On October 1, 1972, Having yesterday witnessed teammate Roberto Clemente achieve his cherished goal, career hit number 3,000, Pittsburgh’s Steve Blass now attempts to realize his own longstanding dream, a 20-win season, pitching at home against the New York Mets. Unfortunately the dream will not survive the 1st inning as, on the eve of the National League playoffs, Pittsburgh’s ace is knocked out of this game, literally as well as figuratively, the third RBI of the inning coming on a two-out John Milner bullet off Blass’ right elbow. Prior to game, Clemente is honored in a ceremony commemorating his previous day’s feat. But, as he did yesterday regarding Hall of Fame shoo-in Willie Mays, Clemente again takes time to make his feelings known regarding another Cooperstown candidate, albeit a less accaimed one. Al Abrams of the Post Gazette writes: “Bill Mazeroski is retiring from the game as a player. Clemente doesn’t think Maz should quit. “No, no,’ he said. ‘Bill should play two or three more years. Talk to him. Tell him he can get in shape. I know he can play better second base than anybody. He is two years younger than I am.’ Roberto then paid Mazeroski this supreme compliment: ‘He is the greatest second baseman of all time, a real super star. But people forget too fast what he has done for the Pirates. Nobody I ever saw could field with him. He won the World Series in 1960 with his home run against the Yankees. I don’t like to see him retire.’ Nobody does. But Mazeroski himself believes it is time to hang up his Gold Glove and spikes for good. ‘If I had his body,’ Bill grinned, meaning Clemente’s, ‘I would keep on playing. Unfortunately, I don’t. There’s a time for everybody to quit. Mine is here.’ ‘Maz would like to have your body,’ I told Clemente. ‘My body is old and tired,’ Roberto replied. ‘But I’ll bounce back. I think Mazeroski can do the same if he takes off a few pounds and gives them to me. I need them.'”