Roberto Clemente, an outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates for 18 years, died in a plane crash while on a humanitarian mission to Nicaragua in December 1972. The Inquisitr.com reported Dec. 29 that the Nicaraguan government is finishing building the Roberto Clemente baseball stadium for kids in time to honor Clemente on the 40th anniversary of his death on Dec. 31.
Fidel Moreno, General Secretary of the Mayor’s Office said:
“We will be inaugurating this stadium, precisely, in honor of the 40th anniversary of [Roberto Clemente’s] death, but above all, recognizing the great and extraordinary man, the extraordinary humanist, outstanding athlete and the example for Latin American youth that was Roberto Clemente.”
The Roberto Clemente baseball stadium for kids is located in the Luis Alfonso Velasquez public park facility. It will have a capacity for 1,200 people and 800 chairs, which will allow more children to play baseball, and visitors will be able to enjoy each game in a comfortable and safe environment.
Throughout his baseball career Roberto Clemente, a native of Puerto Rico, often performed humanitarian missions, especially to Nicaragua. On Dec. 31, 1972 Clemente traveled with his crew on a small private plane to make certain that supplies and aid were delivered to the right people after an earthquake devastated the Nicaraguan capital of Managua on Dec. 23 of that year. Only minutes after takeoff the small plane crashed into the ocean. It is believed the plane was overloaded, contributing to the crash. It is also believed that the small private plane had a history of mechanical problems. Everyone on the plane was killed. Roberto Clemente’s body was never found.
There are several monuments built to honor Clemente in Nicaragua. In the city of Managua a primary school was named after Clemente, and a baseball park was built in the town of Masaya. There are also several statues of Roberto Clemente throughout Nicaragua to honor his memory and legacy.