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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: November 8, 2018 01:40 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Resolution Urging MLB to Retire Uniform Number 21 in Honor of Roberto Clemente
In the near future, I plan to introduce a resolution urging Major League Baseball (MLB) to retire uniform number 21 in honor of the lifetime achievements of the late Roberto Clemente.

Clemente, known for wearing uniform number 21, played for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1955 until his untimely death in a plane crash on December 31, 1972. Throughout his 18 seasons in MLB, Clemente’s vast accomplishments include collecting 3,000 hits, a .317 lifetime batting average, winning four National League batting titles, 12 National League Gold Gloves, and was a mainstay as a National League All-Star and named both a National League and World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP). Given these statistics he became known as “The Great One.”

As well-known off the field as on, Clemente spent much of the baseball off season involved in charity and humanitarian work, including the Nicaraguan earthquake relief work in late December 1972. His composure in the face of adversity, unselfish caring, compassion and willingness to give of himself, to help the underprivileged and anyone in need is why to this day he is a role model to many players, particularly Latino players.

Clemente was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in early 1973 during a special election. He was both the first Latin American and Caribbean player to receive the honor. That same year, MLB renamed the Commissioner’s Award, the Roberto Clemente Award and has presented the award to a player with outstanding baseball playing skills who is personally involved in community work each year. Additionally, Clemente was posthumously presented three United States government civilian awards: the Roberto Clemente Walker Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In 1973, the Pittsburgh Pirates retired Clemente’s uniform number 21 to honor his achievements and after 45 years it would be fitting for MLB to pay tribute to “The Great One” by doing the same.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my Harrisburg office at 717-705-1925.

Introduced as HR1190