Roberto Clemente Celebrity Life
Clemente is considered to be one of the greatest baseball players to have ever played in the American Baseball League. He also helped to pave the way for future Latin American talent to play in the American League and put Latin America onto the baseball map.
Early Life and Childhood
Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker was born in the humble dwellings of a sugarcane worker on August 18, 1934, in the city of Carolina, Puerto Rico. Only as a young child, Clemente developed a keen interest in Baseball, and thus started his baseball career right after high school.
His first-ever baseball contract came from the Cangrejeros de Santurce, a winter league team and a smaller franchise of the Puerto Rican Professional Baseball League (LBBPR). While he was playing in Puerto Rico he caught the eyes of a few officials of the American League. He was able to sign a deal with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954, albeit he was only able to play for their minor league team, The Montreal Royals for the whole season.
Early on in his career, due the move to Montreal had a bit of a negative effect on Clemente's health. This combined with the language barriers, as well as his newly developed injury woes, Clemente was unable to make a huge impact initially. However, he put in a huge amount of effort to adjust, increased his game time and made vast improvements in his time with the Royals.
The turning point for Clemente's career came when he was scouted by the Pittsburgh Pirates for the major league. He made a move to the Pittsburgh Pirates for the 1955 season and made his major league debut there. The discrimination he faced from the locals and the media, hampered his abilities initially. However, he soon came into his own, and established himself as one of the best in the team, and was soon starting ever match for the pirates.
The 1960 season was his best season, with a .353 batting average as well as 14 extra-base hits and 25 RBIs which helped him land his first-ever National League's Player of the Month. This was only the beginning of Clemente's long and prolific career. Clemente was an all-star in every season in the 1960s except 1968, with the Pirates. He also established himself as one of the best all-rounders to have ever played major league baseball. He was able to win the Gold Glove award for 12 consecutive seasons, for his excellent fielding efforts.
Clemente also helped the Pirates win the world series not once, but twice. On the second occasion, Clemente played a huge role. He totaled a huge .414 batting average and performed extremely well defensively to secure the championship. Following the win, he was also awarded the World Series Most Valuable Player Award.
Clemente was married to Vera Zabala, a native of his hometown, Carolina in Puerto Rico on November 14, 1964. He had three boys with her, Roberto Jr (1965), Luis Roberto(1966), and Roberto Enrique (1969).
Clemente was greeted with a fair bit of discrimination when he first came to the USA because he was essentially a Latin American player from the Caribbean Islands who spoke very little English. However, when asked about this he responded with, "I don't believe in color". He was extremely proud of his Puerto Rican ethnicity, and would regularly go back to play, and even manage a few teams in the Puerto Rican baseball league during his off-seasons.
He was also actively involved, and renowned for his charitable work in the Caribbean Islands, and Latin America. He died in a plane crash on December 31, 1972, while traveling to earthquake struck Nicaragua to supply humanitarian aid. Next year, he became the first Latin American player to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Background Check Roberto Clemente with GoLookUp!