In late August, I discovered something very special about my adopted hometown of Hartford, Connecticut – a special connection to my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I know, it’s baseball, but this was a special feel-good moment for me.
I was sitting with my best friend, looking around the newly opened Dunkin’ Donuts Stadium when something caught my attention. On the left side of the wall in center field was the number ‘21’ enshrined in the same fashion as the ‘42’ on the right side. ‘42’ is for Jackie Robinson – the number has been retired throughout the entire Major League Baseball (MLB) system. ‘21’ was Roberto Clemente’s number, but Clemente played for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He started playing for them the season after I was born and he died shortly after I graduated high school. Still a Pirate, still playing strong, he died in a plane crash while trying to deliver emergency supplies to Nicaragua after a devastating earthquake.
Fans still gather in Pittsburgh each year to honor, Roberto. This article talks about how current players honor him by giving back to the community.
“This is what baseball is truly about,” Roberto Clemente’s son, Luis Clemente, said Wednesday. “It’s about giving. It’s about spreading your wealth, your knowledge with everyone, and the guys do it very well,” Clemente said. “This is not a big effort from us — it’s a privilege to be here. And they really mean it with how they feel. When they were playing, you could see, they were not pretending — they were having fun.”
Although I missed this article in the Hartford Courant when it was published. it explains the reason for the ‘21’ on the Yard Goats scoreboard and Roberto Clemente’s picture that I noticed as we were walking to our seats.
“Roberto Clemente’s legacy lives on in the Greater Hartford area, where adults and children both continue to herald the accomplishments of this truly remarkable man”, Yard Goats owner Josh Solomon said. “It was important to us to celebrate his memory both on and off the field.”
“We’re ensuring that we honor the life and legacy of Roberto Clemente”, said Julio Concepcion, Majority Leader, Hartford City Council. “The impact Roberto Clemente continues to have, particularly in our Latino community, goes far beyond baseball.”
Unfortunately, Clemente’s home, Puerto Rico has recently suffered from a devastating hurricane. This is why I decided to share this story this month.
The “We are the World” Blogfest is in its seventh month of a scheduled 12-month run. The blogfest’s goal is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts are: Michelle Wallace, Shilpa Garg, Andrea Michaels, Peter Nena, and Emerald Barnes. #WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month. Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time between now and February of 2018.