entertainment

Here’s Why Robert Clemente Remains As Relevant Today As He Was The Day He Died

@DugoutLegends / Twitter

If you’re Puerto Rican, you grew up knowing who Roberto Clemente was. You might even have a vela of him lit in your house right now. Roberto Clemente was a legend on the baseball field and truly saintly in his personal life.

Clemente’s life and career reads like every Latino mother’s dream: he was truly the best at everything he did. Here are just 21 of the hundreds of facts I could tell you right now.

Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker was born in 1934.

CREDIT: @BeschlossDC / Twitter

Let’s set the stage here. Clemente is an Afro-Puerto Rican born in Isla Verde, Carolina, Puerto Rico to Don Melchor Clemente and Luisa Walker. He’s from the same town as boxers Esteban De Jesus and Alfredo Escalera.

He was the youngest of seven kids.

CREDIT: @TheRealSangy35 / Twitter

His father worked in the sugarcane fields as a foreman, and, with such a big family, everyone chipped in a bit. Roberto would help load and unload trucks for his dad.

He started out as a track and field star in high school.

CREDIT: @JohnDreker / Twitter

His dream was to compete in the Olympics for the sport, but Puerto Rico got to him. The national passion for the sport made him decide to redirect his attention to the game.

By the time he was 16 years old, he was on Puerto Rico’s amateur baseball league.

CREDIT: @baseballhall / Twitter

The story goes that Roberto Marín spotted Clemente playing baseball in his barrio and was recruited for softball. He played shortstop for two years at Julio Vizcarrondo Coronado High School. Then, Ferdinand Juncos found him.

He spent the first season on the bench.

CREDIT: @baseballhall / Twitter

By the next season, he was promoted to the Cangrejeros (“Crabbers”) starting lineup. He hit a .288 and became the leadoff hitter.

The Brooklyn Dodgers signed him with a $10k bonus.

CREDIT: @BSmile / Twitter

That meant he had to move to Montreal. Apparently, the cold and the language barrier was a major culture shock to the islander and he made fast friends with bilingual teammates Chico Fernandez, Tommy Lasorda, and Joe Black.

The size of his bonus automatically put him on the Major League roster.

CREDIT: @DugoutLegends / Twitter

The Pittsburgh Pirates selected him first overall in 1954 after the Dodgers’ coach tried to hide him from recruiters. The Dodgers rarely played Clemente at all to continue hiding his raw talents from other recruiters, in hopes they could keep him for a season. Nope.

His first major league game was against the Dodgers.

CREDIT: @Pirates / Twitter

Clemente ended up going 1-for-4 and scored a home run. Also, fun fact, Clemente was No. 13 until center fielder Earl Smith left the team in April 1955.

He was in a car accident during his first professional season and missed several games.

CREDIT: @si_vault / Twitter

He had a lower back injury but still ended up playing in 124 games with a .255 batting average. Impressive, no? Five years into playing with the Pirates, he led them to a World Series.

Clemente is the first starting Latino to help win a World Series in 1960.

CREDIT: @SInow / Twitter

In all his firsts, he’s also the first Caribbean person, as well. If you’re wondering what the difference is, just think in terms of colonizers. Spain overtook Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic while other countries like the U.S. and France used their force and power to literally own other islands.

In 1958, Clemente enlisted in the Navy.

CREDIT: @TheBuccosFan / Twitter

He spent six months on active duty at Parris Island, South Carolina and served until 1964. That means that while he was serving, he was also winning World Series.

Announcers kept calling him “Bob” and he kept insisting his name was Roberto.

CREDIT: @BSmile / Twitter

Even baseball card companies like Topps made cards that red Bob Clemente. Clemente had the Latino burden of constantly combatting the colonization of even his name from Anglo-America.

Even his plaque at the Baseball Hall of Fame used the incorrect name.

CREDIT: @BleacherReport / Twitter

Instead of using the Latino naming customs of putting his mother’s maiden name after his father’s last name, they called him “Roberto Walker Clemente.” Decades later they corrected it in 2000 when it was recast properly.

He finished his career with exactly 3,000 hits.

CREDIT: @Super70sSports / Twitter

The last one was against the New York Mets on September 30, 1972, and it ended in a double off. Clemente had been asked about this moment years before and in an interview, he doubted whether he would ever even live to see the day.

Clemente was widely honored for his humanitarian efforts during his life.

CREDIT: @JennaLaineESPN / Twitter

After the 1972 earthquake in Nicaragua, which decimated the country, Clemente was immediately sending shipments to aid the country. When he learned that the last three shipments had been diverted by the corrupt government, he decided that maybe his presence on the next shipment would make sure the goods got into the right hands.

