Today marks the 40th anniversary of Roberto Clemente's fatal plane crash on December 31st, 1972 in San Juan, Puerto Rico in his attempts to ensure that relief supplies were being delivered to the necessary recipients in Nicaragua. The Central American country was suffering from a tremendous earthquake, and Clemente, who earlier that month managed the Puerto Rican team in the Amateur World Series in Leon, was urged to moved when he received reports that food and clothing that he had sent were being taken by profiteers.
While Clemente was coaching in Leon, he was encouraged by fans to step up to the plate and take some batting practice. Sporting his familiar 21, Clemente obliged much to the delight of the fans and the opposing players. Hans Norbert Jaeger, a member of the German team that competed in the Amateur World Series in Leon, discovered footage of Clemente during that batting practice session. This video, which appears below, is the last known video of Clemente batting. As we celebrate Clemente heroic efforts, watch closely at one last glimpse of Clemente's effortless swings interspersed between his classic gyrations to loosen himself up to hit.