As one of baseball’s most physically graceful performers, Roberto Clemente was known for his sleek, precise strides roaming right field, the unerring quick strikes of his throws to catch foolish runners who would test his arm, and the crackling line drives from his bat, which earned him a stellar .317 lifetime batting average.
But he was also an activist and civil rights leader. Clemente’s legacy places him alongside athletes who spoke out during the 1960s and 70s era of America’s racial reckoning.
And as the 19th annual Roberto Clemente day comes at a time when America is facing an awakening on systemic racism, we should remember that what Clemente did off the field was just as important as what he did on it.
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