Baseball is a team sport, commonly called "American national pastime". Presumably it was created over 100 years ago by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, New York. This small city of the Empire State hosts the Baseball Hall of Fame Museum, a place dedicated to the best I've ever played.
Among the members of the Hall of Fame is the Puerto Rican baseball player Roberto Clemente, the first induced Latin player. He was a great athlete and also a humanitarian; his untimely death was the result of a plane crash when Clemente was trying to send aid to Nicaragua after an earthquake.
"Whenever you have the opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don't, then you are wasting your time on Earth," he said.
Since 1971, Major League Baseball has awarded an annual prize in the name of Clement to an important championship, recognizing its service to the community. Discover the names of all the Roberto Clemente Award winners here.
Clemente continues to be an icon for baseball players and fans, particularly for Latinxs and Latin Americans. Readers of all ages can learn about its history, its successes and the status of role models through books, including:
21: The story of Roberto Clemente by Wilfred Santiago
Find out about Clemente's life from his younger years and his impressive years in Major League Baseball. Clement's contributions outside of baseball are also written in this graphic novel. Readers who love images and / or illustrations can appreciate this book, which includes cartoon-like drawings.
Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates by Jonah Winter and Raul Colon
Clement's childhood and baseball career in the Hall of Fame – which includes 3,000 hits – are also covered in this book for young readers. It is important to note that this reading also discusses the humanitarian efforts that have made Clement a hero out of the baseball diamond. The two-time World Series champion is not only the "Pride of Pittsburgh", it is also the pride of Puerto Rico.
Clemente! by Willie Perdomo and Bryan Collier
In this story, a boy named Clemente learns about the great baseball he was named. His father is a big fan of the star, as are other family members. The book presents some words in Spanish included in the text which is mainly English; It is an easy read for bilingual and dominant English readers, with the accompanying art.
Ice Pops with Roberto Clemente of J.L. Anderson and Katie Wood
The main characters Fiona and Finley meet Roberto Clemente traveling back in time and learning all about him, according to the book's description. This reading also has an educational component, since "it includes questions of understanding, a request for writing and other resources".
If you're wondering what an "ice crack" is, you're not alone. The tasty frozen surprise is also called "icicle" or "pop ice" in English.
Clemente: The True Legacy of an Undying Hero of the Clemente family
Read the legend of baseball through the eyes of his own family. The story is told by his widow, Vera Clemente, and their three children. According to the book's description on Amazon: "Equipped with a wide range of rare and unpublished Clement's photos in the field and out, this powerful memorial tells his inspiring story from the voices of those who knew him best."
Roberto Clemente: Young Ball Player by Montrew Dunham and Meryl Henderson
The story embraces Clement's childhood at his introduction to the Hall of Fame in 1973 and includes full-page illustrations. A glossary is available to readers explaining the terms of baseball, which could help new ones play baseball. This book is part of the Childhood of Famous Americans series; contains other celebrities and baseball legends such as Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
I'm Roberto Clemente by Jim Gigliotti
Part of the I Am series, this book covers Clement's life from his youth in Puerto Rico to his legacy after death. Inside there are illustrations, a timeline of events and introductions to people have been an important part of Clement's life. There are also two lists of things to know about Roberto Clemente, which can serve as a useful summary for some readers.
Spanish-speaking readers may also learn about Clement, as the book is also available in Spanish. The title is Soy Roberto Clemente by the same author with illustrator Ute Simon.
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