Major League Baseball’s fresh Roberto Clemente Day tribute to the Puerto Rican icon stirred robust feelings for each fanatics and legends around the game. The rite at Citi Field attracted lots of baseball’s luminaries together with Hall of Famer Iván Rodríguez, in addition to 14 earlier Roberto Clemente Award winners.
Rodríguez, who was once born only a yr prior to Clemente’s deadly aircraft crash, grew up idolizing the mythical Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder. He defined how deeply vital it was once for him to have a component in honoring The Great One.
“It’s special for us, special for me, special for Puerto Rico, Latin America and all of the Latinos that play in this beautiful game,” Rodríguez mentioned at Citi Field. “With him as our hero in Puerto Rico, what he did not only on the field, but the off the field things he did helping the community, it was unbelievable for us. The door he opened for me and a lot of Latinos and Puerto Rican players to play at this level is amazing.”
Many gamers benefited from Clemente’s trailblazing trail, together with former New York Yankees celebrity Bernie Williams. Speaking at Yankee Stadium all through Roberto Clemente Day, Williams mentioned how Clemente’s tragic dying impacted a couple of generations.
“Roberto Clemente meant a lot to my generation and the generation before me,” Williams mentioned. “He lost his life doing what everybody is called to do as a professional athlete, and that is to give back to the community in a moment of need. He paid the ultimate price for that. … For those things, Roberto is one of my greatest heroes I can think of in baseball.”
The Clemente Day 2022 birthday party was once so vital for Puerto Rico, governor Pedro Pierluisi flew in to enroll in Rodriguez in New York to honor Clemente. The governor mentioned how Clemente’s lifestyles, virtually 50 years after his dying, remains to be an ordinary for other people all over the place to emulate.
“He represents us better than anybody else as to what Puerto Rico is all about,” Pierluisi mentioned. “[He] is an incredible example of what Puerto Ricans can do for our nation at large and the world.”
The Clemente Day salute additionally resurfaced rumblings of Clemente’s quantity 21 being retired league vast. While Pierluisi mentioned the retire 21 motion is fierce in Puerto Rico, Rodríguez feels it’s pressing for 21 to be within the rafters in any respect MLB stadiums.
“Number 21 for us is the number we all respect,” Rodríguez mentioned. “It’s a number we’ve all been waiting to be retired. I think it’s time just to put it in a beautiful place in the ballpark; it’s time to retire that number. I think all of us as Puerto Ricans will be happy when that happens.”