Unfortunately, the plane crashed immediately after taking off from Puerto Rico.

CREDIT: @darrenrovell / Twitter

Apparently, the plane he charted had a history of mechanical problems, and it was also overloaded by 4,200 pounds. Four other people were killed in the crash.

Clemente is the only Hall of Fame member who was inducted against the mandatory five-year waiting period rule.

CREDIT: @BaseballQuotes / Twitter

He was elected posthumously just three months after his tragic passing and inducted three months later. The only Pirates member to not attend his funeral was on the dive team in Puerto Rico attempting to recover his body. It was never found.

Clemente continues to inspire young people y Boricuas to this day.

CREDIT: @TonyDungy / Twitter

Bridges are named after him in Pittsburgh.

There’s a whole movie about him called Baseball’s Last Hero: 21 Clemente Stories.

CREDIT: @Super70sSports / Twitter

Directed by Richard Rossi, it was the first feature film on the player who was so often overlooked by the media at the time. Rossi feels that Clemente was just as important to baseball as Jackie Robinson and that his number should be universally retired.

Clemente was posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal of Honor for his humanitarian efforts.

CREDIT: @KhaledBeydoun / Twitter

His humanitarian efforts will never be forgotten, and neither will his commitment to his roots while paving the way for so many others to follow in his footsteps. Clemente was the first Latino to be named league MVP, World Series MVP and be elected to the Hall of Fame.


READ: Roberto Clemente Is Ushering In The End Of Hispanic Heritage Month For Google Doodles

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

Paid Promoted Stories

  1. Very best test to match your web website is to eliminate all those extras just
    look in the content. The best way to build trust is to continually put out good
    content. It will only prevent you doing anything online. https://918Kiss.bid/downloads/216-download-mega888-for-android-and-ios

  2. In our efforts to try everything can easily to optimize
    our website so that we rank well in search engines, often it is in order to overlook
    the most important involving SEO which is to create unique substance.
    We get caught at the top of keywords, backlinks, meta tags etc.
    but at the conclusion of the day what definitely
    to assist the most in ones engine rankings is
    quality content. Content is king! Never forget that.

    Place Adsense Ads in familiar, yet not annoying internet sites.
    The placing ads smack in the middle of interrupting content is
    a bad tactic. Visitors in many cases get annoyed that can not enjoy
    encounter of visiting your website and just leave.

    So just don't have. They're a waste of time, waste of money, and I've
    never heard of anyone creating a million dollars from
    private label right articles-except the people selling the whole
    bunch.

    Find methods to keep visitors coming back to your web
    business. One way is to send out a weekly/bi-weeekly or monthly e-newsletter updating visitors with your site on what's new or the biggest
    thing. Tools such as constant contact turn out to be easy to automate easy enrollment for visitors to your internet site to enter their name to opt in to your
    newsletter. Keep your newsletters interesting
    so they will be read. When they too sales heavy, it might get passed over but not read.

    Give people something of value for free and show you can offer good content for free.
    Maybe it really is something as fast as an absolutely free course.
    All people like free and in case it shows real value the customer will are more
    interested in following hyperlinks you ought to your product or websites.

    Generally, motors like google are simply by most people,
    to select the information they are looking to
    have. Alway remember that search engines look for that keywords and phrases used and display the resulting
    webpages with the matching lookup. With the right keywords, you can get high rankings in the major search engines results.

    If you wish to keep your subscriber list coming back keep them interested of what you think
    about! Don't just write a five paragraph article just rambling.

    The normal reader does not take period to explore the whole article but they analyze
    for key factors of your article. For this reason it's good to use ordered list
    to help get across and emphasize the significance of what your talking all around.
    Using basic headers h1,h2,h3,h4 and also the bold option are decent
    ways guide readers understand your issue. For example, each time I have ready to modify to a
    brand-new subject or branch off I always select a header tag to let readers understandthat
    this is the next subject I'm talking about.

    The issue is Google has become better and better at sifting
    the wheat from the chaff. It's looking as user conduct.
    If visitors only spend 2 seconds in relation to
    your page and click away, that looks bad. https://joker.vin/index.php/other-games/lpe88

  3. These sites will aid you rank greater. Good content
    and possibly a user friendly interface are primary to match your SEO efficient.
    Keeping on practicing the tips will just be sure get good page rankings consistently. http://3win8.city/index.php/download/29-ntc33