PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The son of a baseball legend is following in his father’s footsteps, trying to help Hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, and he’s hoping people in Pittsburgh will step up to the plate and help, too.
Roberto Clemente died in 1972 while trying to help earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Sixty-five years later, Roberto Clemente Jr. is taking up the charge to help his countrymen in Puerto Rico. Five days after being devastated by Hurricane Maria, Clemente is hoping Pittsburgh will answer the call for help.
“I think that today is the day that we as Pennsylvanians and people from Pittsburgh need to help our people from Puerto Rico,” he said.
Clemente says his immediate family survived the hurricane. Ron Alverado, another native Puerto Rican, just learned that his elderly mother survived. Alverado and Clemente are working with the Brothers Brother Foundation to get desperately needed supplies shipped to the island.
“We need generators. We need medicine,” Alverado said, “and we need those lines to go back up.”
Clemente says his father’s death inspired him into action.
“Understanding why he did it, it’s something that for me, it actually drives me to continue the legacy, continue helping the situation as such,” he said. “Now it’s our chance. We have an obligation to the legend of 21.”
Pittsburgh has just over 3,000 residents of Puerto Rican descent. Antonio Benitas hopes to fly on JetBlue airlines with a load of mostly supplies Tuesday.
“If you had a wooden property or something that wasn’t made from concrete, it’s probably not there anymore,” he said.
Ivan Usero with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is also collecting badly needed supplies for his country.
“I just said, I’m going to start this initiative, get with some other folks and hit the ground running,” he said. “It’s what Puerto Rico is about.”