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Alomar and Iván Rodríguez support the withdrawal of Roberto Clemente’s number 21

Puerto Rican former baseball players Roberto Alomar and Iván Rodríguez today supported the #Retire21 movement, which aims to have Major League Baseball (MLB) officially retire the number 21 number worn by Puerto Rican star Roberto Clemente.
«Roberto Clemente was a person who should always be supported. I hope they do enough to get their number retired,” Alomar said during a visit with Rodríguez and other former Puerto Rican players to follow the skills of some local promises at the Roberto Clemente Walker stadium in Carolina, a municipality neighboring San Juan.
Clemente not only stood out on the field of play, but also distinguished himself for his support of social causes, the cause of his death on December 31, 1972 when, while trying to help victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua, he died on the plane he was traveling toward the Central American country as it fell into the ocean north of San Juan.
“Clemente is a person that we all respect and a human being who did a lot for Puerto Rico,” emphasized Alomar, who shares the deceased player’s first name and who, along with him and Orlando Cepeda, make up the trio of Puerto Rican players in the Hall of Fame. of Baseball in Cooperstown, New York (USA).
Alomar, who shone with bat and glove for 17 seasons in the Major Leagues, recalled that during his Hall of Fame induction speech in 2011 he began by highlighting the figure of Clemente, who in 1972 became the first Latin American to connect 3,000 hits.
Rodríguez, who was also accompanied at Tuesday’s event by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, stressed that Clemente was a person who paved the way for other Latin American players to play in the Major Leagues.
“What Clemente did, both on and off the field, was admirable,” said Rodríguez, one of the stellar catchers in Major League history.
In addition to his 3,000 hits, Clemente won four batting titles, a Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player award in 1966, and two World Series appearances.
He hit a .317 lifetime average, was selected to the All-Star Game twelve times, and was awarded the “Gold Glove” in the Major Leagues the same number of times for his excellent defense.
Such was his defensive excellence that in 1958 he took out 22 running backs to win the first of a record five assist titles.
Clemente entered the Hall of Fame in 1973, a year after his death. Only three players in Major League history have been selected for baseball immortality within a year of retirement.
The unwritten rule is that all retired baseball players wait at least 5 years for their possible entry to the venue.
For his part, the MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred, admitted that this Tuesday, during a meeting he had with the governor of Puerto Rico, Alejandro García Padilla, he became aware of the #Retire21 movement.
He emphasized that Clemente was “a valuable player”, but that his figure should not be “exaggerated” and that is why MLB has honored him through other acts, such as the award that bears his name and that rewards a player from all 30 major league teams for their contributions, both on and off the field.
On the other hand, Alomar and Rodríguez said they did not “very much agree” with the new rules established by MLB that players cannot be so aggressive when sliding into second base or at the plate, positions that these former Puerto Rican players defended with excellence.
The new rulebook at second base prevents players from sliding on bases with the intent of knocking down the defender or second baseman and messing up a double play.
“You have to follow the rules, which are to protect the player. But as for the second, I do not agree, because you cannot take away the player’s aggressiveness, “said Alomar.
As for his position, in which Rodríguez played for more than 20 seasons, the Major Leagues implemented a rule in 2014 that prevents players in the process of scoring from not bringing down the catcher by running at high speed so that he drops it. the ball and the runner scores easier.
“The rules are to protect the player more, possibly because of the salaries they are earning today,” said Rodríguez, who accepted that although he received many hits in his defensive position, a hit from the running back is not a deadly weapon against the player. EFE

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