The Clemente Museum
Backstory and Context
Roberto Clemente was a Puerto Rican professional baseball player. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and was also a humanitarian off the field. The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted him in 1954. He played 18 seasons with them and received many awards, such as, Gold Glove winner, All-Star, Most Valuable Player, and many more. There is now an award in his honor, presented by the MLB, to a player who has outstanding baseball skills and who is personally involved in community work.
The museum features memorabilia including photographs, ball gloves, cleats, awards, and highlights many of his humanitarian causes. The director of the museum, Duane Rieder, spent 11 years collecting artifacts and any information about Clemente to be show cased in the museum. It is currently the world’s largest collection of baseball artifacts, works of art, literature, photographs, memorabilia, and related materials, which focus on Roberto Clemente, his teammates, his personal life, and his humanitarian causes. (clementemuseum.com)
As Clemente came to spotlight, it was also a difficult time for players of other races, but the burden of racial slurs and cultural prejudices didn’t keep him from showing his true colors on the field. The museum highlights and emphasizes his abilities and showcases his life and career. He dedicated his 3000th hit to the people of Puerto Rico.
Off the field, Clemente was a humanitarian. He was very much involved in charity work in Puerto Rico and Latin America. Frequently, he delivered food and baseball equipment to those in need. Clemente died in a plane crash while he was on his way to Nicaragua to deliver supplies to earthquake victims.
To view or visit the museum you must call and schedule a tour at least one week ahead of time. It is a private museum and only small cameras are allowed in order to preserve the privacy and protection of the memorabilia and collection. The times and hours are listed on the Clemente Museum website, along with a gallery of photos and other information regarding scheduling visits and contact information.