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Clemente can not be forgotten.


CABO ROJO, PR — As customary at my advance age I have become more like the migratory birds and butterflies that fly South for the winter. As such, Puerto Rico’s west coast is my home away from my South Bronx. Being here for the Christmas holidays is like nowhere else as Puerto Rico is known for having the longest Christmas holiday season in the world. Today and for the next few days the malls and stores throughout the island are packed not just for customers returning, or exchanging some gifts, or items they might have received on December 25, but because they are still shopping. Yes, Christmas is not over in Puerto Rico. The next big holiday here and celebrated more than Christmas (in the barrios and small towns) is Three Kings Day, on January 6.

The fact is that Puerto Rico celebrates and commemorates a lot of dates and periods of history and culture. However, I have been very disappointed in the lack of attention given to commemorate the life of the great baseball super star, Roberto Clemente who lost his life on a fatal plane crash carrying badly needed supplies to Nicaragua’s earthquake victims on December 31st, 1972.

21 Days of Clemente on Latino Sports – Image Credit: NBC

Since we arrived in late December, I have read several daily newspapers, listened to news and several radio stations. It was surprising to me that I did not hear anything about Roberto Clemente during this period. I do understand that Christmas and New Year’s Eve are the two most celebrated days of December and most of the attention is on preparing for those holidays. However, taking a few moments to also remember that a star baseball player was going around the island working almost non-stop to raise money to buy items to send to help Nicaragua is also important and really defines the spirit of the holidays which is “giving.”

I’m not promoting additional parties on the day Clemente lost his life, but at minimum, a recognition, perhaps a seminar, a class, a television special, or cultural event promoting the caregiving that Clemente demonstrated would do much to help the psyche of an island nation that is colonized and needs to remember its heroes even in overwhelming days like New Year’s Eve.

I’m proud that our Latino Sports team met in early December, and we agreed that we would commemorate the 51st anniversary of Clemente’s passing with our 21 Days of Clemente. For 21 days commencing on December 11th until December 31st our site ran a feature story, interview, video, or pictures on the great Roberto Clemente. We want to thank all our team members and friends that contributed to those wonderful 21 days. Because Clemente can not be forgotten. We look forward to taking it one step further this December. If you missed any of those interviews, or articles, they are still available to read under our baseball heading.

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  1. Julián GQ

    January 2, 2024 at 6:26 pm

    So long as the people remember Clemente will never be forgotten!

    • Julio

      January 3, 2024 at 9:00 pm

      True that & that’s up to us.

  2. George Carbonell

    January 2, 2024 at 6:27 pm

    Thank you Latino Sports for keeping our community abreast with a fascinating sports platform that recognizes sports heroes like Roberto Clemente’s heroic contribution to mankind, and not just stats. What better home run can we ask from a baseball player.

  3. Jennie Leuzarder

    January 3, 2024 at 8:13 am

    I am not Puerto Rican nor born in the USA, and I love to educate myself with facts that uplift the Latino community… Clemente absolutely deserves more recognition

    • Julio

      January 3, 2024 at 9:02 pm

      You are adopted Puerto Rican

  4. Mildred Martinez

    January 3, 2024 at 11:42 am

    I completely understand your sentiment. It is indeed disheartening when people forget or overlook the sacrifices made by individuals like Roberto Clemente. Their selflessness and dedication to helping others should be remembered and celebrated. It’s important for society to not only focus on immediate needs but also to honor those who have made a lasting impact. It’s through acts of kindness, compassion, and going that extra mile that we can truly appreciate the best things in life and create a better world for everyone. Take a second to say something nice in remembrance of Roberto Clemente😘💨❤️🙌🏼🙏🏼💨

  5. Michelle Davila

    January 3, 2024 at 1:04 pm

    Well said Julio- from the description of Christmas+ in PR to the importance of remembering Clemente’s legacy as a baseball trailblazer and humanitarian. 🇵🇷

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