Roberto Clemente's 'Toolbox': The Bat
Clemente's Contemporaries Chime In
- 1 _____ Witnesses _____
- 1.1 __ Hank Aaron _
- 1.2 __ Jim Greengrass _
- 1.3 __ Joe Christopher _
- 1.4 __ Phil Musick paints a vivid portrait of Roberto at bat _
- 1.5 __ Arnold Umbach, Larry Yellen and John Paul Braun recall their Clemente-laced 'cups of coffee' _
- 1.6 __ Sandy Koufax takes up bowling _
- 1.7 __ Whitey Ford and Tim McCarver talk about Clemente setting up pitchers _
- 1.8 __ Carl Erskine on Clemente 'stepping in the bucket' _
- 1.9 __ Ruben Gomez on Clemente 'stepping in the bucket' _
- 1.10 _ Alan Trammell on Clemente 'stepping in the bucket' _
- 1.11 _ Roberto Clemente on Clemente 'stepping in the bucket' _
- 1.12 _ Clemente's philosophy on hitting as recorded by Nellie King _
- 1.13 _ Clemente's philosophy on hitting as recorded by Kent Tekulve _
- 1.14 _ Jon Matlack recreates his pitch sequence during RC's 3,000th-hit at-bat _
- 1.15 _ Pete Rose on Roberto Clemente: "Best hitter I ever played against" _
- 2 ______ Notes ______
_____ Witnesses _____
__ Hank Aaron _
“We talked about pitchers a lot. He’d want to know what I did against a certain pitcher. He had his own ideas, of course, and liked to use reverse psychology. He would take about five bats to the on-deck circle and sometimes changed bats. He would make the pitcher think he was going to use a heavier bat to punch the ball to the opposite field or something. Then he’d take a big cut.”  “He had a batting stance that was a little peculiar. He had a little crouch in his stance, and when he swung at the ball, his rear popped out and he looked like he was almost jumping at the ball. He always got a lot of the fat part of the bat on the ball, though, and he hit more and more long balls at the end of his career.” 
__ Jim Greengrass _
Jim Greengrass, a winter ball teammate and buddy of Clemente [1959-1960] whose MLB career had ended prematurely thanks to a leg injury (inflicted, ironically if completely inadvertently, by Curt Roberts, who'd been one of Clemente's few close friends on the Pirates during his rookie season), here offers his impressions:
“What a ballplayer! He had great speed, and could hit the ball like a rocket anywhere. He stood way back in the batters’ box. Rogers Hornsby liked that about Clemente because he used to do the same thing.  Clemente would stand in the back corner on the outside, away from the plate so he stepped into everything. You couldn’t throw him a ball away from the plate and get him out because he could reach them all. He could bust that inside ball, too. He didn’t take a big stride, but he was always moving into the ball so that when he hit it, he hit it with everything in his body." 
__ Joe Christopher _
Joe Christopher, Clemente's Pirate teammate during the same period, also cites Hornsby:
“I can see now why Clemente was such a great hitter. He hit the same way that Rogers Hornsby said things should be done: ‘Make the outside part of the plate the closest part because all great pitchers pitch you away, they don’t pitch you in.’ And Clemente hit most of the balls from shortstop to first base.
"The left knee would be his strength. The left knee he would always bring back, and when he’d bring his left knee back, he would cock the bat at the same time. He would never swing the bat at the baseball; he would always throw the bat at the baseball. Sometimes he would say to me in Spanish: ‘Joe, look at me, what I’m doing. Always try to drive the ball, don’t swing. When you swing the bat, actually your hands tighten up. If you would just cock the bat and throw the head of the bat ahead of you, it would stop your body from lunging forward.’ Clemente was a great hitter in that way.” 
__ Phil Musick paints a vivid portrait of Roberto at bat _
The four seasons spent by Musick covering Clemente in the pages of the Pittsburgh Press stand him in good stead here:
"More than two decades [after his death], it is not difficult to conjure Clemente at work in the batter’s box. The ritual never varied. Approaching the plate, he rolled his neck so thoroughly that often it seemed his head was in danger of toppling from his shoulders. As a teenager returning from a brother’s funeral, he had been in an automobile accident that very nearly killed him. The vertebrae in his upper spine defied alignment the rest of his life.
