An article celebrating the achievements of Puerto Rican baseball star Roberto Clemente, May 28, 1960.
Roberto Clemente was born and raised in Puerto Rico, where he began playing baseball professionally at age 17. In 1955, Clemente signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he played for the next seventeen years.
Pittsburgh Pirates' Sensation Roberto Clemente Is Often Compared With Willie Mays
By RUDY CERNKOVICPITTSBURGH —(UPI)
—Roberto Clemente is often compared with Willie Mays, but the Pittsburgh Pirate outfielder insists he has developed his own style. "Many people tell me I wanna play like Weelie," the excitable Roberto said. "I no play like Mays. From little boy up I always play like thees. I always wanna run fast, to throw long and heet far."
The Puerto Rican native, who learned to play baseball by swatting a tennis ball with a broomstick, is one of the most exciting players in the game today.
Clemente was waiting to take his turn at batting practice at Forbes Field Friday night when Mays strolled by.
"Hiya, Chico," Mays greeted Clemente.
"I feel good," Weelie," he replied.
Someone asked Mays what he though of Clemente. Willie grinned. "Watta ya want me to say, man, that he's not good? He sure is good."
Giant manager Bill Rigney was polled next.
"Clemente is terrific," he said. Did Rigney think Clemente could Willie?
"Nobody compares with Willie," Rigney replied.
CLEMENTE DISPLACES MAYS
Mayes came into Pittsburgh as the National League batting leader Friday night, but a couple of hours later he was displaced by Clemente, whose two-out single in the 12th gave Pittsburgh a 5-4 victory.
Sunday, Clemente scored a run on Hal Smith's bases-loaded single in the 11th to make Pittsburgh an 8-7 winner.
Mays got only one single in 13 times at bat during the three game series while Clemente went 7 for 15 and now paces the majors with an average of .382, His 34 runs-bat- ted-in are also tops in both loops. Clemente" was a track and Held stars in high school, excelling in the javelin throw, and the hop- skip-jump event.
AIMED FOR OLYMPICS
"I only 17 when I throw javelin 185 feet," Robert said proudly. "I was pretty fast in 440 too and I think I make Olympics someday. Clemente's skill with the javelin probably accounts for one of the best throwing arms in baseball. . . ..Against the Cardinals last week Clemente threw from deep right field to Dick Groat, who tagged out Ken Boyer sliding into second. "I just keep marvelling at Ro- berto's great arm and his speed," Groat said.
Roughly translated, Clemente's surname means clemency or mercy. But Roberto does not show that virtue when he is at the plate and on the basepaths.