Roberto Clemente


Quick Facts

Full name Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker
Nickname Bobby, Bob
Birthdate August 18, 1934
Birthplace Barrio San Anton, Carolina, Puerto Rico
Nationality Latin-American
Ethnicity Hispanic
Religion Catholic
Zodiac Sign  Leo
Died on  December 31, 1972 (Aged 38)
Father’s name Don Melchor Clemente
Mother’s name Luisa Walker
Siblings Rosa Oquendo, Andres, Osvaldo, Justino and Anairis
High School Julio Vizcarrondo Coronado High School
College Unknown
Gender Male
Marital Status  Married
Wife’s Name  Vera Clemente
Ex-Girlfriends Unknown
Children  Three ( Roberto Clemente Jr., Roberto Enrique, and Luis Roberto)
Eye Color Brown
Hair Color Brown
Height 1.8 meters (5 feet 9 inches)
Weight 79 kg
Profession  Professional Baseball Player
MBL Debut  April 17, 1955, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Position  Right Fielder
Jersey Number 21
Last MLB Appearance October 3, 1972 (with the Pittsburgh Pirates)
Hits  3000
Batting Average .317
Home runs  240
Runs batted in  1.305
Net Worth $300 thousand 
Baseball Hall of Fame Induction 1973
Vote  92.7% (first ballot)
Merch The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero (Paperback)
Social Media None
Last Update July, 2022

Roberto Clemente was a Puerto Rican baseball player who was born on August 18, 1934. He played right field in professional baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates for 18 years. He was a native of Puerto Rico.

In addition, over the course of his thirteen-year All-Star career, Clemente participated in 15 All-Star Games. He was the NL batting leader in 1961, 1964, 1965, and 1967. He also earned the NL MVP in 1966.

During the off-seasons, Roberto Clemente volunteered for organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean. He also routinely provided food and baseball equipment to people in need.

Childhood And Family

Melchor Clemente and Luisa Walker welcomed Roberto into the world in Barrio San Antón, Carolina, Puerto Rico.

In a family of seven, he was the seventh child. Throughout his early years, Clemente’s father worked as a foreman for sugar cane fields in the municipality, which is situated in the island’s northeast.

Similarly, due to a lack of finances, Clemente and his siblings assisted their father by helping him load and unload supplies from trucks in the fields.

Prior to concentrating on baseball, Clemente was a standout in track and field and an Olympic prospect.

Similar to this, he had a long-standing interest in baseball and used to play against the barrios in his neighborhood. He went to Julio Vizcarrondo Coronado High School in Carolina.

When he was sixteen years old, Clemente joined the Ferdinand Juncos club, which represented the town of Juncos, in the amateur league of Puerto Rico.

Journey of the Baseball Legacy

When he was 18 years old, the Puerto Rican signed a contract with the Cangrejeros de Santurce (“Crabbers”), a winter league team and franchise of (LBBPR).

Finally, Clemente became a member of the group on October 9, 1952. The next year, Clemente was promoted to the Cangrejeros’ starting lineup after spending his rookie campaign on the sidelines.

He started at leadoff for the squad and had a season average of.288. While still playing in the LBBPR, the Brooklyn Dodgers made Clemente an offer to join one of their Triple-A clubs.

The Walk

Brooklyn Dodgers and Robert Clemente have a minor league contract.

The Montreal Royals, their minor league affiliate, were where he spent a season.

Later, he signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates the next year, and in 1955, he made his major-league debut.

Despite hitting.311 in 1956, Clemente had a difficult start because of injuries and a language barrier.

He hit his stride in 1960, hitting.314 with 16 home runs and 94 RBIs, earning his first All-Star berth and assisting the Pirates in winning the World Series.

He also had the highest average in the National League (.351), hit 23 home runs, and won his first of 12 consecutive Gold Glove Awards for outstanding fielding the following season.

Clemente became one of baseball’s top all-around performers as the decade went on.

He also went on to take home three more batting titles and twice lead the league in hits.

When playing baseball, the Puerto Rican also had fearsome arms and would frequently hurl deadly balls from his position in right field.

In 1966, he had one of his best seasons and was named the National League Most Valuable Player after batting.317 with a career-high 29 home runs and 119 RBIs.

The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the much fancied Baltimore Orioles in the 1971 World Series thanks to Roberto Clemente, who hit.414 with two home runs.

The 3000 Hits

Clemente played in 102 games and hit.312 in 1972 despite his dissatisfaction and health issues.

He also won his twelfth consecutive Gold Glove and was selected to his twelfth consecutive National League All-Star team (he played in 14/15 All-Star Games).

Roberto doubled in the fourth inning against Jon Matlack of the New York Mets on September 30 to reach 3,000 hits at Three Rivers Stadium. He has just one more regular-season at-bat left.

