Roberto Clemente Honors

About Roberto Clemente Honors - On March 20, 1973, the Baseball Writers Association of America held a special election for the Baseball Hall of Fame. They voted to waive the waiting period for Clemente, due to the circumstances of his death, and posthumously elected him for induction into the Hall of Fame, giving him 393 of the 420 available votes, or 92% of the vote. Clemente's Hall of Fame plaque had originally read "Roberto Walker Clemente". In 2000, the plaque was recast to express his name in the proper Hispanic format, "Roberto Clemente Walker".

MLB presents the Roberto Clemente Award every year to the player who best follows Clemente's example with humanitarian work. Clemente was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1973 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002. In 2003, he was inducted into the United States Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame. On October 26, 2005, Clemente was named a member of Major League Baseball's Latino Legends Team.
At the Major League Baseball All-Star game in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 11, 2006, many of the players on both teams wore yellow wristbands with the initials "RCW" in honor of Clemente. At the end of the fourth inning, Clemente was awarded the Commissioner's Historical Achievement Award by the Commissioner of Baseball; the award was accepted by his widow. During the award presentation, the Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig stated that "Roberto was a hero in every sense of the word".

PNC Park, the home ballpark of the Pirates which opened in 2001, includes a right field wall 21 feet high, in reference to Clemente's uniform number and his normal fielding position during his years with the Pirates.

Puerto Rico has honored Clemente's memory by naming the coliseum in San Juan the Roberto Clemente Coliseum; two baseball parks are in Carolina, the professional one , Roberto Clemente Stadium, and the Double-A. There is also the Escuela de los Deportes (School of Sports) that has the Double-A baseball park and the number 21 can't be used in any of the baseball teams there.. Today, this sports complex is called Ciudad Deportiva Roberto Clemente. In Pittsburgh, the 6th Street Bridge was renamed in his memory, and the Pirates retired his number 21 at the start of the 1973 season. The City of Pittsburgh maintains Roberto Clemente Memorial Park along North Shore Drive in the city's North Side.

In 2007, the Roberto Clemente Museum opened in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh. Some schools, such as Roberto Clemente High School in Chicago, Illinois and the Roberto Clemente Charter School in Allentown, Pennsylvania, were named in Clemente's honor. Clemente was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame.

On August 17, 1984, the day before what would have been his 50th birthday, the United States Postal Service issued a postage stamp honoring Clemente. Designed by Juan Lopez-Bonilla, the spare clean design shows Clemente wearing his Pirates cap, with the Puerto Rican flag in the background. In 1999, he ranked Number 20 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, the highest-ranking Latino player on the list. Later that year, Clemente was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

Some have felt that Clemente deserves a similar honor to Jackie Robinson, and that the #21 should be retired by all teams much like #42 was retired for Robinson in 1997. They feel that Clemente opened the doors of Major League Baseball to Hispanics, just like Robinson did for African-Americans.

Roberto Clemente Wikipedia