"Settled in the box, he would massage a handful of dirt into his broad hands, scatter it, and almost daintily wipe his hands on his pants, the bat propped carefully against an inner thigh. That bit of ritual concluded, he would look at the pitcher for the first time, and take the most casual of practice swings.  The bat swung twice, easily but with purpose, the trajectory angled down the way a lumberjack might swing his axe to mark a cut. One bob of the head toward the mound to indicate readiness. And the theater of preparation ends. 
"Ready, there was no wasted motion. No motion, really. Moving with the pitch, few hitters in the modern era were more unorthodox. Waiting, he looked like a hitting instructor on a video – head still and perfectly squared to the pitcher, bat still and perpendicular, left elbow held high. Hands back, wrists cocked, feet spaced nicely the width of his shoulders, hips relaxed and ready to rotate. Deep and way back in the box.
"With the pitch, it all went to hell. As Drysdale noted, Clemente, so far from the plate, looked easy. He appeared to lunge. The backswing seemed far too short and rigid to generate any real power. There looked to be a slight hitch as the bat came forward. And as it did, his legs swayed and his knees almost touched. Caught precisely at this moment in freeze-frame, he looked laughably awkward. Fully unleashed, he was a pitcher’s nightmare.  The wanton cut of the bat that traces an impossibly wide swath toward the pitch. If it misses, a balletic toe-dance, the protective helmet often spinning wildly in the dirt, Clemente appearing to screw himself into the ground to the ankle. Ah, but when it doesn’t, the ball fairly lashed, so that some witnesses instinctively fear for a fielder. * Screaming, low-altitude drives that appear like white light and instantly flicker in the power alleys or simply disappear before you’re ready for them to be gone." 
* Their fears were shared by many of the witnessed fielders, such as Glenn Beckert , Tommy Helms , Pete Rose , Donn Clendenon , Jim Wynn (who played shortstop in his rookie season)  as well as pitchers Don Drysdale  and Bob Gibson. 
__ Arnold Umbach, Larry Yellen and John Paul Braun recall their Clemente-laced 'cups of coffee' _
Three little footnotes in mid-to-late 20th century baseball history had reason to join the ranks of those put-upon pitchers and infielders, as they found their respective cups of coffee disconcertingly steeped in Clemente. Here's Arnold Umbach:
“Back then, there were few hitters who could hit the ball with any authority to the opposite field. The ones that went to the opposite field were Punch-and-Judy hitters, but Clemente could drive the ball. I didn’t know how to pitch to somebody like that so I stayed off the plate and that’s where he hit. I had no clue how to pitch to Clemente. I just tried to keep it down.” 
But of course we already know how Clemente tattooed the ball to the opposite field. Umbach's fellow footnotes Larry Yellen and John Paul Braun remind us why the book on Clemente was 'down and away'. First, Yellen:
“ My major league debut was against the Pirates in Houston. I pitched five innings and I remember Roberto Clemente. I don’t remember Willie Stargell. The one to remember, though, was Roberto Clemente. Bob Lillis [sic *] was playing shortstop and Clemente hit a rocket, a one-hopper, that almost took Lillis from shortstop and put him in the left-field stands. Lillis wound up throwing him out, but he hit a rocket off me.” 
* This near-fatal encounter between batted ball and gloved defender took place in the third inning; the endangered shortstop in question was actually Glenn Vaughan. Lillis, the every-day shortstop, happened to have this day off, although he would enter the game as a defensive replacement in the ninth.
Now Braun recalls his one and only major league appearance, a two-inning stint on October 2, 1964:
“He took a strike the first pitch, and on the second pitch, I threw him a high-in fastball. Now, he was a good hitter, but he was a notorious bad-ball hitter. He hit a rope past Mathews at third base that went foul. I think it was Mathews, but it might have been Klimchock *. Anyway, whoever it was yelled over to me, ‘Hey, I’m a married man!’ I was told later that you should never throw anything up and in to Clemente, but I didn’t know it then." 
* Kudos to Braun, BTW, for including Klimchock in the equation; the endangered teammate in question was indeed this backup corner infielder/outfielder.
__ Sandy Koufax takes up bowling _
Making our way from the outer margins to the inner circle, one frequent and notable victim of Clemente’s offensive outbursts was none other than his successor in Brooklyn’s bonus baby basket (though one who – unlike Momen – would not be orphaned), Sandy Koufax:
“Mays always told me how hard it was to get a hit off me and every time I looked up, he was on second base. Yet, even with Mays, I had an idea what to do. When I pitched to Clemente and Aaron, I had no idea. They seemed to hit everything.” 
