traveling latin america
Travel and tourism throughout Latin America. Roberto Clemente

Roberto Clemente was born on August 18, 1934 in Carolina, Puerto Rico. As a child he did well in sports, but baseball was where he truly shone. He began playing pro baseball for the Santurce Crabbers while he was still in high school, and it wasn't long before scouts from U.S. baseball teams came calling. Clemente signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers and began playing for their affiliate team, the Montreal Royals. In 1954 he was the Pittsburgh Pirates' number one draft pick. He joined the team in 1955, and played with them for the remainder of his career.

Clemente's skills on the field distinguished him, and he nabbed honors like fly balls from the air. To name just a few, he earned 12 Gold Gloves, 4 batting championships, was the 1966 National League MVP, the1971 World Series MVP, reached the 3000 hit mark in 1972, and became the first Hispanic inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Clemente was proud of his Puerto Rican heritage and insisted on being called Roberto, though some tried to Americanize his name to "Bob." In 1964 he married Vera Zabala, with whom he had three sons - Roberto Junior, Luis, and Roberto Enrique. He insisted that all three of his children be born in Puerto Rico.

Ironically, Clemente's famous 3000th hit was also his last. When an earthquake hit Managua, Nicaragua he organized a relief effort. On December 31, 1972 a plane left Puerto Rico for Nicaragua carrying food, medicine and Puerto Rico's most famous athlete. The plane went down, ending the life of Roberto Clemente.

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