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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

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Luis Miguel Lives A Private Life And His Life Struggles Might Be The Reason He Is So Secretive

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Luis Miguel Lives A Private Life And His Life Struggles Might Be The Reason He Is So Secretive

For as long as Luis Miguel has been in the music industry, he has incredibly private about his personal life. He rarely gives interviews or even attends award ceremonies. He’s been spotted eating at restaurants with hired staff to hold up sheets and umbrellas to block him entirely from cameras and other fans. Here are some things you might not know about the bestselling Latin music artist.

Luis Miguel was born Luis Miguel Gallego Basteri, named after bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguín.

CREDIT: @breluvmusic / Twitter

Born on April 18, 1970, that makes the singer only 48 years old. He’s almost a full year younger than Jennifer Lopez, but his crooner status somehow puts him at viejo status in my book.

He wasn’t born in Mexico, and neither of his parents is Mexican.

CREDIT: “He has been quite a ladies man.”Digital Image. Quemas Mamas Latinas. 12 December 2018.

That’s right. He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and neither of his parents is Mexican. According to the Netflix/Telemundo series documenting Miguel’s life, his father conceived of a plan to get a fake birth certificate and ‘market’ his son as Mexican.

Miguel’s father actually moved him to Mexico to market toward Méxicanos.

CREDIT: @lmxlm / Instagram

Miguel has absolutely embraced Mexican culture (and Mexico has embraced him). He’s perfected the artistry of mariachi, and he’s currently on his ¡México Por Siempre! tour.

He was born on April 18 but celebrates his birthday on April 19.

CREDIT: @infobae / Twitter

His mother was a famous Italian actress and his father was a Spanish singer (Luisito Rey) born in Cádiz. His father didn’t register him with Puerto Rico’s Civil Registry until the following day, so his birth certificate is dated April 19. Que raro, no?

Miguel’s mother mysteriously disappeared when he was 16 years old.

CREDIT: @InfobaeAmerica / Twitter

Her whereabouts are still unknown, but there are many a Reddit thread that theorize that Luisito Rey killed her after she uncovered some dark secrets; that she flew back to Italy and has been in a psychiatric hospital ever since; that an indigent Argentinian woman might actually be the living Marcela Basteri.

Miguel’s father stole mad money from him.

CREDIT: @musimerides / Twitter

Miguel’s father was also his manager and the ultimate villain. Luis Miguel’s godfather also happens to be a renowned psychologist who has described him as a psychopath and abuser. We know he was an alcoholic and drug addict, and after Miguel fired him as a manager, he drank himself to death by 1992.

It all started when Miguel was just 11 years old.

CREDIT: @intrusoslared / Twitter

The story goes that the family was about to go bankrupt and homeless when Miguel’s father convinced telenovela star Andrés García to let Luis sing a Tijuana club. After the crowd fell for him, Luisito Rey saw his son as a meal ticket.

Miguel’s father made him watch and analyze every movie, recording, and performance of Elvis Presley.

CREDIT: @ZelindaKay / Twitter

By the time Luis Miguel was 11 years old, he released his first album, Un Sol, under EMI Records. It almost immediately became a gold disc.

His father was so obsessed with Miguel’s success, he even drugged him with ephedrine.

CREDIT: @korybabs / Twitter

The Netflix series shows how young Luis Miguel was worked around the clock to study music, and record songs. As a young boy, he passed out from exhaustion and side effects from the drugs.

Luis Miguel is the only Latin singer of his generation to not crossover into the English-language market.

CREDIT: @musicapop30596 / Twitter

Ricky Martin’s entrance into the “Latin Explosion” of the ’90s didn’t get to him. He only ever sings in Spanish.

Probably because he was pioneering his own market explosion: Bolero Pop

CREDIT: @lmxlm / Instagram

In 1991, his career exploded when he released Romance, an album of boleros remade for the modern world. He followed that album up with Segundo Romance.

Luis Miguel’s voice can span three octaves, 6 notes.

CREDIT: @lmxlm / Instagram

The press loves, to call him the “Latin Frank Sinatra.” Luis Miguel’s voice has topped charts in Pop, Mariachi, ballads, and so much more.

Sinatra personally invited him to record a duet album that would be his last.

CREDIT: “He did a duet with Frank Sinatra.” Digital Image. Quemas Mamas Latinas. 12 December 2018.

Luis Miguel’s own father used to blab about how Frank Sinatra wanted to record La Gran Ciudad together back in the day, but that was never true. Luis Miguel would be the only Latin star that Frank Sinatra sang with.

Luis Miguel speaks fluent Spanish, English, Italian, and Portuguese.

CREDIT: @korybabs / Twitter

If you only speak English and Spanglish, like me, todo bien. Don’t let that hit you too close to the ego. Todavía somos Latinxs.

Miguel has never been married, but he’s dated the best of the best.

CREDIT: @Trends_Zone / Twitter

Yup. Mariah Carey and Luis Miguel were an item for a while. Who else? Oh, just Salma Hayek, Sofía Vergara, Daisy Fuentes, Aracely Arámbula and Myrka Dellanos. Casual.

Today, he’s been seen with his showgirl, Mollie Gould.

CREDIT: @holamexico / Twitter

But, again, Miguel’s life is private so we can only speculate. He has been seen holding hands, having dinner with, and glowing with the 19-year-old California native.

Miguel has three children.

CREDIT: “LuisMi has three kids, but has never been married.”Digital Image. Quemas Mamas Latinas. 12 December 2018.

His oldest daughter, Michelle Salas, was born when Miguel was just 18 years old, but he didn’t acknowledge her as his own until she turned 18 years old and they took a DNA test. Today, they have a good relationship.

Miguel also had two sons with actress Aracely Arámbula.

Miguel is a self-taught sommelier and has his own wine label.

CREDIT: @VinosDeAmerica / Twitter

It’s a Cabernet Sauvignon, the only wine worth drinking, IMHO.

The rumor mill has it that Luis Miguel is suffering from some health problems.

CREDIT: @lmxlm / Instagram

He was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in April 2010ds and has canceled concerts and tours since then. Sometimes, he’ll appear on the stage for just a few minutes before calling off the concert and being forced to pay in the six figures for breaking a contract.

Last year, he surrendered to a federal arrest warrant.

CREDIT: @lmxlm / Instagram

He was ordered to pay over $1 million to his former manager, William Brockhaus, and the judge even ordered him to surrender his 2013 Rolls Royce. He was released by the U.S. Marshals the same day he signed over that car.

Luis Miguel was the first Latin singer to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

CREDIT: @carlosyegros1 / Twitter

He was also the youngest male singer to receive a star at the time. He’s won 5 Grammys, 6 Latin Grammys and 11 Lo Nuestro Awards. And the guy is still 48 years young. Keep it coming, Luis.


READ: ‘Luis Miguel La Serie’ Is Out And People On Social Media Cannot Get Enough Of The Show

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