Here's something that should be extremely interesting to watch.
PBS's American Experience series premieres "Roberto Clemente," a one-hour documentary about baseball's first Latino superstar. Clemente was not only an outstanding player, but was a committed humanitarian who challenged racial discrimination. The film will be presented on public television on April 21, after which a Spanish-language version will be available for free viewing online at http://pbs.org/americanexperience.
The documentary was created by independent filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz. "Roberto Clemente" features interviews with Pulitzer Prize-winning authors David Maraniss (Clemente) and George F. Will (Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball), Clemente's wife Vera, Baseball Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda, and former teammates. Actor Jimmy Smits narrates.
On December 31, 1972, Roberto Clemente, a thirty-seven-year-old baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates, boarded a DC-7 aircraft loaded with relief supplies for survivors of a catastrophic earthquake in Managua, Nicaragua. Shortly after take off, the overloaded aircraft plunged into the Atlantic Ocean, just one mile from the Puerto Rican coast. Roberto Clemente's body was never recovered.
Clemente's untimely death brought an end to a spectacular career. In his eighteen seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he led the team to two World Series championships, won four National League batting titles, received the Most Valuable Player award, and earned twelve consecutive Gold Gloves. In his final turn at bat for the 1972 season, Clemente made his 3,000th career hit-an achievement that had been reached by ten major league players before him, and only fifteen since.
Clemente used his fame and his desire to make all Latinos proud of their heritage, and humanitarian efforts part of his legacy. "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," he told a Houston audience in 1971, just one year before his death.
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