Roberto Clemente

Roberto Clemente (1934 - 1972)

American

            Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker (August 18, 1934 – December 31, 1972) was a Puerto Rican professional baseball player. Clemente spent 18 Major League Baseball (MLB) seasons playing in the National League (NL) as a right fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

            He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973, becoming the first Latin American and Caribbean player to be enshrined. His untimely death established the precedent that, as an alternative to the five-year retirement period, a player who has been deceased for at least six months is eligible for entry into the Hall of Fame.

            Clemente was an All-Star for twelve seasons and fifteen All-Star Games.[b] He was the NL Most Valuable Player in 1966, the NL batting leader in 1961, 1964, 1965, and 1967, and a Gold Glove winner for twelve consecutive seasons from 1961 through 1972.

            His batting average was over .300 for thirteen seasons and he had 3,000 major league hits during his career. He also played in two World Series championships. Clemente is the first Latin American and Caribbean player to help win a World Series as a starter (1960), to receive an NL MVP Award (1966), and to receive a World Series MVP Award (1971).

            Clemente was married in 1964; he and his wife had three children. He was involved in charity work in Latin American and Caribbean countries during the off-seasons, often delivering baseball equipment and food to those in need.

            On December 31, 1972, he died in a plane crash while en route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua at the age of 38.

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