Tuesday, January 1, 2013


This is a 1973 Topps baseball card of Tom Walker.  It probably means nothing to you, other than maybe some of you have it in your "commons" baseball card collection like I do.  But there is a very interesting story involving Tom Walker and I heard the story for the first time when I read about Neil Walker, the 2nd baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates chat about it HERE when he said: "I owe everything in my career, really, my whole life to Roberto Clemente... If not for him, I wouldn't be here today. I'd sure love to make him proud now."  Confused yet? Don't be. The next part of this story is outstanding. 

On the anniversary of Roberto Clemente's death, I went online and read David Brown's piece in Yahoo Sports (full piece HERE),

In Brown's piece, he writes: "...did you also know that Neil Walker, the Pirates second baseman today, might not be here if not for Clemente?

Among those interviewed in the video — along with the likes of countryman Orlando Cepeda and teammate Steve Blass — was Tom Walker, a friend of Clemente's who played with him in winter ball, and who wanted to help Clemente get supplies to Nicaragua on New Year's Eve 1972:
'Forty years later, I think of a man that, probably, saved my life,' Tom Walker said. 'He said, ‘No, you need to 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 for the Pittsburgh Pirates. And if you look at the right-field wall (at PNC Park), it’s the Clemente Wall. It’s got his number, 21, and I’m sure that my son Neil comes out of the dugout and goes out to second base … he’s got to see that wall everyday.'" 

Wow...think about that.  Neil Walker was born in 1985 and currently plays a solid second base for the Pittsburgh Pirates, ironically, Roberto Clemente's former team.  Life is intertwined sometimes. Sometimes you need to be kind to one person so kindness comes back your way.  That's what makes to the world go 'round, don't it?

I tip my cap to the Clemente family who had a very special athlete, father and humanitarian in Roberto Clemente. He was doing good to better others lives when he lost his own in that terrible plane crash.  

I also salute the Walker's as well.  Today I pulled that Walker 1973 baseball card out of my commons pile.  It's now in my personal collection where it will stay after reading this story.  

Kind of makes you think, don't it?

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