In recognition of the 50th anniversary of Roberto Clemente’s death and as a tribute to his legacy, Major League Baseball will allow all active Roberto Clemente Award recipients to wear a commemorative “21” patch on the back of their caps for the remainder of their careers. careers.
Beginning on Opening Day of the 2022 season, all eight active Roberto Clemente Award winners will wear the patch on the back of their caps and may choose to wear a number 21 decal on the back of their helmets.
Roberto Clemente Award winners on active rosters include last year’s winner, Nelson Cruz (Washington Nationals), along with Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright Y Albert Pujols (St.Louis Cardinals), Carlos Carrasco (New York Mets), Anthony Rizzo (New York Yankees), Andrew McCutchen (Milwaukee Brewers) and Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers).
In the past, all players, managers and coaches wore a number 21 patch on September 15, which was designated by MLB as Roberto Clemente Day.
Last year, players born in Puerto Rico, uniformed personnel of Puerto Rican descent, and Roberto Clemente Award nominees were able to wear a number 21 jersey for the 20th annual Roberto Clemente Day.
The 39-year-old Molina, the longest-serving Puerto Rican-born active major leaguer, has said that wearing the number 21 is an “extraordinary honor” and “a source of great pride.”
“For all of us Latinos who have played in the Major Leagues and have had to deal with so many obstacles, difficulties and challenges, Clemente is the source of inspiration we need to move forward and pursue our dreams and be an example to others on and off the field. Molina told ESPN. “We hope that this day will continue to perpetuate the remarkable legacy of No. 21.”
Said Rizzo, the 2017 winner: “The Roberto Clemente Award is one of the best awards I’ve ever won in my career. Just to represent him, to have that recognition, his number in front of many players throughout the league, will be in his honor. And it’s very commendable because it served everyone else. Winning that award, it’s a humanitarian award and one of the awards that I’m definitely proud of. I’ll be happy to wear that No. 21.”
Born in Puerto Rico, Clemente was the first Latin American player elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and was revered for his accomplishments on and off the field. He was a 15-time All-Star, 12-time Gold Glove winner, 3,000-hit club member, four-time batting champion, and NL and World Series MVP.
Clemente died in a plane crash on December 31, 1972, while accompanying a cargo plane leaving San Juan, Puerto Rico, to bring humanitarian aid to people affected by a devastating earthquake in Nicaragua. Months after his death, the mandatory five-year waiting period for Clemente’s induction into the Hall of Fame was lifted, and he was honored as part of the class of 1973.
MLB calls the Roberto Clemente Award “the most prestigious individual honor for Major League Baseball players,” presented to players who represent the game through “extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.”
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Clemente Award winners will wear patch with No. 21