“There’s only one way to classify Bob Clemente and that’s as the strangest hitter in all baseball. Figure him out one way and he’ll kill you another. You can be having your best day against everybody else and he’ll treat you as though you had nothing. It’s so hard to say what he’s going to hit or what should be thrown to him. He’s very strong and is extremely quick with his hands. You look at him swinging sometimes on his front foot, sometimes on his rear, sometimes with both feet off the ground, and you’re inclined to think, ‘This guy can’t hit the ball.’ That’s the biggest mistake you can make and I’ve made a few of them against him.” 
“What makes Bob the kind of hitter I don’t want to see at bat with runners on is that he’s liable to hit anything. He could hit a pitchout for a home run. A lot of pitchers will try to jam him, but if you try that you’ve got to get it way inside. You can’t throw him two of the same pitches in a row. He may look terrible on the first and hit the darnedest shot you’ll ever see on the next. You wonder if he’s looking for you to repeat the pitch in the same place, but I hardly think so. He’s so unorthodox you just can’t figure out a way to pitch to him.” 
For the record, Koufax would eventually arrive at a solution to the problematic Pirate:
"The best way to pitch him is to roll the ball." 
__ Whitey Ford and Tim McCarver talk about Clemente setting up pitchers _
Koufax’s reluctance notwithstanding, many of his colleagues have no hesitation whatsoever in viewing Clemente’s seeming befuddlement as a calculated ploy, notably fellow HOF southpaw Whitey Ford, whose 1960 World Series encounters with Clemente were recounted to Jerry Izenberg in 1976:
“Whitey Ford, who pitched against him twice in the Series, recalls that Roberto actually made himself look bad on an outside pitch to encourage Whitey to come back with it. ‘I did,’ Ford recalls, ‘and he unloaded.’” 
Others who discerned a method to Clemente’s ‘madness’ included teammate Fernando Gonzalez  as well as opponents Tony Taylor  and Tim McCarver, the latter inadvertently posing an interesting possibility:
“Steve Stone says Willie Mays was the best he ever saw at intentionally looking bad on a pitcher’s curve to make sure the pitcher threw him another one in a key situation. Roberto Clemente was like that, too. He’d take a first-pitch breaking ball and look as if he were shocked by the pitch. That was so he’d get a similar pitch from the pitcher during that at-bat.” 
Mays has long been posited as the probable source for his young protégé’s basket catch, presumably gleaned during their joint Puerto Rican sojourn just prior to Roberto's rookie season. Singling out these two as prime practitioners of the art of setting up a pitcher cannot help but suggest a similar scenario.
__ Carl Erskine on Clemente 'stepping in the bucket' _
“To get [Mays] out with fastballs, you had to keep it tight. Otherwise, Willie’d get his hands out. Roberto Clemente was a little bit like that. You heard about stepping in the bucket – when you pull the left foot out on the swing and then your body comes away. But both of those hitters, Mays and Clemente – both Hall-of-Famers – they had the knack of stepping away and throwing the top of their body at the ball, and they had some leverage there. So they hit with power to right or right center.” 
__ Ruben Gomez on Clemente 'stepping in the bucket' _
Clemente's friend, sometime teammate and frequent opponent Ruben Gomez also noticed Roberto's paradoxical partial bailout:
“Roberto was a fine natural athlete, but he lacked training. The years went by and he became a magician with the bat, despite the fact that he had a ‘wrong’ way of hitting; he would step far away from the plate – in the bucket as they say – but he kept his arms and torso close to the plate, which is what made him so great.” 
_ Alan Trammell on Clemente 'stepping in the bucket' _
Although AT came along a tad too late to compete against RC, he had plenty of opportunities to witness 'The Great One,' both at Chavez Ravine and on TV.
“A lot of things happen, even with Roberto Clemente and his front foot stepping out. He still had his ‘behind’ behind him where he had something he could at least throw. So, if you really looked at it on film, you could break some things down and see there are a lot of similarities. Even though there might be small technique differences [among the best hitters, there are] a lot of similarities in the overall swing."
