Roberto Clemente’s legacy as one in all baseball’s biggest gamers is matched solely by the reminiscence of the selfless sacrifice he made attempting to assist others in want.
The son of a sugar cane employee in Puerto Rico, Clemente confirmed athletic promise at an early age, becoming a member of the Puerto Rican newbie league in 1952 on the age of 16 and signing a minor league contract with a Brooklyn Dodgers affiliate two years later. In July 1954, Clemente’s first house run in North America resulted in an extra-innings walk-off win for the triple-A Montreal Royals.
Later that yr, the Pittsburgh Pirates made Clemente its first choice of the rookie draft. As a Pirate, Clemente would go on to win 12 Gold Gloves (tied for many amongst outfielders), 4 National League batting titles, two World Series rings, and the World Series MVP for 1971. He had a batting common of over .300 for 13 seasons and is credited with skilled baseball’s solely contained in the park, walk-off grand slam.
He recorded his three,000th and final hit through the last common season at-bat of his profession in 1972.
Hall of Fame numbers, for sure. But it is also for Clemente’s humanitarian efforts that Google, within the spirit of Hispanic Heritage Month, devoted its Doodle on Friday to the primary Latin American participant enshrined in Cooperstown.
Clemente spent a lot of his low season concerned in charity work, delivering baseball gear and meals to these in want in Latin American and Caribbean international locations. After a 6.three earthquake killed hundreds and prompted widespread harm to Nicaragua on Dec. 23, 1972, Clemente started arranging emergency reduction flights to ship assist to survivors.
After studying that the help packages had been being diverted by corrupt authorities officers, Clemente determined to accompany a New Year’s Eve flight to make sure the provides had been delivered to earthquake victims. But the aircraft, with a historical past of mechanical issues and overloaded by greater than two tons, suffered an engine failure and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean instantly after takeoff.
The physique of the pilot was discovered a couple of days after the crash, however the our bodies of Clemente and three others who had been on the DC-7 had been by no means recovered. He was 38.
The subsequent March, the Hall of Fame waived its candidate ready interval for Clemente, and he was posthumously inducted into Cooperstown with 393 out of 420 out there votes.
In a tragic footnote within the lifetime of an excellent baseball participant and selfless humanitarian, Clemente was known as “Bob Clemente” by sports activities writers, announcers and even on his baseball playing cards for a lot of his MLB profession, regardless of his clear desire to be known as by his given first identify.
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