1956 contract. Clemente, then 21 and having just wrapped up his rookie season, rejected Pirates Vice President Branch Rickey Jr.'s offer of a $7,000 salary ($1,000 over the minimum) and sent a letter asking for $10,000.

"With my best wishes and looking forward to receive a new contract with the requested raise," he wrote, "I am, very truly yours, Roberto Clemente."

Banos likes how the exhibit captures Clemente off the field -- playing with his boys, chatting with reporters, flashing a pearly grin.

"People remember him not just as a ballplayer, but as a human being," Banos said. "He was never involved in any kind of scandal. He ran out every hit. He was a hustler and didn't play down to anybody. Many times he went to children's hospitals, but he didn't want anyone to know. One day I went with him in Puerto Rico and he changed $1,000 to smaller bills. He told me, 'Don't you tell anybody this,' and I never told anybody as long as he was alive. But we went to the poor neighborhoods and he spoke to them, and afterwards he handed them the money.

"He tried to uphold a good, clean tradition so people would respect through him the people of Puerto Rico," Banos said. "He was the best ambassador Puerto Rico could ever have."

Share
Bob Prince was best known as the voice of the PIttsburgh Pirates for 28 years, but it was not the only job he had over his Hall of Fame career. “The Gunner” also called Steelers and Penguins games at different times during his career and was part of the NBC broadcast team for the 1965 All-Star Game.
Feature OneNorth Shore Notes
When the Penguins hired Jim Rutherford as their general manager in 2014, it seemed like a temporary move. The former Carolina Hurricanes GM would spend his two years in Pittsburgh, and then hand the keys to Jason Botterill; the man whom several people thought deserved the job in the first place.
Blue LineFeature Two
Aaron Gray is a familiar name for most Pittsburgh basketball fans. The 7’0”, 270-pound center led the '07 Panthers to an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance and was one of the most prolific big men to play for coach Jamie Dixon.
Feature ThreePitt BasketballSports Bites
Jeanne Marie Laskas is the New York Times best-selling author of Concussion and the 2009 GQ article “Game Brain,” which inspired the Golden Globe-nominated movie, Concussion, starring Will Smith and Alec Baldwin.
Feature FourPure SteelSports Bites
PSR VIDEO
See video
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 Steelers TV Channel
See video
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Xfinity HS FootballHigh School TV Channel
See video
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 3Steelers TV Channel
The college basketball season is underway as local teams finish their non-conference games this month. Will Kevin Stallings re-ignite the Pitt program? Can Jim Ferry recover from losing three seniors at Duquesne? Will Penn State's freshmen class finally produce competitive basketball in State College?
Custom 1DuquesnePenn StatePitt BasketballRobert MorrisWVU
Exactly four months after the Pittsburgh Penguins raised the Stanley Cup in San Jose, the new NHL season got underway. While the Penguins will look to become the first team in nearly 20 years to repeat as champions, the season will be sure to deliver plenty of twists and surprises during the regular season.
Blue LineCustom 2
As much as 80 percent of the Pirates starting rotation could be different next season. Only Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon are locks to return from the 2015 crew. With three spots potentially open, the Pirates could look to add veterans through waivers, free agency and trades. Here are some potential in-house solutions.
Custom 3North Shore Notes
For years, the accomplishments of the Penn State men’s basketball team have been few and far between. Head coach Patrick Chambers has posted a 23-67 overall conference record in his five seasons, one of the worst marks among Power 5 schools. Only TCU, Boston College, Texas Tech and Virginia Tech have a lower in-conference winning percentage than Penn State's .256 mark during that span.
Custom 4Penn State