Remembering Clemente Today December 31 • Latino Sports

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Remembering Clemente Today December 31


As busy as we all are today, this last day of 2013 I have to take time to write something on Roberto Clemente. Being as busy as I am today, I can only appreciate Clemente even more. Imagine what he was doing this very day forty one years ago preparing for that evening flight to Nicaragua.

Thankfully, my good friend, colleague, popular sports writer and talented poet/performer (Trafico Pesado), Hermes Ayala wrote on Roberto Clemente. The article appears in the Puerto Rican digital publication, Noticel.

Hermes reminds us that on this day 41 years ago, Roberto Clemente boarded a private chartered plane with relief supplies for victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua. The overloaded plane and bad distribution of the cargo weight is believed to have been the reason for the plane plunging into the Atlantic ocean minutes after takeoff from San Juan never to have been found.

The article explores Clemente within the realm of “perfection.” Understanding quite well that no individual is “perfect.” Hermes quotes veteran sports analyst, writer and curator of the 2007 exhibit, HOME on Clemente, Elliot Castro. “Its that he made a pact with life. We did not see Clemente wasted, or finished as a player. Old, wrinkled, with grey hair, with none of that. He made a pact with life. He hit exactly three thousand hits. We never even saw him fat. We did not see him eaten by sharks.  Nor did the ocean return him. It was like if an Angel had taken him. He left a special reminder: perfection.”

All Star Roberto Clemente 1965Hermes also mentions our campaign to retire #21 and the now institutionalized 21 Days of Clemente commemorating Clemente’s life for 21 days in December.

The article is in Spanish, so do take time to read and if you are linguistically challenged (as my good friend José “Chegüi” Torres used to say), please get someone to read for you as it is worth reading.

Great article on Roberto Clemente at:

About Julio Pabón

Julio is President and Founder of Latino Sports LLC., the parent company of Julio is a product of the South Bronx where he still lives and runs his businesses. Julio has written and has been interviewed for numerous publication and networks on sports & political issues. He has been an activist promoting social justice and respect for all communities. He is a recognized motivational speaker, was an adjunct professor of American History and presently volunteer's as a lecturer in local South Bronx High Schools. His primary goal is to make a multi-facet sports portal that will engender social and economic empowerment to the Latino community.

  • Blanca

    I remember as a child my family would watch every game Clement played. With such delight the man was a great player like no one else. The article above speaks of the man that was and could of been. Thank you Latino Sports for never forgetting Roberto Clement and we shall continue to fight to retire his number.