The Pittsburgh Pirates celebrated the legacy of Corridor of Popularity outfielder Roberto Clemente through dressed in his iconic No. 21 in opposition to the Chicago White Sox
PITTSBURGH — Roberto Clemente’s iconic No. 21 has been a fixture in Pittsburgh for greater than 60 years. Its presence has simplest grown because the Corridor of Popularity outfielder’s dying at age 38 on New Yr’s Eve 1972 in a airplane crash off the coast of his local Puerto Rico.
His jersey stays probably the most franchise’s most well liked. It embellishes the right-field wall named after him at PNC Park. It is ubiquitous within the stands right through Pirates house video games and on post-game strolls alongside the Allegheny River. First-year supervisor Derek Shelton has even stuck his neighbors rocking it whilst chopping the grass.
On Wednesday night time, the quantity discovered itself in a spot the place it hasn’t been for almost a part century: at the again of a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. They all.
The Pirates celebrated Clemente’s legacy through dressed in his quantity right through the group’s first “Roberto Clemente Day” in opposition to the Chicago White Sox. The quantity used to be mowed into the right-field grass a couple of hundred yards from the place Clemente stood at 3 Rivers Stadium.
“He’s our Jackie Robinson,” mentioned present correct fielder Gregory Polanco, who’s from the Dominican Republic. “He’s our idol. He’s the Nice One, guy. He’s the participant everyone knows rising up, like, ‘Hi there, Clemente. He used to be the person. It used to be outdoor the baseball subject. That’s what makes it much more, the best particular person, what he did and the best way he used to be serving to other folks all the time.”
Pittsburgh misplaced the sport, Eight-1.
Main League Baseball granted the Pirates permission for everybody to don No. 21 closing week, then prolonged it to all Puerto Rican-born gamers.
Houston shortstop Carlos Correa, Cubs 2nd baseman Javier Báez, Dodgers teammates Enrique Hernández and Edwin Rios, Detroit pitcher Joe Jiménez and Milwaukee hurler Alex Claudio had been some of the many Puerto Rican main leaguers who took section within the birthday party.
Clemente’s circle of relatives and the crew he represented are hoping the league will someday honor Clemente through retiring his quantity throughout all of MLB because it did for Robinson’s No. 42 in 1997.
“He merits that,” Polanco mentioned.
The Pirates made certain to increase the tribute past the partitions of PNC Park, the place the Roberto Clemente Bridge stands. The crew partnered with the Larger Pittsburgh Neighborhood Meals Financial institution to host a drive-through meals distribution early within the day. They hosted a meal and masks distribution on the Latino Neighborhood Middle and purchased present subscriptions to the New Pittsburgh Courier — a newspaper that specialize in the town’s Black neighborhood — for native libraries.
“One of the crucial issues that we have got mentioned so much is Roberto Clemente, the participant, is among the largest gamers of all time,” Shelton mentioned. “Roberto Clemente, the humanitarian, used to be among the best humanitarian within the historical past of our recreation.”
The day used to be additionally celebrated in Clemente’s place of origin of Carolina, Puerto Rico ,and in other places around the island. Pirates 3rd base trainer Joey Cora, born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, gained footage of pals from again house of Puerto Ricans dressed in their very own No. 21 jerseys.
“That is one thing after we first began, it used to be a in reality cool initiative, however the truth that it has grown into what it has grown into, the truth that all of the Puerto Ricans will be capable to don his uniform as of late, it’s beautiful cool,” Shelton mentioned. “It were given so much larger, so much quicker, than I assumed, however once more, it’s one thing that I’m extraordinarily proud to be a part of.”
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