Sports: Baseball Spotlight-“Roberto Clemente” of Pittsburgh Pirates

Roberto Clemente Stats, Fantasy & News | MLB.com
“Year AB R H HR RBI SB AVG OBP OPS
MLB Career Stats 9454 1416 3000 240 1305 83 .317 .359 .834
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Roberto Clemente (The Great One) MLB Legends

Roberto Clemente’s ‘problem’ is ours too Jan 15, 2017 | 2 comments nurturingfaith.net
“..However, his treatment as a young player coming from his native Puerto Rico to the states was far less dignified and truly shameful. When Clemente left the island to play professional baseball in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization he experienced unexpected discrimination based solely on skin tone — something African Americans here had long experienced.

Years earlier, as a starting pitcher for the Chicago Cubs in 1942, Hiram Bithorn became the first Puerto Rican to play in the major leagues. That was five years before Jackie Robinson “broke the color barrier.” But there was a big difference: Bithorn had light skin like all the other players in the majors.

Slugger Vic Power became the first Puerto Rican to play in the American League. But due to his dark skin, he received a different reception.

While racism is a most serious matter, Power was known to confront it with his quick wit. A long-told story from the 1950s recalls Power entering a diner and being told by the waitress, “We don’t serve Negroes,” to which he replied: “That’s OK, I don’t eat Negroes; just bring me some beans and rice.”..

..Black Pirates players were also excluded from viewing a film at a downtown theater that highlighted the 1960 World Series — as well as the annual Pirates golf tournament at the Fort Myers Country Club.

Wendell Smith, the groundbreaking African-American sportswriter who featured prominently in Jackie Robinson’s story, led the public campaign against training camp segregation.

Not mincing words, Smith wrote in the Pittsburgh Courier to and for black stars of the Chicago White Sox who trained in Sarasota: “Despite all your achievements and fame, the vicious system of racial segregation in Florida’s hick towns condemns you to a life of humiliation and ostracism.”..

Clemente and other dark-skinned players, who broke into major league baseball in the ’50s, would be forced to stay on the team bus while the white players enjoyed a meal in a nice restaurant. Their food came later when teammates would bring a burger or something else back to the bus.

Clemente, who was unfamiliar with such racial discrimination in Puerto Rico, saw the practice as insulting — what he considered to be “begging for food.” He told the other black players that anyone caught doing such a thing would have to fight him to get it.

It is gratifying to remember Roberto Clemente — deemed by biographer Maraniss as “baseball’s last hero” — for his gifted athleticism and the altruism that brought his earthly life to an early end.

But we need to remember more — especially this weekend. Racism is ugly, awful, sinful and inexcusable wherever and whenever it is found. It is not the will of God, yet it is not easily overcome. It lingers and even gets resurrected….


..A younger black player for the Pirates, Al Oliver, considered Clemente a mentor and person of sterling character. He told Maraniss that Clemente “had a problem with people who treat you differently because of where you were from, your nationality, your color, also poor people…”

Well, Jesus had a problem with that too. We should all see that as a problem — and give voice to it.”

Roberto Clemente tribute- the greatest plays & games in his career ending in tragedy.

“God wanted me to play baseball”

Roberto Clemente – Plimpton Interview

BASEBALL; Clemente’s Oldest Son the Keeper of the Flame By CLAIRE SMITH Published: January 10, 1994 nytimes.com
“… Twenty-one years later, Clemente’s gift of charity and humanitarian efforts still lives, not only in spirit, but in the person of Roberto Clemente Jr., the eldest of the three sons of the late Pirate great.

Clemente Jr., 28 years old and a former minor league ballplayer, is taking up where his father left off. Already active in baseball’s RBI program (Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities) in Puerto Rico, he has now set out to uplift the children of Pittsburgh. There he is organizing the Roberto Clemente Foundation, a not-for-profit organization designed to aid the needy in areas of education and athletics. ..”

MLB: Fan Fest 14′ Spotlight-Roberto Clemente (wife Vera & son Jr. sharing)

From Cuba To Cooperstown: The History Of Latinos In Baseball #Baseball #MLB uproxx.com
“..Clemente wasn’t the first player to break through into the majors as a legitimate Latino threat, though. This month, Hennessy All-Stars is celebrating Erick Aybar of the Los Angeles Angels, a Dominican Republic star who has a Golden Glove and All-Star appearance to his name. Hennessy is honoring the history and culture of Latin athletes in the sport, athletes like Aybar and Clemente, who solidified the notion that Hispanic players were here to stay, a path later followed by David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, and other stars who ingrained their heritage into the fabric of the sport…

Laying Down Roots

The roots of baseball in Latino nations can be traced back to Cuba, when young Cubans studying in the states returned home with a working knowledge of the sport. It took at least a decade for the U.S. pastime to catch on, but in 1878, the first Cuban baseball league held its inaugural game. During that time, in which Cuba assimilated the sport, Estevan Enrique “Steve” Bellán — the first Latino player to play in professional leagues in the states — made his debut in the U.S.’ National Association of Baseball Players (NABBP). Born in Havana, Cuba, Bellán studied at St. John’s College in New York, then embarked on a career in early American baseball leagues. He played big league ball from 1868 until 1873, before returning to his native Cuba to help cultivate the county’s growing infatuation with the sport as a player/manager. To this day, Bellán is credited as one of the forefathers of Cuban baseball, shuttling his experience in the states to his birthplace and using his position to infuse the first crop of Latino baseball players with the necessary fundamentals and skills to excel in the growing competition..

