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Extended Audio Sample Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseballs Last Hero, by David Maraniss Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,395 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Maraniss Narrator: David Maraniss Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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On New Year's Eve 1972, following eighteen magnificent seasons in the major leagues, Roberto Clemente died a hero's death, killed in a plane crash as he attempted to deliver food and medical supplies to Nicaragua after a devastating earthquake. David Maraniss now brings the great baseball player brilliantly back to life in Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero.

Maraniss offers thrilling accounts of Clemente's underdog Pirates' two World Series victories, but Clemente is for more than just another baseball book. Roberto Clemente was a work of art in a game too often defined by statistics. He was also that rare athlete who rose above sports to become a symbol of larger themes, the Jackie Robinson of the Spanish-speaking world, who paved the way for waves of Latino players who followed in later generations.

The Clemente that Maraniss evokes was a ballplayer of determination, grace, and dignity who insisted that his responsibilities extended beyond the playing field. With narrative sweep and meticulous detail, Clemente captures the myth and the real man, and retraces his final days, using newly uncovered documents to reveal the corruption and negligence that led the unwitting hero on a mission of mercy toward his untimely death. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “An astonishingly good book…A triumph, a classic American biography.” 

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Forges a near-perfect synthesis of fine writing and fascinating material. May be the best sports biography ever published.” 

    Sports Illustrated

  • “Maraniss deftly balances baseball and loftier concerns like racism; he presents a nuanced picture of a ballplayer more complicated than the encomiums would suggest, while still wholly deserving them.” 

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Maraniss delivers a mother lode of wonderful baseball lore.” 


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • One of the 2006 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kay | 2/16/2014

    " There were parts of this book that didn't interest me and I found myself easily laying it down and reading something else. It took me over 2 weeks to finish because until the last third I didn't have that urge to know what happened next. I found the baseball part a little boring and enjoyed the personal stuff. Those who know me will be shocked to know I found anything about baseball boring. Perhaps it was because he played for the Pirates which is one of my least favorite team or perhaps it was because so much of the baseball took place in the Winter league in Puerto Rica. Whatever! I think Clemente can easily be called a hero but the title suggests that he is the 'last hero' which I disagree with. There are many sports figures out there that are doing so much good for their communities. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sergio | 2/16/2014

    " I personally thought that this book was amazing. It showed the struggles of a puerto rican baseball player trying to make it to the major leagues of baseball. I recommend this book to anyone that wishes to become a MLB player. Just to have a taste of how hard it was to become one back in the day. The author paints a picture in your mind by giving so many details and it just feels as if you were siting in front of "Clemente" (the main character) during this story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Brett | 2/14/2014

    " A great biography that portrays the difficulty minority players had when baseball first became integrated and also shows what a great person Clemente was. The description of the events surrounding his death is one of the most memorable things I've read this year. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Cher | 2/9/2014

    " THE best sports book I've ever read - and on one of the classiest guys to ever play ANY game. "

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