CABO ROJO, PUERTO RICO — Today August 18th is a special day to recognize one of the greatest baseball players to have ever played the game, today is Roberto Clemente’s birthday. Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker was born in the barrio of San Antón, Carolina, Puerto Rico in 1934. He was the youngest of seven siblings and few then would have ever thought that the youngest, skinny kid of the Clemente family would reach the highest levels of baseball outside of Puerto Rico.
Clemente’s family had limited resources, so Clemente and his brothers worked alongside his father in the sugar cane fields, loading and unloading trucks. As a youth, Clemente was a track and field star and Olympic hopeful before deciding to turn his attention to baseball.
Many today know of Clemente and how he was killed taking supplies to Nicaragua who had suffered a devastating earthquake on December 31st, 1972. However, for those who might not know how great of a baseball player he was, let’s remind some with these stats.
Clemente was an All-Star for 13 seasons, selected to 15 All-Star Games. He was theNational League Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 1966, the NL batting leader in 1961, 1964, 1965, and 1967, and a Gold Glove Award winner for 12 consecutive seasons from 1961 through 1972. His batting average was over .300 for 13 seasons and he had exactly 3,000 hits during his major league career. He also was a two-time World Series champion. Clemente was the first player from the Caribbean and Latin America to win a World Series as a starting position player (1960), to receive an NL MVP Award (1966), and to receive a World Series MVP Award (1971).
15 All-Star Games
12 Gold Glove Awards
4 batting titles
2-time World Series champion
1966 NL MVP
1971 World Series MVP
Elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973.
The great Roberto Clemente would have turned 89 today. pic.twitter.com/RublYCgby7
— MLB Vault (@MLBVault) August 18, 2023
Clemente was the player that the word “Humanitarian” could have been invented for and that is why today MLB honors Clemente with it’s yearly Roberto Clemente Humanitarian Award. Every team selects a player that has gone outside of the foul poles to help the community. One of those players is then selected and honored during game #3 of the World Series.
For us in Latino Sports we have honored Clemente in many ways. For over a decade we sponsored the “21 Days of Roberto Clemente” where we invited schools in the South Bronx to conduct classes on Clemente and we invited students to contribute any piece of art, an essay, or picture of Clemente for us to display for 21 Days in December culminating on December 31.
Today we are proud to organize a display of Roberto Clemente here in Puerto Rico at the West Coast Sports Bar. We invite every and any baseball fan, every Roberto Clemente fan to visit the display that starts today.
“Anytime you have an opportunity to make things better and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on this Earth.”
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