Breaking Barriers

Citing the growing talent of the Cuban leagues, the Cincinnati Reds visited the island in 1908 to engage in a series of exhibitions against some of the country’s top talent. In a five-game series, Cuba’s Almendares club bested the Reds, winning four of the games played. The American organization was highly impressed with two specific players: Armando Marsáns and Rafael Almeida. Marsáns and Almeida took their skills to the American minor leagues for a few seasons, but in 1911, the Reds called up the players to join their major league team, the pair becoming the first athletes from Cuba to become major leaguers since Bellán. While Almeida struggled to get off the ground — after three seasons, he was sent back to the minors — Marsáns became a rising star, ranking in the top of the National League for batting average and stolen bases. Following a career full of injuries, Marsáns ended his tenure in the majors in 1918 — last playing for the New York Yankees — then later serving as the first Cuban manager of an American minor league team….

The 1930s saw a spike in players of Latin decent entering the major leagues. Baldomero Almada debuted with the Boston Red Sox in 1933 as the first Mexican to join the upper echelon of baseball. Almada played professionally for seven seasons, and shortly after his arrival, José Góme — the second Mexican major leaguer — made his debut, becoming the first Latino player to join the Phillies organization. In 1938, a milestone was reached when Miguel Angel González — a Cuban player turned coach — became the interim manager for the St. Louis Cardinals, marking the first time a Latino held that position in the majors…

Jackie Robinson struck his fist through the racial barrier in 1947. Robinson’s signing to the Dodgers signaled that the color line, which had prevented African-Americans, as well as black Latinos from reaching the pinnacle of the sport, was about to dissolve. That dissolution became even more clear when, in 1949, the aforementioned “Minnie” Miñoso became the first black Latino player to join the MLB when he debuted with Cleveland Indians…

The floodgates for Latino players to join the ranks of professional American baseball proceeded to swing open. The aperture widened even further when Fidel Castro’s regime shut down the Cuban League in 1961, this coming on the heels of the last Negro Leagues collapsing at the tail end of the ’50s. In the ’60s and ’70s, players from Puerto Rico, Panama, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela — among other Latin American nations — started streaming into the majors, and new stars were born. Juan Marichal, Rod Carew, and Tony Perez all set out on Hall of Fame careers during this era. Showing that an affinity for the contributions of Latino players is also retroactive, Martín Dihigo — an electrifying Cuban player who was a threat in all nine positions and competed in Negro, Mexican, and Cuban leagues — was elected into the Hall at Cooperstown in 1977, without ever having played an MLB game…”

Outside of Baseball

21 Facts You May Not Know About Roberto Clemente on the Anniversary of His Debut Tim Karan April 17, 2012 bleacherreport.com
“…1. Roberto Clemente Walker was the youngest of seven children born to Don Melchor Clemente and Luisa Walker. He was born on Aug. 18, 1934, in Carolina, Puerto Rico—the same town boxers Esteban De Jesus and Alfredo Escalera called home…

7. On July 25, 1956, he became the only player ever to hit a walk-off inside-the-park grand slam. He did it in a 9-8 win over the Cubs at Forbes field.

8. Clemente enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve after the 1958 season and spent six months on active duty at Parris Island, South Carolina and Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. He served until 1964 and was inducted into the Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.


14. Nearly as well-known for his humanitarian efforts as his baseball career, Clemente sent shipments of aid to Nicaragua after an earthquake ravaged the country in late 1972. Clemente decided to accompany the packages when he learned that three previous shipments had been diverted by corrupt Somoza government officials….

16. Clemente’s teammate Manny Sanguillen was the only Pirate not to attend the memorial service. That’s because he instead traveled to Puerto Rico to dive into the waters where the plane crashed in an effort to recover Clemente’s body—which was never found…”

Beyond Baseball: The Life of Roberto Clemente robertoclemente.si.edu
“…Clemente’s name has been used for stadiums, schools, hospitals, and highways in Puerto Rico, the United States, Nicaragua, and places as distant as Germany.

After his death, Major League Baseball established an award that bears Clemente’s name, recognizing the player who, besides being a good athlete, emulates Clemente’s philanthropy and humanitarianism.

In Puerto Rico an award in his name is given at public schools to those who excel as athletes, students, and citizens…”

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