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PRINTER'S NO. 795
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE RESOLUTION
No.
132
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY CRUZ, CALTAGIRONE, A. DAVIS, READSHAW, KINSEY,
HILL-EVANS, HARKINS, MILLARD, MURT, LONGIETTI AND MARKOSEK,
MARCH 8, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON TOURISM AND RECREATIONAL DEVELOPMENT,
MARCH 8, 2019
A RESOLUTION
Urging Major League Baseball to retire uniform number 21 in
honor of the lifetime achievements of the late Roberto
Clemente.
WHEREAS, Roberto Clemente Walker was born on August 18, 1934,
in Carolina, Puerto Rico; and
WHEREAS, From 1955 through 1972, Mr. Clemente played 18
seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a right fielder and
right-handed batter with the Pittsburgh Pirates, wearing uniform
number 21; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Clemente's vast accomplishments as an MLB player
include collecting 3,000 hits, attaining a .317 lifetime batting
average and winning four National League batting titles and 12
consecutive National League Gold Glove Awards; and
WHEREAS, With these and other career highlights, Mr. Clemente
has earned recognition as one of the all-time greatest defensive
right fielders; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Clemente, a mainstay of his era, earned further
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recognition for his talents as a National League All-Star,
appearing in 15 games over 12 seasons; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Clemente was named the National League Most
Valuable Player (MVP) in 1966 and the World Series MVP in 1971
after leading the Pittsburgh Pirates in seven games to become
World Series Champions; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Clemente achieved this lasting record while
encountering social injustice and racial and cultural prejudice
for being a dark-skinned, Spanish-speaking player from Puerto
Rico; and
WHEREAS, Although initially frustrated, Mr. Clemente faced
these challenges with composure, dignity, pride and enduring
empathy for persons who were less fortunate; and
WHEREAS, During the baseball off-season, Mr. Clemente spent
much of his time involved in charity and humanitarian work in
Caribbean and Latin American countries; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Clemente generously contributed his energies to
persons who were underprivileged or in need by giving aid, food
and baseball equipment, often delivering these items himself;
and
WHEREAS, When a massive earthquake struck Nicaragua in
December 1972, Mr. Clemente led relief efforts, arranging for
the collection and transportation of aid to victims of the
disaster; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Clemente died in a plane crash on December 31,
1972, while en route to Nicaragua to ensure that emergency aid
and supplies reached their intended destination; and
WHEREAS, Shortly after Mr. Clemente's death, the Baseball
Writers' Association of America amended candidate eligibility
rules for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame to provide
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immediate consideration for a player who dies while still active
or before the five-year waiting period ends; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Clemente was posthumously elected to the
National Baseball Hall of Fame during a special election in
March 1973, attaining distinction as the first Latin American
and Caribbean player to receive this honor; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Clemente was posthumously awarded the Roberto
Clemente Walker Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential
Citizens Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom; and
WHEREAS, The Commissioner's Award, presented annually to a
player with outstanding skills who is personally involved in
community work, was renamed the Roberto Clemente Award in 1973;
and
WHEREAS, MLB announced in 2002 that all teams would observe
Roberto Clemente Day each year in September; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Clemente's fans have affectionately called him
"The Great One" for his legacy on and off the field; and
WHEREAS, The Pittsburgh Pirates retired uniform number 21 in
honor of Mr. Clemente on April 6, 1973; and
WHEREAS, A nationwide campaign is under way for all MLB teams
to retire Mr. Clemente's uniform number 21; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania urge Major League Baseball to
retire uniform number 21 in honor of the lifetime achievements
of the late Roberto Clemente; and be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be transmitted to
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, Robert D. Manfred,
Jr., Commissioner, 245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor, New York, NY
10167.
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