Roberto Clemente Day

From BR Bullpen

Roberto Clemente Day takes place annually in September to honor the life and legacy of Roberto Clemente and to reflect on the efforts that Major League Baseball, players and individuals can make through community involvement. It honors the memory of the first Latin American superstar in the major leagues, but more importantly his dedication to service on behalf of those in need, which eventually cost him his life in an airplane crash on New Year's Eve, 1972, when he had set out to deliver relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

Clemente's legacy has only grown in the years since his untimely death. MLB renamed its newly-established "Commissioner's Award" which honors a player's contribution to his community through off-field activities as the Roberto Clemente Award, echoing Roberto's lifelong dedication to charitable causes. Its winner is announced during the World Series, and the association with Clemente turned it into a uniquely prestigious award. On Roberto Clemente Day, all teams announce their nominee for the award, and other gestures also take place to commemorate Clemente. On September 9, 2020, the first year the Day was celebrated, the Pittsburgh Pirates' players all wore uniform number 21, retired after Clemente's death, in tribute to him, in a gesture similar to that observed on Jackie Robinson Day.

Contrary to the other two days on the Baseball calendar commemorating players - Jackie Robinson Day on April 15 and Lou Gehrig Day on June 2nd - Roberto Clemente Day does not fall on a fixed day, but is celebrated annually in September.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Nathalie Alonso: "Clemente continued what Robinson started", mlb.com, September 14, 2021. [1]
  • Adam Berry: "Pirates don No. 21 to honor 'The Great One'", mlb.com, September 9, 2020. [2]

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