_ Roberto Clemente on Clemente 'stepping in the bucket' _
While, as Roberto told Les Biederman in 1968, his early tendency to bail out had been corrected in 1952/53 by manager Buster Clarkson ["He put a bat behind my left foot and made sure I didn’t drag my foot” ], the subsequent seeming resurrection of this habit occurred in response to the damage to his spine sustained in the 12/54 auto accident and aggravated in late 1956 by a violent swing and miss during winter ball. Speaking in August 1964 with Ed Schuyler of the Associated Press, Clemente explained:
"In 1956 I was doing good until I hurt my back. Since then I step to the side with my left foot faster so I don't have to twist my body so much." 
_ Clemente's philosophy on hitting as recorded by Nellie King _
“I asked Clemente, ‘What’s your philosophy on hitting?’ He said, ‘Number one, you must put the ball in play. You must find a spot that you can hit the ball. Number two, you must [swing] hard and hit the ball on the ground.’ I asked Clemente, ‘Why on the ground?’ He said, ‘Well, if you hit the ball in the air, eight or nine people can catch the ball. If you hit it on the ground, only two people can catch it. And when they catch it, they have to make a play on it; to make a play they got to throw it. Your percentages of getting hits are a hell of a lot better there than they are hitting the ball in the air.’ That’s all he wanted to do, to hit the ball on the ground, put the ball in play, hit it hard.” 
Now anybody who’s seen more than the tiniest sample of Clemente’s work realizes that he was obviously not trying to hit ground balls exclusively, but rather ground balls and line drives – in other words, anything but fly balls. The exaggerated and incomplete version he gave to King could on the one hand simply be a case of Clemente succumbing to his apparently powerful impulse to pull the occasional leg (as noted by Luis Mayoral ). On the other hand, Clemente’s response to King could well have reflected some defensiveness and frustration he felt in his post-1967 years, during which injuries (1) cut into his playing time, (2) more and more often – particularly in 1970 and beyond – turned him into precisely the kind of slap hitter he'd erroneously been dubbed in the past, and (3) as a result, prevented him from building on the accomplishments of 1966 and 1967, after which he'd been widely regarded as the best player in baseball as well as the most dangerous hitter – the former reflected in the results of a couple of polls published in 1968 by Sport Magazine and the latter indicated by the fact that Clemente, while having arguably his worst year of the decade in 1968, led the NL in intentional walks. For what may be a more accurate reflection of his approach to hitting (or at least one reflecting his increased acceptance of the role of supplementary slugger, in the wake of Donn Clendenon's late-60s regression and eventual departure), see Kent Tekulve's comments below.
_ Clemente's philosophy on hitting as recorded by Kent Tekulve _
The mid-seventies-to-mid-eighties mainstay of Pittsburgh's pen here recreates a typical early-seventies spring training seminar delivered by Pittsburgh's Distinguished Professor of Baseball, R.C. Walker.
“Back then, most of the regular players would play two or three or four innings, then go out and do some running in the outfield. They’d go to the clubhouse from there; they’d take a shower and be out on the golf course by the time guys like me were even getting in the games. Not Clemente. He’d come down to the bullpen area in right field. The pitchers and catchers would fill the benches down there. There would be several Latin players too, because they wanted to catch Clemente when he’d come down. So Clemente would just plop down on the grass and hold court. He loved to talk about hitting.
“He’d be sitting there, talking to all these young kids. It wasn’t about mechanics, you know – like how to hold the bat, or where to stand, or stuff like that. It was more about theory, what he was trying to do as a hitter. It helps explain his unorthodox style. You’d never teach anyone to stand up at the plate like he did, or to hold the bat like he did, or to swing at some of the pitches he lashed at. He wanted to hit the ball with the bat going down through it. The ball would come off the bat with backspin. It will carry that way. I realized it more when I played golf because the same thing applies there. If you hit up at it you get topspin and the ball goes down.
“Most guys just want to make contact; they’re happy if they can put their bat on the ball. But Clemente was more precise in what he wanted to accomplish. He wanted to keep his hands back, and hit down on the ball with that heavy bat he used. Hearing him talk, you knew he was somebody on a separate level. They sayTed Williams was like that.
“He’d sit there four or five innings a day, just talking about things. Like balance, things he was trying to accomplish at the plate … “I’d go back to my room at Pirate City and figure out how I could counteract that. How could I keep batters off balance? How could I offset the sort of things good hitters like Clemente could do? I’d go over in my mind all the things he talked about. I’d sit around my room for hours. How could I keep hitters from doing what they wanted to do? He was so detailed. He wanted to talk to these kids. Everybody learned from him … I probably learned more about pitching to good major league batters from Clemente than I did from any pitching coaches." 
