Turning 21 to honor the Great One


21-film-poster-spacey.jpgAnybody see this movie? I did two summers ago and I was very impressed. However, Kevin Spacey and company will not be mentioned any more throughout this article. But the aptly titled movie number will be, 21.

You see February 15th is my birthday. This is a monumental year as I am now 21. It is a cool feeling. Grown up for sure as I can now legally drink. Looks like it’s time for a new big man on campus here at WVU. Won’t be getting too crazy, or crazy at all because this is a busy week for me with two tests, a speech due and numerous newspaper assignments. However, I will be enjoying one of these sooner or later.


My real dream will come true on April 5th. Then I can enjoy my first baseball brew. I simply can’t wait until Opening Day when I can pay 8 bucks for a miniscule cup of beer. Ahh, enjoying a ball game with a cold beer in my hand, is there really anything better?



For this entry I have been researching some MLB players who have donned the number 21.

The list includes: Ryan Klesko, Heath Bell, Mark Sweeney, Clint Barmes, Kip Wells,
Ty Wigginton, Scott Hatteberg, Jason Marquis, Dimitri Young, Jon Lieber, Carlos Delgado, Sammy Sosa, Mark Kotsay, Matt Garza, Billy Butler, Sean Casey and Nick Markakis.

Now that list is of fairly current players. Warren Spahn is also up there as the leader of the 21’s. The famous Braves pitcher has his number retired. However, one man reigns supreme with the number 21.


The Great One, Roberto Clemente. The tried and true pride of the Pirates is not just one of the gems of the MLB, but for all humanity. It is well documented that my admiration for Clemente is vast. Man, if I could have seen this guy play. His glove, his arm, his bat, his speed. Holy cow, he was the complete package. While I do not believe his number should be retired across the MLB simply because he did not have the impace of Jackie Robinson, he can be the face of professional baseball. By giving him a day of honor and rewarding a player with an award on Roberto’s behalf is simply fantastic enough.

robertoclemente1.jpgThank you Roberto, for giving hope to us all, even after nearly four decades since you were last here on earth.

Thank you for helping me honore my 21st birthday!

And thank you to all my readers and facebook friends for their kind comments and birthday wishes.

And to everybody else, you’re welcome. With my birthday comes the week that pitchers and catchers report! I’m just getting the ball rolling.

photo credits: moviefone.com, teachline.ie, masslive.com, popcultureshock.com




  1. angelsgirl012

    21 for Roberto Clemente alrighty! šŸ™‚ whoooooo hooooooo! How exciting. Happy almost Birthday šŸ˜€ Hope you have a great one tomorrow! And best of luck with all that stuff you have to take care of. I’m sure everything will go well

    till then


  2. stonebutch99

    Happy Birthday Matt. 21 is an awesome age.

    Here is a little history lesson for ya. šŸ˜‰

    I actually had a time of legal drinking when I turned 19, but it was increased to 21 in Texas so I was cut off for about 8 months. This caused an uproar. The argument was we should be “grandfathered” in because we already had the right to drink. Bottom line, it is a privilege not a right so we lost.

    Enjoy your birthday dude!


  3. Elizabeth D.

    Happy Birthday, Matt!
    I’ve seen the movie ’21’, I enjoyed Jim Sturgess a lot… oh, and the movie was good too. Set in Boston right? Yes, now that you’re 21, you can enjoy the overpriced beer that goes perfectly with a baseball game. And what better way to celebrate your birthday than with remembering the great Roberto Clemente. It’s a monumental year for you, and he was a monumental human.

  4. xcicix

    Wow…happy belated birthday, first of all!
    And what a great homage to an amazing player…
    And a great idea! 21 is one of those “significant” birthdays…it’s kinda the only one unless you turn 18 in an election year and are immersed in politics.
    I think the magical thing about Clemente is his exact 3000 hits. That’s a zenith that’s got a lot of hype and who better to be there exactly on the nose than Clemente?

  5. rockies2917

    Happy belated birthday, Matt! I can relate to this post so much because I turn 21 this year too! I unfortunately have to wait until October. But I am so excited to have my first beer at a baseball game as well! It’s pretty cool how you love the Pirates so much but you also give recognition to other players. Jason Marquis was one of my favorite pitchers last season. Anyways, it was really cool to give homage to the number 21 it is a great age to turn and I definitely can’t wait til its my turn lol. Hope you had a good one!

  6. raysrenegade

    Sorry I missed this post around your birthday.
    Well, I want to pass on a great belated birthday cheer and tell you it is a moral imperative that you sip a brew and a hot dog at your first post-21 baseball game.
    But I have a feeling since you are in a college town, it will not be your first beer…..or is it? ( just kidding)
    Clemente wearing 21 has to be the greatest to wear those digits. I know there are multitudes of others outstanding players, but when you hit mention Roberto’s name….primo from top to bottom.
    So I will raise my glass to you now and hope the nectar of the Gods when you reach the ballpark is just as sweet as the victory that night……Salute!

    Rays Renegade


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