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Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Roberto Clemente American baseball player. Written By: Milton Jamail. Facts Matter. Start Your Free Trial Today. Clemente ended up playing for the Pirates, where in he began his remarkable career as a hitter and outfielder whose only peer was Willie Mays.

Clemente, a proud and sensitive…. In the s the Pirates left Forbes Field, their home for more than 60 years, to play in Three Rivers Stadium, where the…. When, however, Roberto Clemente was killed in an airplane crash in late , the 5-year waiting period was waived so that he could be immediately inducted in Later in the election rules were changed to permit selection of a player six months after his death. In addition to his other skills, Clemente was increasing his walk total in the mids.

Early in the season, the Pirates were in Chicago, trailing the Cubs by a run. Clemente came to bat with two out and no one on base in the ninth inning. Cubs reliever Ted Abernathy got two strikes on Clemente. The Pirates were on the verge of losing, but Clemente remained patient. Abernathy's next three pitches were outside the strike zone, and Clemente laid off them.

The count was full. Clemente stayed alive by fouling off the next eight pitches.

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Roberto Clemente

Finally, Abernathy missed again and Clemente was on base with a walk. Willie Stargell followed with a double and Clemente came home with the tying run. Pittsburgh won the game in extra innings. The win kept the Pirates in first place. At the end of August the Pirates and Giants were tied for first.

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It was the 2,th hit of his career and his 23rd homer of the year, equaling his previous career high. In addition, it gave him runs batted in, the first time he had ever reached RBIs in a season. He ended the season with career-highs in home runs 29 and RBIs Clemente had another outstanding season in He led the league with a.

Roberto Clemente - Wikipedia

In addition to hits, Clemente walked or was hit by a pitch more than 40 times, and he reached base at least 40 percent of the time for the first time in his career. After having taken the previous winter off, Clemente played occasionally in the Puerto Rican League in and had a batting average of. Back on the mainland, things did not go well for him in Clemente homered in the first game, but his batting average fell to.

He said he was having trouble swinging the bat because he had injured his right shoulder in a fall at his home in Puerto Rico in February of He improved over the last part of the season and finished with a. Clemente didn't play winter ball and rested his body.


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He felt good when spring training began in , but then he hurt his left shoulder as he tried to make a diving catch and went back to Puerto Rico for treatment. Clemente returned in time for the start of the regular season, but for the second year in a row he got off to a slow start.

Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh's Hero!

In the latter half of May, after going hitless in the first game of a series in San Diego, his batting average had fallen to. Clemente claimed something else happened--a strange and scary incident. He did not tell the story in public until a year later, but Clemente said he was kidnapped while in San Diego. According to Clemente, he was walking back to the hotel where the Pirates were staying after going out to eat. He said four men forced him into a car at gunpoint. They took him to an isolated area and took his wallet and his All-Star Game ring.

After that, the men returned Clemente's money and ring and brought him back to his hotel. They even gave Clemente back the bag of chicken he had purchased at the restaurant. He said he did not report the incident to the police. Despite the harrowing event, Clemente finished the series in San Diego by getting three hits against the Padres and raised his batting average above.


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  5. For a while it looked like he might lead the league again. After a slow start in , the Pirates caught fire as they moved from Forbes Field, where they had played since , to Three Rivers Stadium. Pittsburgh and New York fought for first place through July, with Chicago staying close. The Pirates were hanging in without Clemente. He was hit in the wrist with a pitch on July 25 and, except for one pinch-running appearance, was out of the lineup for more than a week.

    He returned on August 8 and had a double and a home run against the Mets. Later in August, Clemente had five hits in each of two straight games. The first one came on a Saturday in Los Angeles. Clemente already had four hits as he came to the plate in the top of the 16th inning. He singled, stole second, and later came scored the go-ahead run as the Pirates beat the Dodgers, The next day, the Pirates won again, He had raised his average to.

    However, he played little in September because of a bad back and did not win the batting title. Scoring only three runs in three games, however, they were swept by the Cincinnati Reds. That winter, Clemente played for the last time in the Puerto Rican League.

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    Although he played in only three games during the regular season, he appeared in one of the playoff series. In addition, he managed the San Juan Senadores in Both Robinson and Clemente had been mentioned as possibilities to be the first black manager in the major leagues. I had more responsibilities and did not get my rest. The long bus trips out of town, I have to make them because I am the manager. They take something out of me. Willie Stargell took the lead with Pittsburgh in He set a major league record by hitting 11 home runs in April and continued his great hitting throughout the year.

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    Stargell finished with 48 home runs and runs batted in. Although Stargell had emerged as the team's star player, the team leader was still Clemente. He was receiving the recognition he had sought, and he was also showing he could continue playing with the same flair and hustle, even as he approached his 37th birthday. Clemente got off to a bad start, but he got hot in May and went on to finish the season with a. He was still outstanding in the field. In mid-June, Clemente preserved a shutout for Steve Blass , and a victory for the Pirates, on back-to-back plays.

    Pittsburgh held a lead over Houston in the last of the eighth inning. The Astros had a runner on first with one out when Cesar Cedeno hit a soft liner to right field. Clemente hustled in and made a sliding catch of the ball before it could hit the turf. Bob Watson then hit a much harder drive toward the corner in right.

    Clemente raced toward the ball and made a twisting leap, grabbing the ball and robbing Watson of a two-run homer. Clemente crashed into the wall, bruising his ankle and elbow and cutting his knee. Astros manager Harry Walker, who had managed Clemente in Pittsburgh, said it was the greatest catch he ever made. Because of Clemente's catch, the Pirates maintained their lead and then padded it with two more runs in the ninth. The Pirates had several players in the All-Star game, including two starters--Willie Stargell in left field and Dock Ellis , who pitched. Clemente entered the game as a replacement for Willie Mays in the fourth inning.

    Later in the game, he hit his first home run in an All-Star Game. Pittsburgh went on to win the East Division and beat San Francisco in the league playoffs to make it back to the World Series, against the Baltimore Orioles. Clemente turned the event into a showcase for his greatness. Baltimore took the first two games before the series shifted to Pittsburgh. Clemente drove in the first run of the third game with a fielder's choice. The Pirates added another run, but Baltimore came back on a home run by Frank Robinson to cut the lead to Clemente reached base on the error and, after Stargell walked, Bob Robertson hit a three-run homer.

    Pittsburgh won, The next game was the first night game in the history of the World Series. The Orioles got off to an early lead with three runs in the top of the first. Pittsburgh came back with two in the bottom of the inning, and the Pirates rallied again in the third. With one out, Richie Hebner singled. Clemente then hit a long drive to right. It cleared the fence and looked like a home run to put the Pirates ahead.

    However, the ball was ruled foul after the umpires had a long discussion. The ball was foul, and Clemente had to resume his at-bat.