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Clemente Jr. Rounds The Bases On His Legacy

Roberto Clemente Jr speaks at Bloomsburg University. Photo via Colton Bryner

For many baseball fans, Roberto Clemente, the Major League Baseball Hall of Famer for the Pittsburgh Pirates is a legend. Clemente played 18 seasons in the MLB primarily as a right fielder,  finishing his career with an impressive 3,000 hits before his tragic death in a plane crash in 1972. 

On October 10, Clemente’s son Roberto Clemente Jr. came to Bloomsburg as part of Hispanic Heritage month celebrated by the university to speak about his father’s legacy and his own legacy. Clemente Jr just like his father were both born in Puerto Rico. 

“I am very excited to be here to share my story,” Clemente Jr. said before the event. 

Clemente was delivering relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua in December of 1972 when the plane he was in went down killing all on board. Losing his father really affected Clemente Jr. 

“I became something that I did not want to leave the house because of the attention that my name brought to myself,” said Clemente Jr. “Being able to miss my father in a deep way was very, very tough.”

As Clemente Jr. got older, he started to better understand and appreciate his father’s charity work. “ Being able to grow up and understand the impact that he left us and the blessing that he left me to be able to open doors and speak for people who don’t have a voice,” said Clemente Jr. 

Clemente credits his mother to helping keep the spirit of his father alive today. 

“My mother carried the torch for the last 40 years,” he said. 

When his father died, Clemente was just 7 years old, too young to understand the impact his father had on others and the world. 

“Now that I am older I understand that when you mention the name I know what it means,” said Clemente Jr. 

Clemente Jr is also keeping his father’s name alive by being involved with the Roberto Clemente Foundation. Which is headquartered in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The foundation will be holding events in Puerto Rico in early December, where volunteers  will feed numerous families and host baseball clinics for the kids.  

As for the students at Bloomsburg, Clemente’s Jr. message was simple and powerful. 

“They [Bloomsburg students] have control; they have the power to leave their own legacy,” he said, adding that all students should “be able to have an impact in their community and their school.”


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Toron James, Sports Editor

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