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Roberto Clemente

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"The Great One"

The person in history I'd most like to meet would be Roberto Clemente. Roberto Clemente was born in Barrio San Anton in Carolina, Puerto Rico, on August 18, 1934. Clemente was the youngest of seven children. Growing up Clemente did extremely well in track and field, winning medals in the javelin throw and short distance races. However, his real love was baseball. I would have wanted to meet Clemente because he was the ultimate athlete, a hard worker, and humanitarian.

Clemente established his work ethic from a young age by watching his mother and father. Luisa, Clemente's mother, worked two jobs, washing laundry and running a sugar plantation market. Melchor, his father, also worked in the sugarcane fields and as a grocery store manager to provide for his seven children. Clemente would occasionally help his father load and unload trucks. Wanting a bicycle so badly Clemente once worked for seven cents a week until he could afford the bicycle. This same work ethic applied when Clemente went to Major League Baseball. He became obsessed with baseball from an early age. Clemente and his friends would use rolled up magazines as baseballs and tree branches as bats, because they had no money for baseball equipment. He would even squeeze a rubber ball to build up his throwing arm. His dedication would lead him to become the number one pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1954 where he played his entire Major League Baseball career. During his eighteen-year career he endured many racial prejudices that included verbal insults. At the end of his career he had exactly 3,000 hits, just the eleventh player in history to reach this milestone. Clemente also was known for having one of the most powerful arms in baseball history. He earned twelve Golden

Glove Awards for his outstanding defense and had 266 outfield assists. He was one of only four players to have a .300+ batting average and have 10 or more Gold Gloves.

Regarded as one of the best baseball humanitarians Clemente was greatly involved in charity work with his country, Puerto Rico. On December 23 an earthquake left many homeless, killed thousands, and devastated the city of Managua, Nicaragua. Clemente was furious with the prior supplies not being delivered to the victims. As a result, he was going to personally see to it that the victims received the needed supplies. Clemente organized a relief effort



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