Peterson: Martyred S.C. pastor and beloved Pirates star shared a name and a history

From SABR member Richard Peterson at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on June 30, 2015:

After the tragic killings at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, my daughter Anne sent me a YouTube video of the most prominent victim, Mother Emanuel’s pastor, Clementa Pinckney.

Anne had become good friends with the Rev. Pinckney after she was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 2008, a remarkable achievement for a female Democrat in one of our country’s reddest states. The Rev. Pinckney had been elected to the South Carolina House in 1996 at the age of 23 and subsequently to the Senate in 2000. By the time Anne was elected, he’d become one of the Democratic Party’s legislative leaders.

In Anne’s accompanying note, she told me that the Rev. Pinckney, who’d become pastor of Mother Emanuel at the age of 26, was the namesake of Roberto Clemente. His mother was an avid Clemente fan and named her son after the Pirates great.

The Clementa Pinckney YouTube video sent by Anne was on the website of South Carolina state Sen. Marlon Kimpson, who, after the killings, led the early fight to remove the Confederate battle flag from the state capitol grounds in Columbia. The video shows the Rev. Pinckney, at Mother Emanuel, addressing participants in the 2013 Civil Rights Ride. When he introduces himself, he pronounces his first name as if it were spelled Clemente.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: July 3, 2015. Last Updated: July 3, 2015.