The last few weeks have been very important for a legendary Pittsburgh Pirates player. He just received another honor by having a school named after him.
“The Great One”, that is all that needs to be said about Roberto Clemente. The fact of the matter is that he was once one of the greatest baseball players on the planet. However, that phrase carries so much more weight to it. Robert Clemente was not just a great player for the Pittsburgh Pirates but a great person for the World.
This is not groundbreaking news. Most people are well aware of what Clemente did in terms of on the field production and the humanitarian efforts off the field. However, he also was very important for international players. Today’s game sees international stars on every team, before Clemente this was not the case. Clemente in his own way, proved that there were very talented players outside of the United States as well.
Clemente has been honored in a lot of different ways over the last 50 years or so. However, even after all these years his name is still carried in such high regard. In fact, a middle school in the state of Florida has renamed their school after Clemente. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the school district voted to remove Confederate General Stonewall Jackson Middle School and replace it with Roberto Clemente’s name:
For years now, people around Major League Baseball, especially around the Pittsburgh Pirates, have brought up making Roberto Clemente a more iconic figure for the baseball Landscape. The award named after him was instituted immediately following his tragic death. In more recent years, there has been a push to have his number retired across the league and honored, much in the way Jackie Robinson is celebrated.
While this topic is still be debated, 2020 did mark a significant step towards the retiring of the number. Major League Baseball announced that any player of Puerto Rican decent could wear the number. This picked up a lot of steam and even non-latin players asked for permission to wear “21” as a sign of respect for what Clemente meant to baseball. It would not be surprising to see this become a grander and more permanent thing.