Puerto Rico is making up for lost time with the movement to retire Roberto Clemente's #21.
Coamo, PR: Coamo is a small town located in the south central region of Puerto Rico. It might not be on the average tourist route, but it is well known to world class runners who are seriously preparing for the major marathon races around the world. The reason is that every year the town hosts a world class half marathon known as the, “Marathon San Blass.” The hills and weather of this town and the overall hospitality make it an ideal place to run and test your endurance for any upcoming marathon.
In a strange way, the movement that we began in 2006 to retire Roberto Clemente’s #21 has been like a marathon. We knew that it was going to be a long journey to get to the conscious and good will of commissioner, Allan “Bud” Selig to make the right move and retire the number.
Like a marathon, we have had many twists and turns and like a marathon we have had thousand of spectators cheering us on and the number keeps on growing. Puerto Rico was that part of our journey that must have compared to the first hill’s encountered in the San Blass Marathon. It was uphill all the way. It seemed as though this might have been the place that would have really slowed us down since we could not get any meaningful support from the island that gave us Roberto Clemente.
However, just like that marathon, the campaign to retire 21 seemed to have gotten its second wind here during this trip. After a successful meeting with the mayor of Maricao, the first event for the retire 21 campaign will take place in Puerto Rico on June 21st. Yesterday we met with representatives of the mayor of Salinas and today we met with the Mayor of Coamo, Peñuelas and Morovis. All four towns have given their support to the campaign and have agreed to pass resolutions in their towns urging commissioner Selig to retire #21.
We were also featured in 3 radio interviews in the towns of Mayagüez, Salinas and Coamo. The interviews produced instant support from hundreds of listeners, many calling in to ask for additional information on the campaign and committing support to get their own towns involved in the campaign. As a result we have received verbal interest from the towns of Arroyo, Santa Isabel, Patillas, Mayagüez & Homiguerros.
If things continue at this rate, Puerto Rico will have more resolutions from municipal governments than we have at present from the United States. This is exactly what we had anticipated when we started this campaign. Roberto Clemente will finally get the support from the island of his birth. Puerto Rico is finally on board with the Retire 21 campaign to help retire his #21 and give every Puerto Rican and Clemente fan on the island something to be proud of, again.
The Retire 21 representatives did an excellent job introducing the campaign in Puerto Rico. A special thanks to, Elvin Robles who initiated the interest in expanding the campaign in Puerto Rico.