The exhibit, across the bay from the capital city of San Juan, will give Clemente fans the opportunity to view a treasure trove of memorabilia, photos, documents and artworks related to the Hall of Famer’s illustrious career that are housed in the museum in Pittsburgh.
“The goal is to bring these artifacts back to Clemente’s home, Puerto Rico, to celebrate his legacy with fans from his native land and baseball fans visiting the island,” said Ralph Paniagua, founder of LatinoBaseball.com, who was instrumental in organizing the exhibit.
This historic event will be presented thanks to the efforts of Roberto’s son Luis Clemente on behalf of the Clemente family, the Clemente Foundation, Duane Rieder, founder and curator of The Clemente Museum, and Mayor Angel Perez Otero of the Municipality of Guaynabo.
"The exhibit will be open to baseball fans at a time when all eyes will be on Puerto Rico,” Luis Clemente said. “It comes right after the conclusion of the Caribbean World Series games in San Juan, and continues until Major League Baseball's Puerto Rico series at the end of April between the Mets and the Marlins."
Roberto Clemente, one of Puerto Rico’s most important icons, played 18 seasons with the Pirates from 1955 to 1972. A five-tool player, 15-time All-Star with 3,000 career hits and a lifetime average of .317, he won four batting titles and 12 Gold Glove awards, was the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1966 and World Series MVP in 1971. He was on two championship Pirates teams, 1960 and 1971.
"Ironically, Clemente died in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972, at age 38 while attempting to bring relief supplies to victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua. This exhibit will inspire hope and motivation to the young and old as Puerto Rico experiences its own crisis due to the recent earthquakes," said Guaynabo Mayor Perez Otero.
Clemente was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in a special election the following year, when the Pirates retired his uniform number, 21.
The exhibit will also focus on Clemente’s humanitarianism, philanthropy and selflessness that set him apart from most athletes and made him an enduring icon still revered in the U.S., his homeland of Puerto Rico, and throughout the world.
Several items are on loan from The Clemente Museum in Pittsburgh and will encourage fans of all ages to learn more about the baseball superstar. The exhibit will host thousands of students, seniors, local baseball fans and those visiting the island, exposing them to Roberto Clemente's legacy.
“The show will not only share elements of Roberto Clemente’s life but help us to collect the stories of those coming to the show who remember and are connected to his legacy,” said Duane Rieder, The Clemente Museum founder.
The exhibit will blanket the island and the U.S. with TV, radio and digital content, reaching millions of Clemente fans and inviting them to visit Puerto Rico, see the artifacts and enjoy the MLB games.
The exhibit will be presented at the Sports Museum of Puerto Rico (Museo del Deporte de Puerto Rico) at the Los Frailes Sports Complex in Guaynabo.
For tour tickets, visit TicketPop.com or call 787-294-0001. For information, visit www.latinobaseball.com