Pennsylvania embraces the legacy of Roberto Clemente: “It is the celebration of his perpetual impact off the field of play”

Pennsylvania embraces the legacy of Roberto Clemente: “It is the celebration of his perpetual impact off the field of play”

Pittsburgh – Under a bright sun, the Pittsburgh Pirates organization began this Friday outdoors, and in front of the enormous statue of the legendary Puerto Rican star outside PNC Park, the celebration of Pirates Day. Roberto Clementein honor of the memory of the first Latino and Puerto Rican to be inducted into the Hall of Fame 50 years ago.

The day began with the delivery to the Clemente family of the proclamation to designate September 15, 2023 as Roberto Clemente Day throughout the state of Pennsylvania, as had been anticipated since June of this year.

The activity was attended by, in addition to two of Clemente’s sons – Roberto Jr. and Luis Roberto along with their wives – state legislators as well as Allegheny County officials and a representative of the mayor of Pittsburgh, Ed Gainey.

We are very, very excited that today we celebrate our father, fifty years after he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. We thank the state of Pennsylvania for celebrating it statewide. I think it gives us all a platform to be able to exert pressure to make this happen every year,” said Roberto Clemente Jr. in the activity in front of the statue of his father, right in front of the Pirates stadium, at the end of the bridge that also bears the name of the legendary gardener.

Volunteers prepare food and personal hygiene items for veterans as part of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ ‘Clemente Service Day’. (Josian Bruno)

But it also gives us a platform and a way to be able to have that conversation to go to Washington. And I think we should celebrate someone like Roberto Clemente as a Latino, since we have never had a national Latino holiday in our country. And I think perhaps he should be the representative of such an honor. I believe God gave us a glorious day to celebrate today. But I also want to thank Mr. Branch Rickey (1881-1965) for leaving the Dodgers and coming to Pittsburgh to bring our father here. Otherwise, today he would have been in Los Angeles and maybe we would be doing this there. But this city is also, ironically, the people he loved, the working people. So I was in the right place. Where this love story began in 1955. And today, 50 years later, we still celebrate it. And each of the impacts that it left us here and around the world,” added Clemente, Jr.

The activity was just the first of a series of social events today, Friday, as part of the celebration and as a preamble to the game at 6:35 pm, in which the Pirates will host the New York Yankees.

In this meeting, the first of three of the weekend, The Pirates will honor Clemente’s memory once again, with players and coaches wearing the number 21 he wore on his back during his 18 major league seasons with Pittsburgh.

Also on the agenda is a visit to a children’s hospital in the city led by Roberto, Jr. along with his wife and members of the Pirates organization, as well as the Roberto Clemente Foundation, to bring toys to the sick children of the institution. .

Roberto Clemente Bridge in the city of Pittsburgh with PNC Park in the background.
Roberto Clemente Bridge in the city of Pittsburgh with PNC Park in the background. (Josian Bruno)

His brother Luis Roberto remained at PNC Park stadium, along with his wife, to help other volunteers pack aid for members of the city’s veteran community, which will include food and personal hygiene items, among others. Aid to veterans will also benefit troops abroad, the organization reported.

These activities were all organized by the Pittsburgh team, Luis Roberto explained, and also includes the placement of a commemorative plaque on the site where the old Three Rivers Stadium once stood, and where the former right fielder hit his memorable 3,000th hit, on the 30th. September 1972.

It is incredible that 50 years later there are still more tributes and more recognitions being made. But the importance of everything is so that it continues to be a stimulus for people to do good, which is what we are interested in continuing and continuing. That’s what Clemente’s legacy is all about. It is not merely having things to display. “It’s about how you impact a person’s life,” he said in an aside with The new dayLuis Roberto.

His brother Roberto Jr. assured that his father continues to represent Puerto Ricans and their island 51 years after his death.

“Papi continues to represent Puerto Rico, carrying the Puerto Rican flag all these years, and he will continue to do so forever, because every time we talk about Roberto Clemente, we talk about Puerto Rico,” he said.

The president of the Pirates, Travis Williamswas in charge of the beginning of the activity on the proclamation of Roberto Clemente Day at the state level of Pennsylvania and highlighted that this celebration is much more than about achievements on the field of play.

Luis Roberto Clemente addresses those present at the activity, along with his brother Roberto Clemente, Jr.
Luis Roberto Clemente addresses those present at the activity, along with his brother Roberto Clemente, Jr. (Josian Bruno)

It is the celebration of his perpetual impact off the field of playWilliams said.

Along with him, the state senator was delivering proclamations to the Clemente brothers. Devlin Robinsonthe state representative Aerion Abneythe CEO of Allegheny County, Rich Fitzgeraldand the chief of staff, Jake Wheatleyrepresenting the mayor of Pittsburgh, Ed Gainey.

To encourage the development of baseball, team representatives will participate in an improvement project, renovating a park that serves hundreds of baseball players in the south of the city. Volunteers will also participate in an activity focused on mental health awareness. And there will be donations and meal preparation for a Women’s Center and Shelter.

Coinciding with the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Pirates will look to give back to the Pittsburgh Latino Community Center. The Pirates will work to replenish the center’s food pantry and provide toys and activities for the children in the preschool classroom.

Pirates president Williams and pitcher and Roberto Clemente Award nominee David Bednar will be on hand at the AHN Cancer Institute at Allegheny General Hospital, where the team will visit healthcare staff and patients. , bringing him coffee and sweets. They will also bring help to patients at the Glimmer of Hope Metastatic Breast Cancer Center.

Travis Williams, president of the Pirates.
Travis Williams, president of the Pirates. (Josian Bruno)

“What remains to be said about Roberto Clemente… He said he just wanted to be known as a baseball player who always gave his all. And in everything he was involved in, he gave it his all, whether it was on the baseball diamond or in his service to our country in the United States Marine Corps. He was inducted into the Marine Corps Hall of Fame in 2003. And he held the record for pull-ups at Parris Island for over 50 years, doing 54. Jake Wheatley and I were Marines and we didn’t get anywhere near 54.″said Senator Robinson, drawing laughter.

“So, that shows the kind of dedication and drive that Roberto Clemente had. And that dedication and drive led him to his charitable work that ended up costing him his life,” added Robinson, recalling his tragic death while carrying supplies on a plane for the victims of the Nicaragua earthquake in 1972.

As one senator said, he really was a true philanthropist, someone who is an example of what true altruism really meant.. Someone who certainly had the athletic ability to play on the field, but realized he wanted to be a part of something that was bigger than himself. That is why we are really grateful to have the opportunity to present a proclamation,” Abney highlighted.

During the ceremony it was also highlighted, although he was not present, that Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro sent a proclamation to be delivered to the Clemente family.

“I had to keep fighting, outside of what I had to do on the baseball diamond, in society. A society that was not always welcoming to someone who looked like him, spoke like him, and came from Puerto Rico. In the United States, in Pittsburgh and other Major League cities, he paved a path for so many players to follow him and so many people to follow him. And the special relationship that we in Pittsburgh have with Puerto Rico to this day is due to that young man”Fitzgerald stressed.

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