PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WTRF) — There are the athletes that we admire for their dominance on the field and their off-the-charts stats.
Then there are the ones who reach for something deeper—who play the game well and grab our hearts through a mix of kindness and charisma.
Roberto Clemente’s place in Major League Baseball history was secured by his performance alone.
Yet his devotion to his team, his hometown and the fans who looked up to him is what makes him more than a face on an old baseball card.
It’s also why there’s an entire museum in Pittsburgh dedicated to his 17-year career.
The Roberto Clemente Museum collects baseballs, bats, helmets, gloves, uniforms, and countless pictures dedicated to his life as a ball player and philanthropist.
He would visit hospitals and fly across the world to help others in the off-season—which is exactly what he was doing during his sudden and tragic death.
“We all love Billy Mazeroski and we love Honus Wagner, you know. But but Roberto Clemente died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve helping earthquake victims. Most of the guys, you know, that didn’t happen to them. So he not only was a great baseball player, but he was a great human being.”Duane Rieder, Founder, Roberto Clemente Museum
Rieder says Clemente was the kind of person to avoid the camera when doing charitable work…and was famous for saying that he would be wasting his time on earth if he wasn’t making a difference.
Keep watching 7News in October, when we’ll take you through the museum and a look at his life inside and outside of the Black and Gold.