Gifted batter and right fielder Roberto Clement joined the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1955, just one year after the team hired its first non-white player.
Photo: Pittsburgh Pirates
A native of Puerto Rico, he stayed with the Buccos for 18 seasons and two World Series victories. He was the first Latino to win a World Series as a starter (1960), a World Series Most Valuable Player Award (1971) and to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame 1973). He was a four-time National League batting champion, making his 3,000th hit in 1972.
During the season rented an apartment in the Upper Hill, according to biographer David Marraniss. In the off-season he was deeply involved in charity work across Latin American. On Dec. 31, 1972 at age 38, Clemente died after the overloaded aircraft he had chartered to deliver aid to earthquake survivors in Nicaragua crashed into the Caribbean Sea shortly after take-off from Carolina, Puerto Rico, where Clemente grew up.
The Roberto Clemente Museum in Lawrenceville commemorates the No. 21, known to his fans as “The Great One.”