Major League Baseball has expanded its celebration of Roberto Clemente, the first Afro-Latino player to be enshrined into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Last year, Major League Baseball worked with Clemente's family to allow all Puerto Rican players to wear his number on September 15. This year, the celebration will expand to allow all players, regardless of their heritage, to wear Clemente's number on September 15. In addition, all players, managers and coaches will wear a patch with Clemente's number on it. To top it all off, ESPN reports that the league will honor September 15 as "Roberto Clemente Day" in perpetuity.
"For all us Latinos who have played Major League Baseball, and have had to deal with so many obstacles, difficulties and challenges, Clemente is the source of inspiration we need to move forward and pursue our dreams and be an example to others on and off the field," St. Louis Cardinals All-Star catcher Yadier Molina told ESPN.
"We hope this day continues to perpetuate the remarkable legacy of No. 21."
As previously mentioned, Clemente is the first Afro-Latino player to be enshrined into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. During his career, Clemente appeared in 15 MLB All-Star Games, earned a National League MVP trophy and won the World Series in 1971. Tragically, his life was cut short in December 1972 during a fatal plane crash. At the time of the crash, he was bringing humanitarian aid to people affected by an earthquake in Nicaragua. Months after his untimely death, Clemente was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.