Every year baseball celebrates the legacy of Roberto Clemente, both in giving out an award in his honor, celebrating the charitable and humanitarian efforts of players on all 30 teams, but also his incredible gifts as a player.
On Thursday, every player on every team sported a number 21 on their jersey, in honor of the Puerto Rican-born Clemente, who played 18 seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates and went on to become the first Latino player to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Clemente was an icon, an unstoppable force on the field, and a genuinely caring and wonderful person off of it. Many have suggested that his number 21 should be retired across baseball, much like that of Jackie Robinson, but to date that move has not been made. There were some rumors and rumblings that this Thursday might finally be the day, but it came and went with no announcement.
Clemente died tragically in a plane crash in 1972 at the age of 38. He was on his way to bring aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. His work and impact have lived on after him.
You’ll find a lot of Clemente links in the mix today.
- A historic moment for the Rays, and baseball.
A look at history.— Tricia Whitaker (@TriciaWhitaker) September 15, 2022
All 9 Latino players in the starting line up posing for a pic after the game.
The first time in Major League Baseball history all 9 hitters in starting line up were Latinos.
And on Roberto Clemente day at that. So cool. So inspiring. pic.twitter.com/Zy9GD9wwjv
- Adam Berry has a little more on that historic Rays’ lineup.
- Roberto Clemente was honored with a ceremony at Citi Field where the Mets were facing Clemente’s former club the Pirates. (AP)
- A fascinating look at Wynton Bernard’s very long path to the majors. Story by Nick Groke. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Jacob Zinkula is trying to convince me I can do my job from a Mariners’ game and I’ve got to be honest I kind of want to send this to my boss.
- Zach Schonbrun does a deep dive into the Jomboy social media empire and what it’s done for baseball fandom. (NYT, article unlocked)
- Betelhem Ashame writes about the enduring legacy of Clemente.
- Jay Jaffe explores why Juan Soto is having a very un-Soto-like year.
- Seems doable.
The finishing record these teams need to AVOID 100 losses:— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) September 15, 2022
Athletics 11-8 (Oakland has not lost 100 games in any season since 1979).
- Ben Clemens is on milestone watch as he tries to determine when Pujols will hit 700 and where Aaron Judge is on his quest for AL dominance.
- Aaron Judge knows what legends he’s being discussed with, and talks about the likes of Ruth and Maris. Story by Madison Williams.
- What is tart cherry juice and why is it the next big drink in baseball? Matt Monagan explains.
- Nathalie Alonso explores the creation of an incredible Roberto Clemente mural by a pair of Puerto Rican artists named Don Rimx and Carlitos Skills.
- Jayson Stark explains why we all genuinely need to care about infield dirt now, because of the new infield shift restrictions. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Avert your eyes if you don’t want any more stories about the Cardinals, but Emma Baccelieri looks at Wainwright and Molina, the longest-lasting battery in baseball.
- And sadly, in spite of some rumors that suggested 21 would be retired across baseball yesterday, it didn’t happen... yet.
A lot of you know how I feel about retiring No. 21… Maybe it will happen one day… but it will not be today. Unfortunately I get to tell you that a League source confirms it is not happening at this time (and there is no current plan in place). pic.twitter.com/LTuZHHtvAL— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) September 15, 2022
And tomorrow will be a better day, Buster. Make it so.