Roberto Clemente Walker

Roberto Clemente Walker was one of those few players that deserve the title of “legend.” He was, and still is, a hero and inspiration to his native Puerto Ricans, the Latino Community and many others. He played 18 years (1955-1972) for the Pittsburgh Pirates as one of the greatest right fielders and dominant throwing arms in the history of the game, winning 12 straight Gold Glove Awards. He was also one of the most dangerous hitters in the NL during his career, totaling over 200 hits 4 times and winning 4 batting titles (1961, ’64, ’65, & a career high .357 in 1967). His lifetime totals include 3000 hits, 240 home runs and a .317 avg., and he was named the National League’s MVP in 1966. He was named to 12 NL All-Star squads. He was an important member of the Pittsburgh Pirates 1960 and 1971 World Championship teams, and was named the Series’ MVP in 1971. Clemente died in a plane crash in the Atlantic Ocean while delivering aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua on New Year’s Eve in 1972. His body was never recovered. He was elected to Cooperstown via a special election in 1973, and was the first Latin player ever enshrined. His #21 was retired by the Pirates on April 6, 1973. A statue in his honor stands outside of PNC Park in Pittsburgh near the bridge that also bears his name. The Roberto Clemente Award is presented each year by MLB to “The player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.”
-Tony Milito

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March 5, 2015

San Juan, Puerto Rico

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