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  #1  
Old 04-30-2013, 07:37 AM
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Default OT Retire 21

It's approaching 6:00 AM here and this is way off topic but I was hoping to ask you all to help me out. In three hours I will be undergoing a surgery to donate a kidney to a friend I met through baseball. Due to a series of complications this has been a year long journey. I find myself both anxious and relieved that it is finally coming to fruition. Even though I am not an employee of baseball the MLB assistance team (BAT) is paying for 6 weeks of my salary, hotel and airfare. They are an amazing organization.http://web.mlbcommunity.org/index.js...ssistance_team

Many people who known me have asked me about my motivation to do this. I try not to minimize my actions when I explain that it's the right thing to do. It would be a bigger deal if I ignored my friend's needs when I obviously have*the ability to make a difference in his life. While delivering Mickey Mantle's eulogy Bob Costas quoted Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who said every boy builds*a shrine to some baseball hero, and before that shrine, a candle always burns.*Perhaps this is my candle to Roberto. In the past 40 years I know that he has inspired many other selfless acts. He was a powerful role model during my formative years. As a child I was acutely aware that I lacked his athletic talent. However, I knew early on there was much more to the man than baseball and that I could perhaps emulate him in a more profound way. I am fairly certain that belief is what lead me to this moment and a career in social work.

The Roberto Clemente award is in my opinion the most significant award a player can earn. However, I am hoping that one day MLB will honor Roberto by retiring his 21 as they have Jackie Robinson's 42. Both men transcended the game. Robinson is baseball's moral compass and Clemente is it's patron saint. Although Clemente has profound cultural significance for Latinos such as I, for many fans of my generation Clemente represents a bigger ideal than ethnicity, nationality, culture, and language. He represents compassion, mercy, honor, dignity, and pride. As a society I fear that these are all values we seem to be losing a grip on. By retiring 21 MLB would be honoring those principles as much as the man. This is where I am asking for your assistance. If you share my beliefs, please email MLB and tell them to retire 21. I could not find a link to the commissioners office. However, you could address your email to Bud Selig here*http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/help/contact_us.jsp. Thanks for indulging me.
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  #2  
Old 04-30-2013, 07:49 AM
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Mike what you are doing is awesome.I hope everthing works out for both of you!!!!!
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  #3  
Old 04-30-2013, 09:34 AM
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Mike,

Email sent! What you are doing is a very selfless act that if others had your kind of courage, the world would be a much better place.

Bravo sir.

James
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  #4  
Old 04-30-2013, 10:02 AM
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Mike, Email sent.

A beautiful gesture on your part. Please have a successful surgery, and speedy recovery for both of you.
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  #5  
Old 04-30-2013, 10:24 AM
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Hi Mike,
I remember you telling me that you were going to donate a kidney to your friend.

I really think what you are doing is unbelievable! Good luck with the surgery and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

All my best,
Scott

PS, I will write Mr. Selig about retiring Roberto Clemente's number 21.
Keep the faith!
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  #6  
Old 04-30-2013, 12:08 PM
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Hi Mike, great courage and inspiration!! Way to step up to the plate! Best wishes to you and the recipient!!
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  #7  
Old 04-30-2013, 05:46 PM
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Way to go Mike!
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  #8  
Old 04-30-2013, 06:27 PM
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My high school era Spanish is now weak, but:
Sus acciones muestran el mundo lo que un gran corazón usted tiene.
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  #9  
Old 04-30-2013, 11:55 PM
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Mike,

I have read your posts and always thought that you seemed to be a good guy. I now know that you're a great guy. You should have your number retired!

My best wishes for a speedy recovery to you and your friend.

Curt
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  #10  
Old 05-01-2013, 08:08 AM
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Thanks for the nice comments assistance with emails. I just completed tHe longest night of my life.
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  #11  
Old 05-01-2013, 08:56 AM
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Mike, get well. My Mom was born in Nicaragua and I had many family there during the 72 quake, so anything to do with Mr Clemente resonates with me. First series I ever watched was '71 and first bb cards '72 so this was a very formative time for me. Here's a pic of a cap my grandmother brought with her from Managua and one of the only things I have from her. Interesting choice of colors I think.

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  #12  
Old 05-01-2013, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 71buc View Post
Thanks for the nice comments assistance with emails. I just completed tHe longest night of my life.

What a great thing you did Mike. Wishing you the speediest recovery in history, take care.
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  #13  
Old 05-01-2013, 01:47 PM
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Default mike

amazingly compassionate in word and deed.
My prayers are with you and your friend.
all the best,
barry
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  #14  
Old 05-01-2013, 02:48 PM
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Best of luck, Mike. My cap is off to you.
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  #15  
Old 05-01-2013, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyElm View Post
My high school era Spanish is now weak, but:
Sus acciones muestran el mundo lo que un gran corazón usted tiene.
Some people asked, so I'll translate what I said. Mike mentioned his Latino roots, so I was trying to tell him en Español that his actions tell the world what a huge heart he has.
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Last edited by JollyElm; 05-01-2013 at 07:10 PM.
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  #16  
Old 05-01-2013, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimm View Post
Mike, get well. My Mom was born in Nicaragua and I had many family there during the 72 quake, so anything to do with Mr Clemente resonates with me. First series I ever watched was '71 and first bb cards '72 so this was a very formative time for me. Here's a pic of a cap my grandmother brought with her from Managua and one of the only things I have from her. Interesting choice of colors I think.

