When Edgard Clemente singled to right field -- the opposite field, where Clementes always hit the ball -- few fans at Three Rivers Stadium recognized the significance.
It was the seventh inning of a relatively insignificant 8-4 Pittsburgh Pirates victory Thursday over the Rockies, and only 12,649 were in the stands. There were no cheers, no ceremony.
But for the first time in 27 years, a player named Clemente was playing major league baseball in Pittsburgh. He was catching fly balls in the very outfield where Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente played, getting two hits from the very batter's box where Roberto got his 3,000th hit on Sept. 30, 1972.
To Edgard Clemente, playing this week in the city where his uncle is revered, in the stadium where his uncle played his final three seasons, was an ethereal, unforgettable experience.
So was getting his first hit, then his second in the ninth inning, his only hits in eight at-bats in the three-game series.
LASORDA STEPS IN: Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda returned to the dugout to manage the Class A Vero Beach Dodgers in a Florida State League game against the St. Lucie Mets. Vero Beach Manager Alvaro Espinoza, whose wife recently had a baby, was unavailable.
Lasorda, the Dodgers' senior vice president, was in town to evaluate players and was asked to step in for one game. "It's nice," Lasorda said. "But I'm just down here. My purpose in coming here is to look at the players, evaluate them, motivate them, inspire them."
It was Lasorda's first time managing since he retired three years ago because of heart problems.