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The goodbye of Roberto Clemente (III)

Enjoy a new installment of "Tripleplay" by Humberto Acosta

This is the third chapter with which we close the last installment dedicated to Roberto Clemente, half a century after his last unstoppable connected in the big leagues, as well as his death.

The unstoppable 3 of his career in the majors, which was also the last, was unloaded by the Puerto Rican on September 21, 1972, and three months later, he met his death when the plane that took him to Nicaragua in aid of the victims of the terrible earthquake that had hit that country, fell into the sea off the coast of Puerto Rico.

From the first letter, I wanted to express my admiration, not so much for his exploits on the field of play and his statistics, but for the expressions of affection and admiration of the journalists of his generation, of the fans who experienced his exploits, as of his teammates and his rivals on the field.

And today we want to evoke him once again, especially so that the most recent and new generations of baseball lovers know who this man was who would celebrate 98 years of life today. Let us evoke him then, in the memory and opinion of some of his contemporaries.

“The manner in which Roberto Clemente died, on New Year's 1972, tells us much more about the manner in which he lived than anything expressed in his memories as a baseball player, deposited in the Hall of Fame, in Coopertown, in New York City. On his head he displayed the crown of royalty ”, Joe Reichler, journalist.

“Baseball myths are often expressed about its innocent past and nostalgia for what it was. But the legend of Roberto Clemente is made of another matter. His memory is made of action and passion, not nostalgic yearnings. Clemente broke racial and language barriers, achieved athletic greatness, and died heroically. The classic definition of "hero" is that of someone who gives his life for the sake of others. And that was exactly what Clemente did.

And that is much, much more valuable than hitting exactly three thousand hits in his entire career, or blowing out a runner at third with a rifle shot from right field,” Ibsen Martínez, writer.

Willie Stargell, Clemente's friend and partner, said:

I'll tell you, it's really hard to put all my feelings for Robby into words. Since I started sharing with him, I had the opportunity to meet a really dynamic man who walked tall in every way you can imagine. He was haughty, he was dedicated.

He was in every way you can imagine. As far as this can be defined, a man. And I think the way he left really typifies the way he lived. Helping others without seeking any publicity or fame.

Making sure to lend a hand and getting the job done. That's the great thing about him. We all know the player he was. I had the opportunity to play with him, to sit down and talk with him.

Your numbers and dates:

“Clemente was not the greatest that has ever played this sport. Yet there was something about him that elevated him in his own realm. Much of it has to do with how he died. He was young and he perished in an accident,” journalist David Maraniss once stated.

In his career in the Major Leagues, he dispatched a total of three thousand hits, 4 batting titles, 12 Gold Gloves, 15 All-Star Games, 18 seasons between 1955 and 1972, 240 home runs, batting average of .317 points, two Series World Cups, thirteen campaigns with 13 points or more in batting.

Clemente was born on August 18, 1934 in Carolina, Puerto Rico. Death, December 31, 1972 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Major League Baseball debut, April 17, 1955. Hall of Fame, June 1973.

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