Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/16/14
With the Pittsburgh Pirates back in the postseason for the first time since 1992 (or haven’t you heard?), we’ve enjoyed some compelling storylines about the team -- from MVP candidate center fielder Andrew McCutchen to local boy second baseman Neil Walker to back from the dead closer Jason Grilli. And having the Pirates back in the national spotlight also provided a great opportunity to talk about the great Roberto Clemente, the Pirates’ Hall of Fame right fielder who died tragically in a plane crash on December 31, 1972 while on a relief mission delivering supplies to Nicaragua. This past weekend, MLB Network aired a compelling feature on a special relationship between Pittsburgh native second baseman Neil Walker -- who batted .251/.339/.418 with 16 home runs and 53 RBI (and 3.9 B-Ref WAR) -- and Clemente. Walker’s father Tom was a major league pitcher for six seasons (with the Expos, Cardinals, Tigers and Angels), and played winter ball in Puerto Rico with Clemente in 1972. Neil’s father had wanted to accompany Clemente on the relief mission but Clemente told him to return to San Juan to celebrate New Year’s Eve. It was a simple gesture that proved to be a significant twist of fate that saved not only Tom Walker’s life but preserved a baseball legacy in Pittsburgh. Though it’s a story well known in Western Pennsylvania, details of the family connection and Clemente’s life-saving gesture did not come to light nationally until 2012, on the 40th anniversary of Clemente’s death in an MLB Network retrospective. “Forty years later I think of a man that probably saved my life,” Tom Walker recalled. “[Clemente]  said no, go back and enjoy the evening. And I can't help but think about that now. I've had four wonderful children, and it turns out that one of them is the second baseman now for the Pittsburgh Pirates." It’s a story worth sharing again. Take the three minutes and 38 seconds to watch the feature and then watch Neil Walker at second base during today’s NLDS Game 4. And when the camera pans over the 21-foot high Clemente Wall bearing the number 21 in right field at PNC Park, know that it has extra special significance for the teams second baseman and the entire Walker family. Well done, MLB Network. [follow]
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Jets acquire Brandon Marshall in trade with Bears

With Hunter Pence out, Giants have options

Dustin Pedroia on confidence after grand slam: 'Just watch'

Jon Jones thinks he can beat Cain Velasquez

Larry Bird jokes about pose of Dominique Wilkins’ statue


Barry Switzer urged Cowboys to draft Murray with great quote

SF Giants file brief in support of gay marriage to Supreme Court

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

Brian Hoyer praises Johnny Manziel for checking into rehab

Dockett: I would have signed with Cardinals for less money

Report: Darrelle Revis' decision to come down to Patriots, Jets

Who is the 'franchise player' at each sports network?

WATCH: Duncan Keith makes young girl's dream come true

Top 10 storylines to watch in spring practice

Analyzing the top-five free agent quarterbacks

Five NBA players set to make biggest impact down the stretch

Five areas the Eagles must address this offseason

WATCH: Craig Sager emotional in warm welcome back to TNT

Likeliest landing spots for Ndamukong Suh

Tigers pitcher Alfredo Simon drives a chrome Mercedes

WATCH: Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs who doubts her ability

Michelle Beadle’s campaign to be cast in ‘Sharknado 3′ pays off

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Winston's film vs. Oregon is why scouts love him

Report: Jets acquire Brandon Marshall

With Pence out, Giants have options

Analyzing the top-five free agent QBs

NBA players set to make biggest impact

Larry Bird trash talks Dominique Wilkins’ statue

Likeliest landing spots for Suh

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Mayweather waited for Pacquiao to get old, right?

Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement from NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.