Sports Heroes

Roberto Clemente

by John Snook

"Anytime you have an opportunity to make things better and you don't, then you are wasting your time on this Earth" --Roberto Clemente

Known the world over as "The Great One," many believe Roberto Clemente was the greatest right-fielder ever to play the game of of baseball.

Roberto Clemente was born on August 18,1934 and grew up in poverty in Carolina, Puerto Rico, where he came to love every aspect of baseball. Unfortunately, as a minority during that time it was tough for him to make it into the majors.

He started his sports career with the Angeles Dodgers, but his contract was bought by the Pittsburgh Pirates for $4,000 in 1954. As #21 of the Pirates, he went on to achieve his crowning moment in the 1971 World Series. Playing against the Baltimore Orioles he batted a phenomenal .414 with two homeruns, two doubles, and a triple. This performance earned him the Most Valuable Player award.

"Why does everyone talk about the past?
All that counts is tomorrow's game." -- Clemente

Throughout his career, he set numerous other records and lead the pirates to two World Championships. He recorded his 3,000th hit on September 30, 1972, and also has the distinction of being the first Latino to be in inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

As writer John Snook points out, "this was a man who could have lived a luxurious life away from the troubles of society and the poverty he faced as a child, yet, he was not like that. He gave up his life trying to help other people in need."

Roberto Clemente continues to be an inspiration for sports fans of all ages, and even has an international club that was created in his honor. Several schools are named after him in the U.S., and he is the second baseball player to appear on a U.S. Postage Stamp (Jackie Robinson was the first).

What kind of dedication does it take to become a sports hero? Would you risk your life to help those in need? Write about it in our guestbook.

Page created on 8/11/2014 4:52:53 PM

Last edited 8/11/2014 4:52:53 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Glory Days - Roberto Clemente - As featured on the Pittsburg Pirates' Official Site.
Baseball Hall of Fame: - Roberto Clemente
Roberto Clemente - A tribute site to the greatest right-fielder to ever play the game of baseball.

Extra Info

Michael from Oil City Wrote:

I admire Roberto Clemente because he died trying to do good. Unlike some athletes that use their money for bad stuff, Clemente perished in a plane crash taking supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. He was a great man with many great qualities. One, he was a great ball player and a good role model for young people. Two, he was a very caring person and invested a lot of time and money into other countries. Three, he was a great team leader. I can try to be like Clemente by working as hard at what I do as he did and be as kind and caring as he was.

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