Roberto Clemente Walker

The Cardinal celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month!


Kayla Onn, Staff Writer

Roberto Clemente Walker was born on August 18, 1934.  He was a professional baseball player who was an icon in his native Puerto Rico and one of the first Latin American baseball stars in the United States.  He was a Major League Baseball player for 18 years (MLB). From 1955 until 1972, he was a right fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates. During the off-seasons, Clemente was active in charity work in Latin America and the Caribbean, frequently bringing baseball equipment and food to those in need. He also advocated for the rights of Puerto Ricans.

In 1973, he became the first Latin American and Caribbean player to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Clemente married Vera Zabala on November 14, 1964, at San Fernando Church in Carolina. Roberto, JrLuis Roberto, and Enrique Roberto were the couple’s three children, born in 1965, 1966, and 1969, respectively. Because of his death, Clemente’s career was cut short. On December 31, 1972, he died in a plane crash off the coast of Puerto Rico. The flight was intended to deliver emergency supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Roberto Clemente has posthumously awarded two awards; The Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award (2006), and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2003).