Roberto Clemente was born on August 18, 1934 in Barrio San Anton, Carolina, Puerto Rico. He was the youngest of five children. He was raised in a modest home with mother Luisa and father Melchor. From his early childhood Roberto showed signs of great athletic ability. At the age of 14 Clemente played softball with men on the Sello Rojo team. He quickly moved up to a very competitive amateur baseball league, and in 1952 before he finished high school, Roberto was offered a professional baseball contract. Major league scouts began to take notice.
In February of 1954, Clemente signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers for $10000, but was relegated to their top minor league team, the Montreal Royals. He never got to play a single game for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates on November 22, 1954. Clemente had a solid rookie season batting .255 with five homers and 47 RBI's. From 1955 to 1972, Clemente played eighteen seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Clemente’s bat and base running mastery made him an offensive powerhouse. He racked up a lifetime batting average of .317 and a season average of over .300 in twelve of his last thirteen seasons. He was awarded the National League Most Valuable Player award in 1966. During the course of his career, Clemente was selected to participate in the league's All Star Game on twelve occasions. He won twelve Gold Glove Awards and led the league in batting average four different seasons. He went onto win two World Series titles with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960 and in 1971.
On December 31, 1972 Roberto boarded a plane bound for Nicaragua. He was to be part of a relief mission to the earthquake torn capital of Managua. The plane crashed almost immediately upon take-off into the Caribbean Sea. The way he lived his life, and the tragic way in which he died immediately elevated him to a legendary figure in Latin...