The first Latino to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame was Roberto Clemente, perhaps the best known of all Puerto Rican athletes.
Born in Puerto Rico in 1934, he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates for eighteen seasons, from 1955 to 1972. With a lifetime batting average of .317, he was the first Latino to reach three thousand hits.
He was considered the greatest defensive outfielder of his day and helped open the door to other Hispanic baseball players. He was also a humanitarian who worked for causes important to Puerto Ricans.
His life was cut short in a plane crash in 1972. The plane had been carrying relief supplies to victims of an earthquake in Managua, Nicaragua.
It is no surprise that Puerto Rico should have produced a baseball player as great as Clemente. Baseball is Puerto Rico’s national sport.