Amazing hat and a beautiful reminder of her. Thanks for sharing it with me.
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  #17  
Old 04-30-2018, 09:40 PM
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Its been 5 years today since I made this post. I flew to San Francisco today to watch McCutchen and celebrate 5 years of health with my friend Howard.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Mike.jpg (71.9 KB, 167 views)
File Type: jpg 20180501_152723.jpg (67.5 KB, 91 views)
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1971 Pirates Ticket Quest:
71 of 153 regular season stubs (46%), 14 of 14 1971 ALCS, NLCS , and World Series stubs (100%)

If you have any 1971 Pirate regular season game stubs (home or away games) please let me know what have!

Last edited by 71buc; 05-01-2018 at 05:30 PM.
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  #18  
Old 05-01-2018, 08:22 AM
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You are a man to be honored for your wonderful gift.
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  #19  
Old 05-01-2018, 12:31 PM
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Mike,

What an amazing gift to give. Thinking of both you and your friend. Wishing both a full speedy recovery. God bless and...I'll get the email sent for Mr. 21.

Last edited by GoCubsGo32; 05-01-2018 at 12:32 PM.
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  #20  
Old 05-01-2018, 01:01 PM
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Mike,

Thanks for you gift and appreciate the reminder to us by showing what being a true friend is and what they’re willing to give of themselves. So glad you were able to celebrate after five years.
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  #21  
Old 05-01-2018, 01:06 PM
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I wasn't around for the original thread but I'm glad to have caught the update. Fantastic story. Great to see you are both doing well.
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  #22  
Old 05-01-2018, 03:10 PM
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Mike,

Roberto would be proud!!! Congrats on 5 years.
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  #23  
Old 05-01-2018, 03:58 PM
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Great story, great message, great photo. You two look good!
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  #24  
Old 05-01-2018, 07:36 PM
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Very cool. Glad you're both doing well.
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  #25  
Old 05-01-2018, 08:45 PM
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Mussed have missed this 5 years ago! Thanks for reposting - just sent an email. Incredible act of selflessness! Hope you guys enjoyed the game!
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  #26  
Old 05-01-2018, 09:40 PM
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Mike is the man! I’m proud to count him as a friend.
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  #27  
Old 05-02-2018, 02:22 AM
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Thanks for the kind comments everyone. I had a great time at the game with my friend Howard. Cutch had a couple of hits to include a triple. It pains me to see him in those colors (no offense Rob) but life is often hard for a Bucs fan.

Howard and I met through baseball. He was a career minor league player and when we met he was the NW scout for the Cincinnati Reds. We became friends through baseball. I never played beyond High School despite this he would occasionally reach out to me as I knew most of the local players. He would ask my opinions regarding players and was always sincere as he listened to my thoughts. One day he asked me if I wanted to serve as an associate scout and work with the Cincinnati Reds. I was floored that he would value my assessment of players. He made certain I signed an actual contract with the Reds and that I was given a radar gun and Reds credentials. He ensured that I was treated as a baseball peer. I will never forget when he called me at work from the 2005 draft. I was sitting in my cubicle when the phone rang. He said, “Mike this is Howard hold on a minute I’m putting you on speaker phone”. I then got to listen as the Reds drafted my first player. He said, “You are a real scout now” and then hung up. It was an amazing experience and I was also touched that he thought of me.

Howard played against Griffey Jr. and faced both Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux. He makes me laugh when he talks about Tommy Lasorda’s talent with profanity. Howard never “big Leagued” me. He would always introduce me to other scouts and baseball executives. He even went out of his way to introduce me to Jim Bowden who looked at me like I was from another planet as he shook my hand.

After five years Howard left and moved to California where he worked for the MLB Scouting bureau. When he left he told me I had an eye for talent offered to recommend me to Scout school in the Dominican Republic. I lacked the courage to roll the dice such a career change would have required. Sometimes I wish I had. I worked in the same capacity for the Indians and then spent a final disheartening year with the Nationals. It was never the same as it was scouting with Howard. He is a class act and a true gentleman. No one else in baseball ever treated me with the dignity and respect he extended to me. Nor has anyone extended the true friendship he has offered me. It was an honor to donate a kidney to Howard. In the past five years he has watched his son play football for UCLA and welcomed two grandchildren to the world. I am thrilled to have contributed to his well being and happiness. A kidney was a small price to pay.
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1971 Pirates Ticket Quest:
71 of 153 regular season stubs (46%), 14 of 14 1971 ALCS, NLCS , and World Series stubs (100%)

If you have any 1971 Pirate regular season game stubs (home or away games) please let me know what have!

Last edited by 71buc; 05-02-2018 at 02:27 AM.
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  #28  
Old 05-02-2018, 07:44 AM
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As a fellow Bucco fan, this was one of the best threads ever here on Net54. A true inspiration!
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  #29  
Old 05-02-2018, 06:16 PM
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Your follow-up post was amazing, Mike!

Or should I say “MLB scout Mike”?
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