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Golden Triumphs, Tarnished Dreams
Roger Kahn
August 30, 1976
Early Wynn won 300 games, Roberto Clemente had 3,000 hits, but their legacies have not matched their glorious records
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August 30, 1976

Golden Triumphs, Tarnished Dreams

Early Wynn won 300 games, Roberto Clemente had 3,000 hits, but their legacies have not matched their glorious records

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"Not a good play," he corrected me in Spanish. "Just the play you're supposed to make."

"Would you like to make the major leagues?"

"In my short life, I have accomplished little aside from baseball," he said. "So my answer is, yes, I would like to play there. But perhaps later, when I accomplish other things, my answer would be different."

When Guaynabo played Cayey in a game of two town teams, 2,000 fans showed up at 9:45 p.m. at the modern ball park in Guaynabo. Guaynabo's uniforms were blue and white. Cayey wore faded red. Guaynabo was leading by two runs when a cloudburst struck. The home team's ground crew moved so slowly that the field was drenched. The fans chattered and applauded and sipped beer. The Cayey manager announced that he was protesting the game "because of Guaynabo's lazy ground crew." The fans hooted and laughed, and everyone went home.

Near the ball park in Las Piedras, on the narrow road that twists toward Humacao Beach, a young man was playing pepper with his son. Their names were Jos� Soto, junior and senior, and after Mayoral introduced us', Mr. Soto said, " Vic Power tells me my child's swing is so good I should not touch it."

"�Tu eres de Nueva York?" the small boy asked me. Was I from New York?

"Yes."

Had I seen the Yankees? Would I watch him?

The father chattered like a salesman, and Jos� Soto Jr., who is seven, swung wildly, then missed six ground balls out of eight.

"He moves well," I told the father.

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