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Biography

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Overview (5)

Date of Birth 18 August 1934Carolina, Puerto Rico
Date of Death 31 December 1972San Juan, Puerto Rico  (plane crash)
Birth NameRoberto Enrique Clemente Walker
Nicknames Bob
Momen
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Known for his hitting prowess on offense and his strong, accurate throwing arm on defense, Roberto Clemente carved out a Hall of Fame career over his 18 seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, compiling a .317 lifetime batting average and collecting an even 3,000 hits. He was the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1966 and was voted MVP of the 1971 World Series in which the Pirates defeated the Baltimore Orioles. He was killed in a mission-of-mercy plane crash while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake-stricken Nicaragua. Clemente was inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame in 1973, only the second player to have had the required five-year waiting period before being eligible waived.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Bulota

Roberto Clemente Walker was born in Barrio San Anton in Carolina, Puerto Rico, August 18, 1934. The youngest of four children, Roberto excelled in track and field, winning medals in the javelin throw and short distance races. However, his real love was baseball. He played amateur baseball with Juncos Double A Club and soon went on to play with the Santurce Crabbers in the Puerto Rican Winter League. From Santurce he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers and was assigned to play for their top affiliate, the Montreal Royals.

In 1954, the Pittsburgh Pirates obtained Roberto with the # 1 pick of the draft, which was awarded to the Pirates. Clemente joined the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1955, where he played his entire eighteen year Major League Baseball career from 1955 to 1972. Roberto played in two World Series, batting .310 in 1960 and .414 in 1971. He was the National League Batting Champion four times, was awarded 12 Gold Gloves, selected National League MVP in 1966 and was chosen as the MVP in the 1971 World Series. On November 14, 1964, he married Vera Cristina Zabala in Carolina, Puerto Rico. They had three sons: Roberto Clemente Jr., Luis Roberto and Roberto Enrique. Proud of his heritage Roberto insisted that Vera give birth to all three sons in Puerto Rico. The boys were six, five and two, respectively, when their father met his untimely death.

New Year's Eve, December 31, 1997 marked the 25th Anniversary of a tragic plane crash. The plane was taking medical, food and clothing supplies to earthquake stricken Nicaragua. Vera and friends begged him not to take the trip (poor weather and an unstable cargo plane) but Roberto was determined. He was infuriated that the previous supplies had not made it to the victims. Roberto was going to personally see to it that the victims received the much needed supplies. Unfortunately, the plane went down off the coast of Puerto Rico. Roberto's body was never found. Just months after Roberto joined an elite group of players with 3,000 hits, he was gone. months later he was the first Latino inducted in to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

December 31, 2002 marked the 30th Anniversary since his unfortunate death and still today Roberto is remembered as one of the greatest athletes and humanitarians of all time. One of Roberto's dreams, the Roberto Clemente Sports City, is one part of the legacy he left behind. Visitors to Carolina, Puerto Rico are greeted by a twelve foot statue as they enter into a 304 acre sports complex. Roberto Clemente's legacy is continued by his wife Vera, Luis Roberto and Roberto Enrique, who have been instrumental in continuing Roberto's Dream. Today Roberto Clemente is considered as one of the greatest Latino Baseball players to ever play the game of Baseball. Like Jackie Robinson many people are trying to have his number retired from Baseball.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: R.C.

Spouse (1)

Vera Cristina Zabala (14 November 1964 - 31 December 1972) (his death) (3 children)

Trivia (15)

Pictured on a 20¢ US commemorative postage stamp issued in his honor, 17 August 1984.
Pittsburgh Pirates All-Time Total Bases Leader (4,492).
Pittsburgh Pirates All-Time Hits Leader (3,000).
Pittsburgh Pirates All-Time At Bats Leader (9,454).
Tied with Honus Wagner as Pittsburgh Pirates All-Time Games Played Leader (2,433).
Outfielder for Pittsburgh Pirates (1955-1972).
1966 National League MVP for having .317 Batting Average, .536 Slugging Percentage, 638 At Bats, 105 Runs, 202 Hits, 342 Total Bases, 31 Doubles, 11 Triples, 29 Home Runs, 119 RBI, 109 Strikeouts, 71 Extra-Base Hits and 248 Times on Base. Did not lead National League in any statistical category. Finished in top 10 in voting for same award 1960-1961, 1964-1965, 1967, 1969 and 1971.
1971 World Series MVP for having .414 Batting Average, 2 Doubles, 1 Triple, 2 Home Runs, 4 RBI and 2 Walks.
Member of 1960 and 1971 World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates teams. Member of 1970 and 1972 National League Eastern Division Champion Pittsburgh Pirates teams.
Named to 12 National League All Star Teams (1960-1967 and 1969-1972).
Won 12 National League Gold Glove Awards as Outfielder (1961-1972).
Children: Roberto Clemente, Jr. (b. 17 August 1965), Luis Roberto (b. 13 July 1966) and Roberto Enrique (b. 1970). Clemente insisted that his wife give birth to all three sons in their native Puerto Rico.
Inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame in 1995.
During the mid to late 1960s, Pittsburgh sports writers started calling him "Bob" or "Bobby". He hated the change and insisted on being called "Roberto".
Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973, immediately following his death on 31 December 1972.

Personal Quotes (5)

Any time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don't, then you are wasting your time on Earth.
I am convinced that God wanted me to be a baseball player. I was born to play baseball.
I'm a very quiet, shy person, although you writers might not believe because I shout sometimes.
When I put on my uniform, I feel I am the proudest man on earth.
Why does everyone talk about the past? All that counts is tomorrow's game.

See also

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