The pick for the best athlete to wear number 21 may be the most difficult choice of them all. It was neck and neck on this decision. Warren Spahn versus Roberto Clemente. Pitcher versus Hitter. In the end, Roberto's offensive prowess, combined with his defensive strength, proved to be the tie breaker.
Here are some of "Bob" Clemente's acheivements:
- Hit better than .300 for the season, thirteen times
- 1966 NL MVP
- 12-time All-Star
- Two-time World Series Champ (1960 and 1971)
- 1971 World Series MVP
- Four-time NL batting leader
- Twelve Gold Gloves
Here is an interesting story about Roberto Clemente, relayed by my brother, who is a new resident of Pittsburgh. My brother was sitting in a bar in Pittsburgh, when his new neighbor walked in. They started chatting about sports and the subject of Roberto Clemente came up. His neighbor told him that he went to a Pirates game as a child and while the Pirates were warming up, he went down to field level to get Clemente's autograph. He sought out Clemente, and handed him his baseball glove to be signed. Clemente took the glove and walked away. Strange, huh? Well, when Clemente came back, the glove was signed by the entire Pirates team. That's the kind of guy Roberto Clemente was.