Roberto Clemente

by Ryne from Spokane, Washington

"I like people that suffer because these people have a different approach to life from the people that have everything and don't know what suffering is."
The deserving hall of famer (Google)
The deserving hall of famer (Google)

Heroes come in all shapes and forms, in all places on Earth, and from all walks of life. Doctors, teachers, ministers, and activists are among the groups that receive praise for making a difference in their community and the rest of the world. Athletes are often dubbed heroes and role models by the press and by advertising companies, but they rarely live up to this title. There is one athlete, however, that lived up to every positive word that can be said about a human being, Roberto Clemente.

Clemente was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico on August 18, 1934 as the youngest of seven children. Growing up, he excelled athletically in track and field, winning several medals, but his true love was baseball. After high school he began playing in the Puerto Rican Winter League, but was quickly signed by the Dodgers. He would go on to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates and win an MVP award along with two World Series rings. Clemente was a first ballot hall of famer and is often called the best right fielder in the history of baseball.

These feats, however, are second to his achievements as a humanitarian. Clemente was very well known for his charity directed to his native Puerto Rico and several other Latin American countries. He would deliver baseball equipment and many other kinds of supplies that were needed. When Managua, Nicaragua had a massive earthquake, relief efforts were failing. Clemente decided to accompany a plane full of supplies hoping that his presence would ensure that citizens in need would receive aid. That plane never made it to Managua and its crash killed five people along with the great Roberto Clemente.

Page created on 10/11/2007 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 10/11/2007 12:00:00 AM

Related Links

Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service - A slide show of Roberto's history
Latino Sports Legends - Latino view of Clemente