Resolution Commemorates Clemente’s Life and Legacy On and Off Field
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced a resolution to honor the athletic career and humanitarian and civic work of Roberto Clemente. September 15 marks Major League Baseball’s annual Roberto Clemente Day as well as the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month. Ahead of the 50th anniversary of Clemente’s 3,000th regular season hit on September 30, the congressional resolution formally recognizes Clemente’s immense legacy on and off the field and his work as a prominent Afro-Latino baseball player who had to overcome racial and linguistic discrimination.
“Roberto Clemente left an indelible mark on the city of Pittsburgh, Major League Baseball and the countless people he inspired over the course of his tragically short life and career,” said Senator Casey. “Half a century after his greatest accomplishment on the baseball field, this resolution honors his legacy as a legendary Pittsburgh Pirate whose athletic skills were matched only by his commitment to humanitarian work and his tenacity in the face of discrimination.”
“Roberto Clemente was a giant amongst Boricuas, athletes, and civil rights advocates. He forever transformed the game of baseball and relentlessly advocated for Latinos and people of color in his native Puerto Rico and everywhere else,” said Senator Menendez. “I’m proud to join my colleague Senator Casey in recognizing the 50th anniversary since Clemente’s 3000th hit, capturing his legacy and historic career on the baseball field for this and future generations.”
“Roberto Clemente’s phenomenal baseball career was only upstaged by the noble and selfless life he lived off the field,” said Senator Toomey. “During the off-season, Clemente spent his time in his beloved Puerto Rico doing charity work, and he lost his life while flying to help people in Nicaragua after a deadly earthquake. To this day, Clemente remains an idol to Latin American ballplayers and fans everywhere. With this resolution, on Roberto Clemente Day, the U.S. Senate recognizes Clemente’s incredible life and legacy.”
“Roberto Clemente is one of our sport’s greatest humanitarians. His Hall of Fame career on the field combined with his generosity away from it has left an indelible legacy in our game. As we celebrate Roberto Clemente Day today, his philanthropic impact continues to inspire our players who are giving back to their communities in extraordinary ways,” said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr.
“Roberto Clemente’s passion for baseball and humanity burn brightly almost half a century after his tragic passing,” said Josh Rawitch, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “In 1973, Clemente became the first Latino American player elected to the Hall of Fame. Since then, 17 Latino stars have followed in his footsteps to Cooperstown – with many more set to join him in bronze immortality in the years to come. His legacy continues to inspire millions of players and fans alike throughout the Caribbean and around the world, and we are proud to celebrate his work on and off the field every day at the Hall of Fame.”
The resolution honors Clemente both as an athlete and as a humanitarian, recognizing his ongoing, widespread impact and legacy. He was a 15-time MLB All Star, a 12-time Gold Glove winner, a four-time NL batting champion and two-time World Series Champion. Off the field, Clemente spent his off seasons travelling to Latin America to donate food, clothing and baseball equipment to families and children in need. He was also enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves, where he earned the rank Private First Class. After his untimely death, he became the first Latino Hall of Famer in league history.
Read the resolution here.