The 40th anniversary of Roberto Clemente’s death is coming on December 31, and with it are memories of the legacy he for baseball, as well as Nicaragua.
The Huffington Post reports that, when the country experienced an earthquake in 1972, Clemente didn’t hesitate to send supplies and aid to the country, along with his solidarity.
When the last provisions were set to be shipped by private plane. Clemente decided to travel with the crew to deliver them so he could see they were taken to the right recipients.
It is believed that the plane was overloaded beyond its carrying capacity. The jet crashed into the ocean just minutes after take off, killing everyone aboard. Nicaraguans to this day try and honor Clemente’s memory. The government is currently working to build the Roberto Clemente baseball stadium for kids.
The stadium will have a capacity for 1,200 people and will allow more children to play while visitors enjoy a safe environment to watch. Fidel Moreno, General Secretary of the Mayor’s Office, stated of the project:
“We will be inaugurating this stadium, precisely, in honor of the 40th anniversary of [Roberto Clemente's] death, but above all, recognizing the great and extraordinary man, the extraordinary humanist, outstanding athlete and the example for Latin American youth that was Roberto Clemente.”
Yahoo! Sports notes that MLB Network is running a video to help people understand and remember what Roberto Clemente meant to the world of baseball.
Clemente’s death has been likened to the “Day the Music Died” for baseball fans. The Hall of Fame waved its five-year waiting period, allowing Clemente to be inducted the summer following his death. While Nicaragua and the world of baseball remember Clemente on the 40th anniversary of his death, Neil Walker, the Pirates’ former second baseman, thanks his friend and close friend for saving his life.
Walker had every intention of flying with Clemente to Nicaragua on December 31, 1972, but Roberto waved him off, saying, “No, you need to go back and enjoy the evening.” If it weren’t for Clemente, Walker would have died in the tragic plane crash that night.