Clemente elected to Hall of Fame only months after crash
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With much of Nicaragua devastated by an earthquake, Clemente planned a trip to help deliver aid to the victims. But Clemente’s overloaded plane crashed off the coast of San Juan just after take-off on Dec. 31, 1972. With his body never found, Roberto Clemente was pronounced dead at the age of 38.
Since his death – schools, hospitals, parks, and baseball fields have all been named after Clemente in his honor. The right-field wall at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park is 21 feet high to recognize Clemente’s retired number in Pittsburgh.
Formally known as the Commissioner’s Award, the “Roberto Clemente Award” is given annually to a player who best follows Clemente’s example with humanitarian work. Created in 1971, the award was renamed two years later following his death.
“Any time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on earth.” Clemente said.
Nick Anapolis was the spring 2013 public relations intern at the Baseball Hall of Fame