Roberto Clemente Essay Example
Roberto Clemente Essay Example

Roberto Clemente Essay Example

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  • Pages: 5 (1296 words)
  • Published: July 18, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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Roberto Clemente, a renowned Latin American baseball player with an impressive track record, spent 18 exceptional years playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Born on August 18, 1934 in Carolina, Puerto Rico to Melchor and Dona Luisa Clemente as the youngest of six children, his ancestors were Puerto Rican laborers who worked on coffee and sugar plantations. His parents instilled values of hard work, respect, self-respect and generosity in him while Melchor worked as a foreman at a sugar cane factory and ran a small grocery store. Moreover, his wife frequently fed poor children who came to her house. He won Gold Glove Awards every year from their inception until his untimely death on December 31st, 1972 when his plane crashed while delivering relief supplies to earthquake-stricken Nicaragua. Throughout his life he advocated for Hispanic rights and h


umanitarian causes which earned him nationwide recognition along with being elected twelve times to the National League All-Star team. With remarkable throwing arm ability coupled with graceful outfield defense and brilliant batting skills mesmerized fans no end making him one of baseball's greatest players ever seen on the field. A Puerto Rican national hero whose life ended tragically but whose legacy lives on today thanks to his Hall of Fame induction into baseball history books forevermore where he will always be remembered fondly by all those who knew him or followed his career closely over time.
As a child growing up in a household free of hatred where great respect was held for parents' values taught him well .As a young boy, despite his age, Clemente showed leadership by organizing fundraising efforts with other boys to pay for school fence

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and bravely saving someone from a burning car. At the age of nine, he worked hard by delivering milk every morning to earn enough money to buy a bike. He believed that playing baseball was his calling from God and practiced hitting bottle caps with broom handles and throwing tennis balls against walls. When he turned 18, Clemente attended a trial camp led by Al Campanis where he stood out as the best free-agent player Campanis had ever seen. After playing with Santurce during the Puerto Rican winter conference, Brooklyn Dodgers signed him for $10,000 bonus plus $5,000 salary but eventually Pittsburgh drafted him as their right fielder. Despite not being the first Hispanic player in baseball history, Clemente's impact on the game was significant and he became known as Puerto Rico's own Jackie Robinson according to journalist Luis Mayoral. Known for his quick hands and upper body strength on the field combined with admirable batting skills that produced around 15 home runs per season thanks to his line-drive batter skills; Koufax once joked that flipping the ball to Clemente was easy - one just needed to roll it! Although frequently compared to Willie Mays as a well-rounded player, Clemente had less power but made up for it with relentless hustle on both the field and basepaths.He claimed he could hit .400 against outside pitches but pitchers wouldn't find the ball if they pitched inside!Roberto Clemente was admired by fans for his exceptional athleticism and outfield arm, which many experts regarded as one of the greatest in baseball history. His teammate Willie Stargell once noted that Clemente approached each game with a sense of urgency

akin to life or death. Although he initially struggled to adapt to major league baseball and clashed with Pirates manager Danny Murtaugh, he led Pittsburgh to their first World Series appearance against the New York Yankees in 1960. Despite missing the team celebration to thank fans in person, Clemente's nine hits during the series played a crucial role in securing their championship victory. In that same year, Dick Groat received the Most Valuable Player award with a .325 batting average, two home runs, and fifty batted-in tallies; meanwhile, Clemente ranked eighth with a .314 average, sixteen place tallies, and ninety-four batted-in tallies. He expressed frustration at this outcome as he believed it demonstrated bias towards Latin players; however, he went on to win the National League batting title the following year with an average of .351 while also hitting twenty-three home runs.During his career, which spanned twelve or thirteen seasons, Roberto Clemente hit above .300 and led the league three times from 1964 to 1967. Known as "the Pride of Puerto Rico" in his home country, Clemente spoke out against biases towards Latin players in baseball and often complained about sudden health issues before batting - though sportswriters dismissed these complaints as hypochondria. Despite not receiving commercial endorsements like many white stars, Clemente was determined to maintain proper spinal alignment throughout his career. He was also a vocal advocate for Hispanic civil rights and worked closely with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., participating in social campaigns during the 1960s. Additionally, he supported Latino baseball players such as teammate Matty Alou by encouraging him to hit outside pitches to the opposite field and win the batting

title. Beyond baseball, Clemente enjoyed writing poetry, playing the organ, making ceramics, and studying chiropractic medicine. Though he experienced poverty himself, his legacy remains an inspiration for others who suffer similarly.During the off-seasons, Roberto conducted baseball clinics all over Puerto Rico where he emphasized the importance of hard work and respect for elders while promoting citizenship, especially among youth whom he was committed to supporting. In 1971, Roberto led the Pirates to victory in the World Series and was awarded Most Valuable Player status after hitting a home run that helped secure their win. On what he called the greatest day of his life, Roberto made his first statement about his feelings in Spanish, addressing his parents and seeking their approval. Throughout his career, Clemente believed progress had been made against discrimination and found satisfaction in eliminating outdated beliefs about Latin Americans and Blacks. Despite suffering an injury at age 37, Clemente achieved a major milestone by getting his 3,000th hit on September 30th - only the 11th player ever to do so. Tragically, this would be his last hit because he died while attempting to deliver aid to Nicaraguans affected by an earthquake. Suspecting that relief efforts were being hindered by the Puerto Rican army,Clemente insisted on presenting supplies collected by Puerto Ricans personally.However,on December31stofthatyear,theplanecarryingClementeandassistancepackagescrashedintotheoceanshortlyaftertakeofffromSanJuanwithcargooverloadpossiblyplayingarole.Roberto Clemente's death was a source of deep mourning for both Puerto Rico and Pittsburgh. In honor of her late husband's vision, Vera Clemente established the Ciudad Deportiva Roberto Clemente youth camp on donated land from the Puerto Rican government. The Raiders baseball academy located at the camp has produced many major league stars including Juan Gonzalez, Roberto Alomar, Ivan

Rodriguez, Sandy Alomar Jr., Benito Santiago, Carlos Baerga, Ruben Sierra and Jose Guzman. Along with sports facilities, the academy offers programs in dance, music folklore and arts. After his passing Vera received a letter from a nun suggesting that he fell into the water so his spirit could be carried by the ocean to more places. Three months later on March 20th 1973 Clemente became the first Latin American player voted into Cooperstown Hall of Fame by Baseball Writers Association. His legacy is attributed to his strength and unwavering faith in human potential as emphasized through his lifelong pursuit of self-improvement; exemplified when he urged others not to waste time on Earth prior to his death. Commemorating him during the 1994 All-Star game was a bronze statue unveiled at Three Rivers Stadium alongside numerous schools and landmarks named after him such as bridges in Allegheny County.Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig also dedicated a day to him.David Maraniss wrote about Clemente's life, which was later published as a book in 2006. Moreover, a documentary about him was released in 2008 as part of PBS' American Experience series. His exceptional spirit and accomplishments have been recognized during his lifetime and beyond.

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