Today, the National Portrait Gallery will install a photograph of Roberto Clemente by Charles “Teenie” Harris on our Recognize wall.
One of baseball’s all-time greats, outfielder Roberto Clemente built a stellar career playing exclusively for the Pittsburgh Pirates during eighteen seasons (1955–72) in the major leagues. A twelve-time All-Star who led the Pirates to two World Series Championships (1960 and 1971), Clemente earned twelve Gold Gloves and four National League batting titles. On September 30, 1972, during his last regular-season at bat, Clemente recorded his 3,000th career hit. Three months later, on December 31, 1972, he lost his life in an airplane crash while attempting to deliver relief supplies to earthquake victims in Managua, Nicaragua. A tireless humanitarian, Clemente once observed, “If you have a chance to accomplish something that will make things better for people coming behind you, and you don’t do that, you are wasting your time on this earth.” Shortly after his death, Clemente became the first Latino American ballplayer to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Clemente’s portrait will be on view on the first floor of the museum through Nov. 1.