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Modern U.S. History Period

Roberto Clemente

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Puerto Rico e islas limítrofes / compilado e impreso por el 'United States Geological Survey' de la serie de mapas topográficos a escala de 1:30,000.

Roberto Clemente was born in the small town of Carolina, Puerto Rico in 1934. He grew up playing baseball, a sport brought to Latin America by United States corporations in the early 20th century. Scouts noticed his talents, and Clemente was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1953. He played for the Dodgers for a few seasons before moving on to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Photo of Roberto Clemente

As a member of the Pirates, Clemente became one of professional baseball's greatest players, winning 12 Golden Gloves, two World Series rings, and one league Most Valuable Player award. One of the first popular Latino-American baseball players, Roberto Clemente paved the way for future Latino athletes to play professionally. Jackie Robinson did the same for African-American athletes.

Nicaragua. 6-70.

Though Clemente is remembered for his accomplishments on the field, he is remembered for his efforts off of the field as well. Clemente, a notable supporter for a number of human rights causes, died in a plane crash en route to Nicaragua, where he was leading a relief mission for victims of an earthquake.

Film still from The Jackie Robinson Story showing Jackie Robinson (as himself) with fellow Dodgers in the dugout

Seen here is an image from the film “The Jackie Robinson Story,” where Robinson is greeted by his white teammates. Clemente played at the same time as Robinson and both helped break down racial barriers in America.

"You like to have a cuatro in your house, because it's something to have in a Puerto Rican home." As an immigrant to the United States, Roberto Clemente became a symbol of Latino American success for many other Latino people across the country. Numerous monuments were named in his honor, including New York’s Roberto Clemente park, mentioned here in an interview with a Puerto Rican man.