Roberto Clemente Day
Roberto Clemente Day is held annually on September 5th. It was established by Major League Baseball to honor Roberto Clemente and his legacy. He was an outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1973, and a 15-time All-Star. Clemente's untimely death occurred on New Year's Eve in 1972 when he was only 38-years-old. He was on his way to deliver relief supplies to the earthquake victims of Nicaragua when the plane he was on crashed. Millions of people were devasted by the news but were not surprised by Clemente's charitable actions that led to his death. Clemente had been a leader in the efforts to aid the victims, so when he heard that the supplies being sent over were not being distributed properly, he felt the need to go there himself.
Despite Clemente's premature passing, he accomplished many amazing accolades during his lifetime. He earned 12 Gold Glove Awards, four National League batting titles, two World Series Championships, the World Series MVP award, and reached the 3,000-hits milestone. Clemente also led the Pirates to two world championships in 1960 and 1971. Outside of baseball, Clemente was an advocate for underprivileged Puerto Ricans, a philanthropist, and a role model. He impacted many lives, whether they were baseball fans or not.
In Clemente's honor, the MLB annually presents the Roberto Clemente Award to a player who best represents the game of baseball on and off the field through sportsmanship, positive contributions, and community involvement. The nominees for this award are announced on Roberto Clemente Day every year. Before the Pirates' game on September 5th, there will be a pregame celebration of the life and legacy of Roberto Clemente. Some of Clemente's family members will be in attendance to join in the festivities.