A dazing baseball ace of exceling accomplishments. Roberto Clemente ( 1934-1972 ) was the first great Latin American participant to capture the major conferences. His life was cut short when his plane. presenting alleviation supplies to earthquake-devastated Nicaragua. crashed on the last twenty-four hours of 1972.
A Puerto Rican national hero. Hall of Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente spent his scintillating 18-year baseball calling with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He enchanted fans with his powerful throwing arm. graceful outfield defence. and brilliant striking. Clemente won Gold Glove Awards. typifying defensive domination. every twelvemonth from their origin in 1961. until his decease in 1972. He besides was elected to the National League All-Star squad 12 times. Clemente was an vocal advocator for Hispanic rights and a human-centered. His ill-timed decease came while he was taking a mission of clemency.
Clemente’s ascendants were Puerto Rican labourers who worked on the island’s java and sugar plantations. His male parent. Melchor Clemente. was in his mid-50s when Roberto was born in the Puerto Rican town of Carolina on August 18. 1934. Roberto was the last of six kids for him and his married woman. Dona Luisa. Melchor Clemente was a chief at a sugar cane factory and ran a little food market. His married woman rose early to make the household wash for the proprietor of the factory. She was really spiritual. and frequently fed hapless kids who came to her house. Clemente’s parents instilled in him the values of difficult work. regard. self-respect. and...
generousness. “I ne’er heard any hatred in my house. ” Clemente said. “Not for anybody. I ne’er heard my female parents say a bad word to my male parent. or my male parent to my female parent. ” He revered his parents throughout his life.
Even in his childhood. Roberto was an organiser. He one time led a group of male childs in raising money to construct a fencing to protect his school. and another clip rescued a driver from a combustion auto. Get downing at the age of nine. he got up daily at six o’clock to present milk for a penny a twenty-four hours. salvaging his net incomes for three old ages in order to purchase a bike. From an early age. Clemente developed a passion for baseball. “I wanted to be a baseball player. ” he said. “I became positive God wanted me to. ” He would hit bottle caps with a broom handle. throw tennis balls against walls. and pattern his accomplishments infinitely.
At the age of 18. Clemente attended a trial cantonment conducted by Brooklyn Dodgers lookout and future general director Al Campanis. Among 70 participants. Clemente stood out. “He was the best free-agent jock I have of all time seen. ” Campanis recalled. After playing with Santurce in the Puerto Rican winter conference. Clemente signed with the Dodgers for a $ 10. 000 fillip and a $ 5. 000 salary. He played in 1954 with the Dodgers’ Montreal farm nine. But when Brooklyn didn’t protect him on its roll. he wasdrafted by Pittsburgh. “I didn’t even know where Pittsburgh was. ” Clemente subsequently confessed. The Pirates installed him as
their right fielder
Pride of Puerto Rico
“Clemente was our Jackie Robinson. ” said Puerto Rican journalist Luis Mayoral. “He was on a campaign to demo the American populace what a Latino adult male. a black Hispanic adult male. was capable of. ” Robinson had broken baseball’s colour saloon in 1947 with the Dodgers. Clemente was non baseball’s first Hispanic participant – others such as Minnie Minoso preceded him–but he was the first to do a major impact on the game.
When Clemente made his major conference introduction on April 17. 1955. he was listed as “Bob” on the Plagiarists roster because Roberto sounded excessively foreign. He made an immediate feeling with his accomplishments. his manner. and his bearing. Though less than six pess tall and weighing merely 175 lbs. Clemente swung an enforcing 36-ounce chiropteran. He stood far off the home base. legs spread broad. keeping his chiropteran high and tilting his powerful upper organic structure over the home base. Using his speedy custodies and strong weaponries. he could manage pitches thrown in any location. frequently driving them to the opposite field.
Asked how to flip to Clemente. Dodgers Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax replied jestingly: “Roll the ball. ” Clemente himself. non known for modestness. said: “Pitch me outside. I will hit. 400. Flip me inside. and you will non happen the ball. ” Power was the lone property dividing Clemente from Willie Mays. to whom he was often compared as an all-round participant. Clemente was a line-drive batter who cleared the fencings at the rate of about 15 place runs a season.
Whether in the field or on the basepaths. Clemente ever hustled. frequently running out from under his helmet or hat “He played merely about every game like his life depended on it. ” said his Plagiarists teammate. Willie Stargell. His athletic fielding delighted fans. He covered an tremendous sum of land. caught fly balls no 1 else could make. and made enormous throws. Many experts considered his outfield arm the best of all time seen in baseball. Few smugglers would seek to take excess bases against him. yet he still led the National League in outfield aids in five seasons. One clip. he threw out Lee May of Cincinnati seeking to hit from 3rd base on a individual.
Despite his accomplishments. Clemente had a hard passage to major conference baseball. Sports writers frequently misunderstood his broken English and misquoted him. Sometimes they even made his English expression worse than it was. He besides had frequent quarrels with choleric Pirates director. Danny Murtaugh. In his first five seasons. Clemente hit over. 300 merely one time and ne’er had more than seven place tallies.
In 1960. he had a discovery season. taking Pittsburgh to the World Series. Against the vaunted New York Yankees. he had nine hits. After the Pirates won the Series on Bill Mazeroski’s dramatic place tally. Clemente skipped the squad party and walked the streets of Pittsburgh to personally thank the fans. Yet the baseball authors elected Pirates shortstop Dick Groat. who had a. 325 batting mean with two home runs and 50 tallies batted in. as the league’s Most Valuable
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