20¢ Roberto Clemente
Issue Date: August 17, 1984
City: Carolina, Puerto Rico
Printed By: American Bank Note Company
Printing Method: Photogravure
The fifth in the Sports Series, this stamp honors Roberto Clemente. Clemente was admired by millions for his play on the baseball field. However, he was also a humanitarian. He was killed in a plane crash while travelling to aid earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Roberto Clemente (1934-1972) played baseball with an intensity that earned him respect from both players and fans. Born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Clemente was in high school when he became involved in baseball. He began playing professionally in Montreal, and was later picked up by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played there his entire career.
Clemente’s skills were showcased at the plate as well as in the outfield. With his strong arm, he was able to make dramatic throws in from his position at right field. This four-time batting champion, whose batting average topped the .300 mark 13 times, was named the National League Most Valuable Player in 1966.
Clemente helped the Pirates to their World Series victories in 1960 and 1971. He never went hitless in each championship appearance, and was named Most Valuable Player of the 1971 World Series.
On September 30, 1972, Clemente reached a baseball milestone when he recorded his 3,000th major league hit. Just three months later, on New Year’s Eve, he was killed in an airplane crash while delivering supplies to earthquake-stricken Nicaragua.
In 1973, the customary five-year waiting period was waived and Roberto Clemente was named to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in a special election.