Pirates, Major League Baseball, Set to Honor the Great One on Clemente Day
Major League Baseball established Roberto Clemente Day to honor the life and legacy of Roberto Clemente himself – one of the most talented and most philanthropical Major Leaguers in the game’s storied history.
To celebrate this day marked Sep. 15, the Pirates and Pirates Charities will be participating in service events around the greater Pittsburgh region, and Jacob Stallings, the team’s 2021 Roberto Clemente Award nominee, will be recognized and honored in a pregame ceremony on the field.
Additionally, for the second straight year, every player and coach for the Pirates’ will be donning #21 on the backs of their home-white jerseys. In the coming days, those jerseys will be available for auction and proceeds will go towards the Clemente Foundation and Pirates Charities.
Having each player and coach for the Pirates all have the number 21 on their backs is a symbolic gesture to honor the man who did do much for the Pirates, the game of baseball and the communities around him.
In addition to the Pirates, Major League Baseball is again allowing Puerto-Rican born players across the league to also wear #21. To this day, Clemente, who was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, impacts the careers of the current Major Leaguers who come from the island, such as Yadier Molina, Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez and so many more.
Major League Baseball is also expanding who can wear Clemente’s number as coaches from Puerto Rico, the 2021 Roberto Clemente Award nominees and the six active recipients of the award to also wear #21 for the first time ever.
Time will tell if one day the league will allow all players to wear #21 on Clemente Day, or perhaps even if the number will join Jackie Robinson’s #42 as the only other jersey number to be retired league-wide. But today, Clemente will be celebrated by all, whether they have #21 on their jersey or not.