PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Major League Baseball will celebrate Roberto Clemente Day on Wednesday.
Of course, the day has special significance here in Pittsburgh.
Clemente spent 18 years playing Major League Baseball. He was the right fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates. His baseball record speaks for itself – 15 All-Star Games, he lead batting records in ‘61, ‘64, ‘66 and ‘67.
He was as great off the field, too, as a humanitarian. Clemente died in ’72, in a plane crash delivering supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Today, his family joined with Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald to celebrate not only his contributions, but why Roberto Clemente day is still significant.
“He had an impact on people’s lives, and that doesn’t happen often in life, let alone sports, so his legacy lives on,” said Mayor Peduto.
Clemente didn’t just play baseball in Pittsburgh, he lived here. Even after his death, his family came back to Pittsburgh every summer.
“Every time we went to school, we had to convince our teachers that ‘yinz’ really was a word,” said son Luis Clemente.
“Dad always fell in love with the City of Pittsburgh. They welcomed him,” said son Roberto Clemente Jr.
And while the baseball world will celebrate Clemente’s legacy tomorrow, Mayor Peduto says the day has special significance for him because he has a unique bond with the family.
“We grew up together,” said the mayor. “So, when the Clemente family was living on Orchard Spring Road, I was up on Roseleaf, and I actually had the honor to play Little League with Roberto [Jr.], and I have to tell you, not only did all the kids want to watch him play but all our dads and parents were there to see him out on that field.”