Clemente raised his helmet after the 3,000th Hit

By taking the field in right field for one more regular-season game on October 3, Clemente matched Honus Wagner’s record of 2,433 games played as a Pittsburgh Pirate.

He participated in the fifth and decisive game of the National League Championship Series of 1972 on October 11 at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium.

He and Bill Mazeroski were the final two members of the Pirates team that won the World Series in 1960.

What is the Relationship status of  Roberto Clemente?

On November 14, 1964, Clemente wed Vera Zabala in Carolina’s San Fernando Church.

On March 7, 1941, Vera Zabala was born in Puerto Rico. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a degree in business administration.

She also had a job as a teller at the government bank in Carolina, which was close to San Juan.

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How did they first meet?

She was seen crossing the street to the pharmacy one day in 1964 as she left the bank, according to David Maraniss’ biography “Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero.” Clemente was driving by and saw her.

Inside the pharmacy, he introduced himself to her, but Ms. Zabala didn’t appear particularly interested. Her father, on the other hand, was strict and had a strong grip on her.

After several years in the Hall of Fame, Clemente found her by contacting her friends and neighbors. She kept declining him, but she eventually relaxed.

Young Roberto and wife Vera Clemente(Source:Instagram)

The executive director and founder of the Clemente Museum in Pittsburgh, Duane Rieder, told her that he was racing to start a family since he would pass away shortly.

In front of hundreds of guests, including the governor and a few of Roberto Clemente’s baseball teammates, they were married on November 14, 1964, in Carolina, a town just east of San Juan, the city of Clemente’s birth.

Only eight years later, the Latin American player was killed, and his wife assumed the humanitarian position.

After The passing of  her husband?

Ms. Clemente, who was 30 at the time her husband passed away, devoted the rest of her life to preserving his humanitarian legacy and paying tribute to his memory.

Additionally, Vera had intended to teach there when Roberto Clemente passed away because he had planned to open a sports complex for children in Puerto Rico.

He had envisioned the Roberto Clemente Sports City as a place where young people might learn new skills and train for international contests. She soon built the Roberto Clemente Sports City.

Robert Clemente with his family

She was hospitalized in San Juan and passed away on Saturday at the age of 78.

Roberto was admitted by the Pirates on November 1 after it was announced that she was critically ill. She was working there as a goodwill ambassador when the Pirates and Major League Baseball made the announcement of her passing.

Charity Works and Death

Clemente committed his attention to charity endeavors during the off-season.

On December 23, 1972, a significant earthquake devastated Managua, the nation’s capital, and Clemente rushed right away to assist in setting up emergency aid aircraft.

He soon learned, however, that the aid packages on the first three planes had been diverted by dishonest Somoza government employees. In order to contact earthquake victims, the government could not be trusted.

He decided to fly with the fourth relief plane in the hopes that his presence would assure the survivors’ help and assistance.

He had hired a Douglas DC-7 freight jet for a New Year’s Eve flight, but it had a history of mechanical problems, was without a flight engineer and a copilot, and was 4,200 pounds overweight (1,900 kg).

Due to engine failure, it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean not long after takeoff on December 31, 1972, off Isla Verde, Puerto Rico.

Similar to this, days after the accident a part of the plane’s fuselage and the pilot’s body were found.

An empty travel case belonging to Clemente was the sole personal item found on the aircraft.

Only one Pirates player, Manny Sanguillén, Clemente’s teammate and close friend, did not go to Roberto’s funeral service.

Vera Clemente, Clemente’s wife, claimed in an interview for the ESPN documentary series SportsCentury in 2002 that Clemente had often informed her he believed he would pass away young.

With the Pirates, Clemente established numerous marks, including the most triples in a game (three) and hits in two straight games (ten).

He also shared the record for the most Gold Glove Awards among outfielders with Willie Mays, receiving 12.

Hall of Fame

On March 20, 1973, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America held voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

They decided to eliminate the waiting period for Clemente because of the circumstances surrounding his passing, and he was subsequently elected to the Hall of Fame with 393 out of 420 votes, or 92.7 percent of the vote.

Award

Since 1973, a unique award known as the Robert Clement Award has been named after him to recognize his contributions to literature and video games. It was once known as the Commissioner’s Award.

This honor is given by the MLB committee to the athlete who best represents the sport both on and off the field.

How was the Networth of Roberto Clemente?

Before his passing in 1972, the Puerto Rican professional baseball star Robert Clemente had a $300,000 net worth.

When multiplied by today’s exchange rate, $300,000 is equivalent to $1.9 million.

Similar to this, Roberto earned about $760,000 during his unfortunately brief career.

He earned $150,000 for playing baseball in his final season. That is equivalent to almost $933,000 in today’s money.

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