Friday Focus: Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum Honors Roberto Clemente
“If you have a chance to accomplish something that will make things better for people coming behind you, and you don’t do that, you are wasting your time on this Earth.” — Roberto Clemente
“The Great One,” Roberto Clemente, what more could be said to describe such an incredible man both on and off the field? Many awards, recognition’s, and monuments have been made in Clemente’s honor, and we are going to see another honor unveiled on Wednesday, August 18th. The Louisville Slugger factory and museum will unveil a lifelike sculpture of Clemente and feature a game-used bat that you can actually hold.
According to the press release the statue will feature Clemente in a “Pirates jersey from the late 1960s complete with iconic vest and banded stirrups and socks. The statue conveys the readiness of Clemente in his batting stance, eyes glued on the pitcher, as he waits for the pitch he gets ready to swing. The statue is complete with lifelike skin and period specific detail, including his U1 Louisville Slugger bat.
Bailey Mazik, a curatorial specialist for the museum, spoke on the project and explained the what, when, where and why of Clemente’s new exhibit.
“Before the sculpture, we had a game-used bat from Clemente, and he was also a part of our walk of fame in downtown Louisville. The walk of fame has a bronze replica bat for each player on it and has a nice plaque talking about each of those players,” Mazik told Pittsburgh Baseball Now.
Later on in the interview, Mazik described what it meant to feature Clemente in the museum and what the man himself meant to her, and I’m sure many people.
“We’re honored to be able to feature him with a sculpture and a game-used bat and have it on permanent display in the museum. Clemente means a lot to me personally because my dad is from Pittsburgh, and I was raised as a Pirates fan. Generally speaking, I think Clemente is so admired for his humanitarian work. We [Louisville Slugger factory and museum] think the world of Roberto and his family so we are thrilled to do this.”
During the unveiling ceremony, two of Clemente’s sons will be at the unveiling, and they will both speak during the ceremony. Now for the Pittsburgh residents who cannot pack up and head down to Louisville, there will be a live stream on the museum’s website, which is slugger museum dot com. So make sure to log on on Wednesday, August 18th, to watch it!
Mazik did leave with a little announcement that was not included in the press release. She wanted it to be known that Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum will be working with several volunteers and a local organization to help feed the hungry in conjunction with the ceremony. They will pack up enough food to feed 7,000 children, and all of those packets of food will go to Puerto Rico and be distributed at the food bank located in Puerto Rico.
Mazik mentioned that it was crucial to her and the rest of the team to include some form of humanitarian work because that’s how Roberto would’ve wanted it.