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
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
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
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.
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.