On Google’s home page in the United States is a special Google Doodle for Roberto Clemente. Roberto Clemente was a Major League baseball player who played with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He died at the young age of 38 when he took a humanitarian trip on December 31, 1972 to Nicaragua when his plane crashed bringing supplies to the site.
Why is there a Doodle today, October 12nd? I am not a 100% sure. He was born on August 18, 1934 and passed on December 31, 1972. He was inducted into the baseball hall of fame on March 20, 1973. His last baseball game was on October 11, 1972 at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium in the fifth and final game of the series. So maybe that is why?
In any event, Google had a guest Doodler named Roxie Vizcarra do the Doodle. Google wrote:
In the spirit of Hispanic Heritage Month in the US, today’s Doodle by guest artist Roxie Vizcarra, commemorates the life and career of Roberto Clemente, Puerto Rican Hall of Fame baseball star, Latinx trailblazer, and passionate humanitarian.
Born the son of a sugar cane worker in Carolina, Puerto Rico on August 18, 1934, Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker grew up in Barrio San Antón. His athletic gifts were obvious from an early age, joining the Puerto Rican amateur league at age 16. His professional career began in 1952, when the then 18-year-old signed with the Santurce Cangrejeros (Crabbers), a winter league team in the LBBPR (Puerto Rico’s Baseball League).
Soon after graduating high school, Clemente signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers minor league affiliate in Montreal. His first at bat resulted in a game-winning home run on July 25, 1954. He made his major league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates the following season.
A testament to his unique athletic ability, the right fielder accumulated numerous accolades during his pro career including 12 consecutive Gold Glove Awards, 4 National League batting titles, 3,000 career hits, the 1966 National League MVP Award, 2 World Series rings, and the 1971 World Series MVP Award. In fact, it was on this day in 1971 that Clemente’s performance led the Pittsburgh Pirates to victory against the Baltimore Orioles in Game 3 of the series, ultimately contributing to their Series title.
Aside from his talents on diamond, it was Clemente’s mission to help others that has solidified his legacy as one of the most humanitarian athletes to play the game. Whether it was delivering food and supplies to those in need, holding baseball clinics for kids, or making generous donations, he consistently sought to be an agent of positive impact and a role model for the youth of his community.
Unfortunately, it was during the pursuit of this mission that Clemente saw his final moments. When a massive earthquake struck Nicaragua on Dec 23, 1972, he decided to personally airlift relief supplies to the nation to ensure they reached those in need. The overloaded plane crashed shortly after takeoff and Clemente passed away at the age of 38.
A few months after his passing, on March 20, 1973, Clemente was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame, becoming the first Latin American and Caribbean player to be so honored. Major League Baseball has honored his legacy since then by presenting the Roberto Clemente Award each year to an outstanding player who shows a strong commitment to community work.
Other posthumous awards Clemente has received include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Roberto Clemente Walker Congressional Gold Medal, and the Presidential Citizens Medal. Sixty years after Clemente’s pro debut, Puerto Rico’s professional baseball league was even renamed the Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente—a testimony to the enduring impact he made on his community and beyond.
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