A Legacy Defined
In March of 1970, Roberto Clemente joins players in honoring the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. by playing the East-West Classic. This not only provided Clemente with the opportunity to pay tribute to the memory of MLK, whom he had befriended years before, but also served as a platform to further his view on civil rights.
On June 28th of 1970, the Pirates play their last game at Forbes Field. An emotional situation for Clemente who said…
“I spent half my life there.”
July 16th, 1970, the Pirates play their opening game in Three Rivers Stadium.
Before arriving at the new stadium, the Pirates take part in a parade from Forbes Field to Three Rivers.
July 24th, 1970
The Pirates celebrate the first Clemente day at Three Rivers Stadium.
Among those in attendance are a youth group from PR who presented a scroll that contained 300,000 signatures collected from fans in Puerto Rico congratulatiNG Clemente on his success.
Clemente wraps up the 1970 season with an impressive .352 batting average.
In 1971, the Pirates face off against the Baltimore Orioles in The World Series. The Orioles win the first two games but the Pirates take the series in 7.
Clemente maintains a .414 batting average through the series.
And helps to cement the pirates game 7 victory with a solo home run.
For his performance, Clemente is presented with the MVP award for the 1971 world series.
On September 29th, 1972, Roberto Clemente hits what he assumes to be his 3000th as he sends a pitch from Tom Seaver bouncing up the middle.
The hit, however, is ruled an error quieting the crowd of 24,000 and forcing Clemente to start over the next evening.
On September 30th, 1972, Roberto Clemente faces off against Jon Matlack, freshly determined to end his chase for 3000.
Leading off in the 4th, Clemente connects with Matlacks’ second pitch, sending it toward the left-center field gap.
With that hit, Clemente became the 11th player in major league history to reach the 3,000-hit circle. He also became the first latino to achieve the milestone.
cap anson | honus wagner | nap lajoie | ty cobb | tris speaker | eddie collins
paul waner | stan musial | hank aaron | willie mays | Roberto Clemente
Clemente’s 3,000th would be the last regular season hit of his career.
The final games of the season see Clemente either sat to rest or playing in the field.
October 9th, 1972 Clemente hits a double (his last MLB hit) and is caught on second base posing for what would be the last photo wearing his Pirates uniform on the field.