_ Jon Matlack recreates his pitch sequence during RC's 3,000th-hit at-bat _
"It’s early in the game. I had thrown five consecutive fastballs. He fouled a couple off. So I’ve got him two-and-two and I’m thinking, ‘If you drop the curve ball over the outside corner, you got him.’ When I throw the pitch, I’m instantly disappointed because I know it’s not a strike, that it’s gonna be outside. “So I’m thinking, ‘Oh no, now it’s three-and-two.’ That’s the instantaneous thought process because I knew this was a ball. I think initially it may have fooled him because he took his normal stride, but his hands stayed back. He was great at that. He must have recognized the spin and thought, ‘Hey, I can do something with this,’ and proceeded to one-hop the left-center-field wall with a pitch that wasn’t even a strike. An interesting piece of hitting." 
_ Pete Rose on Roberto Clemente: "Best hitter I ever played against" _
Incidentally, here's one ongoing and unhesitating testimonial from a Clemente contemporary who knows a little bit about handling a bat himself – namely, Pete Rose. In the spring of 1970, Pete recalls Robby's monumental May 15, 1967 slugfest opposite Rose and the Reds:
"I’d say he’s the best hitter I’ve seen since I’ve been in the big leagues. I remember a game with the Pirates two years ago – we beat 'em 8-7. He knocked in all seven runs for 'em with three homers and a double. He hit one of his homers to left field, another to center and the third one to right Unbelievable! It was the finest exhibition of hitting I've ever seen in one game." 
A little more than two and a half years later, Rose would reiterate this rave, this time at his own expense:
A little over three and a half years later still, Rose gets more specific as to the candidate pool against which Clemente is competing:
______ Notes ______
- Wayne Minshew, “Superstar Label Fit Clemente,” The Atlanta Constitution (Tuesday, January 2, 1973), p. 1-C
- Henry Aaron with Furman Bisher, Aaron (New York, Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1974), p. 171
- Hornsby had managed Greengrass during the latter's first two seasons with Cincinnati.
- Victor Debs, Jr., That Was Part of Baseball Then: Interviews With 24 Former Major League Baseball Players, Coaches & Managers (Jefferson, McFarland & Co., 2002), p. 182
- Bruce Markusen, Roberto Clemente, p. 169
- Musick, Reflections on Roberto , p. 11
- Musick, Reflections on Roberto , p. 4
- Musick, Reflections on Roberto , p. 11
- Musick, Reflections on Roberto , p. 4
- "He was very difficult to defense. He would hit shots at you, and the balls would come out of his uniform. The second baseman and the first baseman really had to be on their toes when he was hitting.” --- Glenn Beckert, to Peter Golenbock, Wrigleyville: A Magical History Tour of the Chicago Cubs (New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1996), pp. 421
- "I know that Tommy Helms has said that the hardest ball hit to him was a ball hit by Roberto Clemente, a right-handed batter hitting to the right side." --- Maury Wills, “The National League’s Most Underrated Players,” Sport (July 1970), p. 59
- “When I play second base, Clemente hits balls harder at me than any left handed batter.” --- Pete Rose, to Les Biederman, “Hats Off! N.L. Player of the Week – Roberto Clemente,” The Sporting News (June 3, 1967), p. 23
- "Donn Clendenon and other teammates would joke that there were three great ‘left-handed’ pull hitters in the National League who scared the hell out of every first baseman: Willie McCovey, Billy Williams, and (the right-handed) Roberto Clemente." --- David Maraniss, Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero (New York, Simon and Schuster, 2006), p. 189
- “My first major league game was at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, and Roberto Clemente almost killed me! Not many people know this, but I came up as a shortstop. Clemente hit a screaming line drive, and I got my glove up just as the ball hit the left field wall." --- Al Doyle, “Jimmy Wynn: former Dodger has many memories of his 15 years in the majors, including his grand slam in 1974 to help L.A. win N.L. West Division – The Game I’ll Never Forget,” Baseball Digest (March 2003)
