El Bronx, NY: This morning I received another phone call from a reporter for Noticel.com, a popular and growing Internet news
service in Puerto Rico. The reporter had learned that I was a key figure in launching the movement to recognize Roberto Clemente’s #21 over a decade ago. He wanted to get my feedback on the incredible movement that took place yesterday where every Puerto Rican baseball player, the entire Pittsburg Pirates team and people from all walks of life in the mainland and in Puerto Rico were wearing, or displaying the #21 in honor of Roberto Clemente.
I told him how delighted I was to see the incredible ground swell developing to recognize Clemente beyond the fact that he was a great baseball player and that the issue that we started in Pittsburg in 2006 at the All Star weekend, the issue of retiring his number has taken deeper roots.
I explained how impressed I was that people who told me back in 2006 – 2010 at the height of our activities to retire Clemente’s #21 that “our actions were not going to amount to much” are a now strong proponents.
As I was also told by others in those initial years, “the issue of retiring Clements #21 might not be popular today, but this is an issue that is not going away anytime soon and eventually Major League Baseball will have to address it.”
Congratulations to all the players who stood up and decided to join the movement to wear, or display #21 and to all the fans and regular folks that also went out of their way, some in very creative ways to wear, or display #21.
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