Forty years ago today, the game of baseball lost a legend.  A day’s work in my home office with Roberto’s Kids takes on many forms.  While sharing this with you my heart is full, and heavy at the same time.

Roberto Clemente

Roberto Clemente

I’ve already taken my moment to sit quietly with Roberto Clemente, Sr. and discuss how I only wish I could spend just one day with him.  I have a picture of Roberto that is positioned perfectly in my office so that he is guarding over me.  I only have to look his way to stay grounded in our mission together.

My connection to The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has many paths.  For several summers I enjoyed working with John Horne and Jim Gates.  Both men are on staff at The Hall.

They shared a story with me about how Roberto only allowed Bob Prince, game announcer for the Pirates, to use a nickname in place of his given name.   They also gifted me with this photo.  I can’t commiserate with Roberto, I prefer Steve over Stephen, however I do enjoy my daily chats with him in the office.

While forty years ago today, the game of baseball lost a legend I need it to become all about gratitude.  I don’t want to lament the loss of one of the greatest baseball players and humanitarians ever any longer than I have.

I want to turn the day toward a great deal of admiration and gratitude as we say thank you, again, to the Clemente family for the privilege to call our organization Roberto’s Kids.  

Over the past 13 years I have encountered some of the most amazing individuals.  Endless opportunities to listen to someone share with me about their admiration for Roberto Clemente or their interest in making a donation to our program.

Paul Scherrman sits on our board of directors and is our mid-west regional program coordinator

(Roberto would be with me on this one.) This is one amazing gentleman who brings so much light into our program reach.

Several times he has filled his collection site with donations from far and wide.  On different occasions he has traveled to personally oversee one of our shipment’s arrival and distribution.

Today, I’d like it to be about the gratitude I hold for Paul’s commitment to our program and the immense contribution he makes.

Paul is the vice president of J. P. Scherrman, Inc.,  a family-owned company established in 1919 that sells construction and agricultural equipment.

Paul has been involved with baseball his whole life.  He signed with the Washington Senators in 1971.  He played in the Western Carolina and Carolina Leagues.   After his release, Paul played semi-pro baseball in eastern Iowa.  Today, he still manages the Farley Hawks.  This is a local team that plays a 60-game summer schedule.

In 1988 Paul was cast as a baseball player in the movie Field of Dreams and spent 22 days on the set filming the movie.  After the filming Paul was selected to be a member of the Field of Dreams Ghost Team.  The Ghost Team traveled the world entertaining crowds with clinics, comedy, and competitive baseball.  (How exciting was that!)

Elected to the Iowa House of Representatives in 1997, Paul served six years before his retirement in 2002.  Paul, and his wife Eileen, raised four children and are enjoying life with those children and their grandchildren.

Continuing Roberto’s Legacy

As the leader of our organization, and as importantly, on behalf of all of the program volunteers and program participants worldwide I tip my cap to you Paul.  It is a privilege to partner with you in our program activities.  You make my tasks easy.  Roberto’s Kids could not create the impact is does without you.

Both Paul and I embrace the sorrow the world must have embraced that day, all those years ago, when the game of baseball lost a legend.  Both of us feel privileged to continue Roberto’s legacy as we do.

Feature Post courtesy of Jorge Colon Delgado.