- "Clemente hit a line drive back through the box that could have killed me. I never saw it. I still haven’t seen it. I was that fuzzy, that blurred. But I heard it. Did I ever hear it. And I felt it, too. After I escaped being hit, I felt a little sensation on the left side of my neck – like I had a mosquito sitting there, waiting to bite it. I brushed the area with my hand and looked down and my hand was dripping with blood. Clemente’s drive had taken the skin right off the edge of my ear. How’s that for a gentle reminder that you’ve about had it?" --- Don Drysdale with Bob Verdi, Once a Bum, Always a Dodger: My Life in Baseball from Brooklyn to Los Angeles (New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1990), p. 197
- "I came out throwing hard against Pittsburgh, and we were ahead 1-0 when my old pal Clemente led off the fourth with the Pirates’ first hit – a line drive off my right shin. I couldn’t get up right away, and Bob Bauman rushed out to check my leg and spray ethyl chloride on it... It was odd that I couldn’t feel where I had been struck, but since I couldn’t feel it, I wasn’t particularly worried. I told Doc to put a little tape on it and let me get back to work. Willie Stargell was the next batter, and I walked him. Then Bill Mazeroski popped out, and the count was three and two on Donn Clendenon when I tried to put a little extra on the payoff pitch and collapsed. The fibula bone had snapped above the ankle." --- Bob Gibson and Lonnie Wheeler, Stranger to the Game: The Autobiography of Bob Gibson (New York, Penguin Books, 1994), pp.135, 140
- Rob Trucks, Cup of Coffee: The Very Short Careers of Eighteen Major League Pitchers, (New York, Smallmouth Press, 2002), p. 128
- Trucks, Cup of Coffee, p.115
- Richard Tellis, Once Around the Bases: Bittersweet Memories of Only One Game in the Majors (Chicago, Triumph Books, 1998), p.255
- Les Biederman, “Koufax Still a Champion,” The Pittsburgh Press (Monday, May 8, 1967), p.36
- Koufax, “My Toughest Batters,” Sport (May 1965), p.19
- Koufax, “My Toughest Batters,” p.19
- Phil Musick, Who Was Roberto, p. 287
- Jerry Izenberg, “Clemente: A Bittersweet Memoir” from Great Latin Sports Figures: Proud People, pp. 11-25
- Maraniss, Clemente, p. 277
- Maraniss, p. 225
- McCarver with Danny Peary, Tim McCarver’s Baseball for Brain Surgeons and Other Fans (New York, Villard Books, 1998), p.124
- Fay Vincent, We Would Have Played For Nothing (New York, Simon & Schuster, 2008), p. 146
- Kal Wagenheim, Clemente!, p.87
- Les Biederman, "Clemente's Only Regret: One Pennant," The Pittsburgh Press (Sunday, March 31, 1968), p. D3
- Ed Schuyler [uncredited*] (AP): "Clemente Unorthodox? Well, He Gets Results," The Daytona Beach Morning Journal (Tuesday, August 11, 1964), p. 7.
* Published simultaneously under Schuyler's name on page 8 of The Lewiston Daily Sun as "N.L. Respects Bucs' Clemente".
- Bruce Markusen, Roberto Clemente: The Great One, pp. 168-169
- "Sometimes, though, the stories he told me – I’m inclined to think he was joking. You never knew. He said that when he was very small, he could take a six-inch nail in his hands and bend it. Then he would give you a mysterious smile, and you never knew! Another time, he said, it was a very windy day at Candlestick Park and he hit a terrific shot to right-center field that appeared to be a sure home run. But the wind held it up and Willie Mays caught it. He says he got so mad that he threw his batting helmet up in the air, and the wind blew it right out of the park! ‘Ask Orlando Cepeda, he was there,’ he used to say, with that little smile of his." -- Kal Wagenheim: Clemente!, p. 231
- Jim O’Brien, Remember Roberto, pp. 329-331
- Victor Debs, Jr., That Was Part of Baseball Then: Interviews With 24 Former Major League Baseball Players, Coaches & Managers, p. 130
- Milton Richman (UPI), "Red's Rose is worth it: A goal, not a plateau," The Bucks County Courier Times (Tuesday, March 17, 1970), p. 23
- (AP): "Rose Pacifies Fans, Then Belts Winning Hit 5-4; Not Super Hitter," The Waterloo Daily Courier (Sunday, October 22, 1972), p. 29
- Norm Clarke (AP), “Clemente Greatest, Pete Rose States,” The Vidette Messenger (Thursday, May 13, 1976), p. 16
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