Members of the Sandinista Youth organization, related to the Nicaraguan government, will pay tribute to former Major League Baseball star Roberto Clemente, who on December 31 will be 45 years after having died on a humanitarian mission, an official source reported today.
“The Sandinista youth are preparing to pay tribute to Roberto Clemente with a number of activities,” said Vice President Rosario Murillo, through government media.
Murillo did not provide details of the tribute, but in previous years the Nicaraguan government has held quick baseball tournaments or deposits of floral offerings at the Roberto Clemente National Children’s Stadium, in the old center of Managua, in memory of the Puerto Rican player.
Clemente died on December 31, 1972 when the plane carrying aid for the survivors of an earthquake that had devastated Managua collapsed due to an overload in the Caribbean Sea, shortly after taking off.
His body was never recovered.
The missing player is highly admired in Nicaragua, where baseball is the king of sports, both for his sporting history and for his sacrifice for the victims of the fatal earthquake.
The earthquake that hit Managua had a magnitude of 6.2 Richter, killed at least 10,000 people, left some 20,000 injured and devastated the Nicaraguan capital.
Clemente, who played 18 Major League Baseball (MLB) seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, won four batting titles, hit a .317 career average, played 12 All-Star games, was the Most Valuable Player in 1966, the first Latin American player to hit 3,000 hits in the Major Leagues.
In addition, he won 12 gold gloves, played in the World Series in 1960 and 1971, and in the latter he deserved the title of best player.
His merits led him to the Cooperstown Hall of Fame in a rush in 1973, a year after his death, and in August 2015 he was inducted into the Nicaraguan Sports Hall of Fame. EFE