We joined Major League Baseball in celebrating Roberto Clemente Day on Wednesday, Sept. 16.
Students from Meyzeek Middle School, part of the Family & School Services program through Family & Children’s Place, visited the museum after school that day, for an afternoon of service and education. In addition to a museum and factory tour, the students learned about Clemente and his legacy of giving. Each student received a special Louisville Slugger mini bat that features Clemente’s signature on the barrel.
The students also boxed up sporting equipment donated by the museum that will be sent to children in Clemente's home of Puerto Rico. The gear included composite bats, wood mini bats, catchers equipment, and gloves.
Clemente, a 12-time All-Star and four-time National League batting champion, was the first Latin American player to receive the World Series Most Valuable Player Award, as well as the first Latin American player to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The humanitarian tragically died on Dec. 31, 1972, on his way to Nicaragua to deliver supplies to earthquake victims.
Beginning in 1973, MLB has annually presented the Roberto Clemente Award to a player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team. Past winners include Tony Gwynn, Willie Mays, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith, Cal Ripken, Jr. and Kirby Puckett, as well as current Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. Each of the 30 MLB teams announced their Roberto Clemente Award candidate on Sept. 14, with the winner honored during the World Series.