Monarch pays tribute to a true diamond king

Valley student has written and directed a film about baseball legend Roberto Clemente

by Patricia Rivera, Staff Writer

Richard Rossi, Valley student filmmaker and lifelong Clemente fan photo by Jay Gilliland, Special to the Star [/media-credit] Richard Rossi, Valley student filmmaker and lifelong Clemente fan
photo by Jay Gilliland, Special to the Star

As a young boy growing up in Pittsburgh, Richard Rossi would skip school and sneak into Forbes Field to watch the Pirates and Roberto Clemente.

“After Clemente died, I cried for days and days,” Rossi said. ”He was my hero as a boy.”

50-year-old Valley College student, and theater arts major Rossi still admires Clemente, not only for the amazing baseball player he was, but also for his humanitarianism.

Rossi wrote and directed “Baseball’s Last Hero: 21 Clemente Stories” for his film class. This was his way of paying tribute to his favorite baseball player.

The movie came together with the help of several Valley students who not only acted in the film, but also helped with the crew work.

“I looked into classes at Valley,” explained Rossi. “I took Survey of Silent Films with Daccurso. I felt like a kid at Christmas.”

With an associate’s degree in theater arts, Rossi is now working toward earning another associate’s degree in film.

Rossi is grateful for Valley because he did not have much of a college experience when he was younger. He feels a sense of com­munity and enjoys that his fellow students and instructors all share their own experiences in the per­forming arts.

Rossi has always been a part of the performing arts world—not just the film aspect of it. He has his hands in all of the performing arts fields.

Rossi dove into the theater arts even though his fundamental­ist religious background was not approving of movies or the indus­try.

As stated in the director’s IMDb profile, Rossi has been per­forming since he was 7 years old. He began as a musician playing in a band with his parents and four younger siblings.

As a guitarist, Rossi has com­posed more than 1,000 songs and also teaches a class at Valley called Learn to Play Guitar Overnight.

As a Valley student, Rossi has performed in a number of school plays, but he is more interested in the behind-the-scenes aspect of the film industry.

“I like to direct so I could create and control the world,” said Rossi about his career as a director.



  1. This shows a creative film can be made on a shoestring.  “Baseball’s Last Hero” is a labor of love, and Richard Rossi’s love for Clemente and passion for the story comes shining through. I thought the two leads, Jamie Nieto & Marilinda Rivera were excellent. They captured the Clemente grace and magic. My favorite movie I saw this year.

  2. I ordered this film on Amazon and was really touched by it. Amazing what Richard Rossi and the other Valley volunteers did on a shoestring budget to tell this story.

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