From BR Bullpen

Number 21 was most notably worn by Roberto Clemente during his Hall of Fame career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. After number 42 was retired across Major League Baseball in 1997 in tribute to Jackie Robinson, a movement started to do the same for number 21 in honor of Clemente. Proponents of this move cite Clemente's importance as baseball's first major Hispanic star, his exemplary life and his untimely death while on a humanitarian assistance mission. Sammy Sosa, for one, wore the number in tribute to Clemente.

A first step towards this goal was taken on September 9, 2020, when, at the initiative of Clemente's family, Puerto Rican players were allowed to wear the number on the occasion of Roberto Clemente Day, while Pirates players all wore it as a team. The honor has since been opened to all players from Latin America, as well as nominees for and recipients of the Roberto Clemente Award. On September 15, 2022, the entire starting line-up of the Tampa Bay Rays wore the number, as it was the first time a team in the National League or American League had fielded an all-Latino line-up (excluding the starting pitcher).

Notable players who have worn this number[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Chris Bumbaca: "Puerto Rican MLB players can wear No. 21 on Wednesday to honor Roberto Clemente", USA Today, September 9, 2020. [1]