On Wednesday night, the Pirates couldn’t be prouder to put on Clement’s uniform.
For the first time since Clement’s number retired on 1973, following his tragic death on December 31, 1972, a Pirates player took the field wearing number 21. Everybody really did. Everyone from Pittsburgh’s roster and coaching staff gave White the No. 21 jersey in an 8–1 loss to the White Sox on Roberts Clemente Day.
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“I think we made a 100 percent statement. The fact of being able to honor Clemente, seeing everyone on the 21st and being able to make a statement – not only in Pittsburgh but in Puerto Rico and for baseball – This is a monumental step for our organization to be able to honor the Clement family, ”said manager Derek Shelton. I think we really took a big step forward, and it was great to be a part of it. Apparently, the game did not. The way we wanted to, but tonight was a monumental night. ”
In fact, the coveted Clemente’s No. 21 was at all ballparks as Major League Baseball celebrated the life and legacy of Clemente and his wife Vera. It was painted in black and gold behind the mound. It was stenciled in the right area where
And for the first time, it was on every Pirate player’s back.
“He is our Jackie Robinson. He is our idol, ”said Pollenko, citing Clement’s status as a trailblazing star for Latin American players. “You will never see anyone again.” For me, that was The Great One. His legacy will live on forever. Always. The next generation will always talk about the next, and the next. There are always people talking about Clemente because of how great he was. ”
Of course, it was not Clement’s Hall of Fame ability that made him a legend. It wasn’t just his 3,000-hit career, his range or one-arm cannon in the Outfield, either. It was his extraordinary charitable work, his soul and his desires to stand up for what he considered right.
First pitch from Puerto Rico.
– Pirates (@ pirates) September 9, 2020
He said, “It wasn’t just on the field and the fact that he was one of the best finishers from someone’s swing, with back leg up, or that the arm was stronger than any player in the game.” Was. This is what they did off the field, how they gave, and it is something that is very important, ”said Shelton. “I want to make sure that messaging is not only for the people of our club house, but also their children and so on and it is very important. And why it is so important today. ”
The Pirates on Wednesday also tried their best to carry on that part of Clemente’s legacy, though the coronavirus virus epidemic halted their typical team-wide visits to schools, nonprofits and other community organizations. They hosted a drive-through food delivery event on Wednesday with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank serving 500 families.
Among other activities, she hosted a food and mask distribution at the Latino Community Center, affected by the COVID-19 epidemic supported by local small businesses and nonprofit organizations, gifted New Pittsburgh Courier memberships to local libraries, food service and Purchased sanitation supplies Light of Life Rescue missions and distributed gift cards to fire stations and frontline workers. In the coming days, the team will auction their number 21 jersey to benefit the Roberto Clemente Foundation and Pirates Charities.
“Roberto Clemente, the player, is one of the greatest players of all time,” Shelton said. “Roberto Clemente, a humanist, was perhaps the greatest humanist in the history of our sport, and therefore the award is named after him.”
Tonight, Josh Bell received his 2020 Roberto Clemente Award. #ClementeDay
Vote for Josh: https://t.co/pgRIuYIXyC pic.twitter.com/ZWqLAGWELm
– Pirates (@ pirates) September 9, 2020
During Major League Baseball, Puerto Rican players and others led the Pirates and wore No. 21 to honor Clayman. The Pirates added “21” patches to their batting helmets and sport sweptbunds. Several players and coaches, including Shelton and third-base coach Joey Cora, placed on a specially created clat, affecting Clemente’s image and numbers.
The Pirates’ starter said, “To be able to wear my number, the number I retire, at PNC in PTSburg,” it’s unbelievable.
Shelton said he hoped it would become an annual tradition, a way to continue the conversation about the impact of the Clemente player and to influence the humanitarian Clement.
There are many who believe that retiring Clement No. 21 in the MLB would be even more meaningful, in the same way Robinson’s No. 42 is retired and worn once a year by everyone in the league. Bell on Wednesday called the pirate celebration “a very good start”. In the same way Luis Clemente, one of Roberto and Vera’s three sons, said the conversation was “moving in the right direction.”
Cora, who is a native of Puerto Rico, said the number was already “retired in our hearts.” But if it doesn’t officially retire in 2020, how about in ’21 ‘?
“I want to see 21 retirees. He is entitled to this. I am grateful and thankful to wear it tonight because it is special, ”said Polanco. “We are going to wear it tonight. We are going to be grateful, grateful, and I hope they retire it. I hope the number 21 retires around baseball. ”