Roberto Clemente

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Roberto Clemente

Right fielder
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
April 17, 1955 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 1972 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Career statistics
Batting average     .317
Hits     3,000
Home runs     240
Runs batted in     1,305
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction     1973
Vote     92.7% (first ballot)

Roberto Clemente Walker (August 16, 1934–December 31, 1972) was a Puerto Rican baseball player. He played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played right field for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1955 through 1972. Clemente's career was cut short by his death in a plane crash off the coast of his homeland of Puerto Rico. The flight was planned to deliver emergency supplies to victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua.

Clemente was the first Latin American elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He and Lou Gehrig are the only Hall of Fame members that did not have the five-year waiting period. However, the rules for election were different in Gehrig's day. He was eligible when he retired in 1939, and the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA), which then as now is the main body for electing players, chose to hold a special election specifically to elect him. (This was probably because Gehrig was known to be dying, and the voters wanted to elect him while he was still alive.) After Clemente's death, the BBWAA made an exception to its five-year waiting period for Clemente. The exception made for Clemente is now a rule—a player who dies while active, or within five years of his retirement, becomes eligible for election six months after his death (provided he has played at least 10 years in Major League Baseball).

Clemente did a lot of charity work, especially in Latin American countries; as noted above, he died on a charity mission to Latin America. Each year the MLB gives the Roberto Clemente Award. This award is for the player who best follows Clemente's example with charity work.[1]

In 1973, Clemente was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and the first Presidential Citizens Medal. On August 17, 1984 the United States Postal Service issued a postage stamp honoring Clemente.[2] This was the day before what would have been his 50th birthday.

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