Yard Goats, Baseball Legend's Family Help Get Puerto Rican Parade Started

NBC Universal, Inc.

It was buzzing in Hartford for the Puerto Rican Day parade kickoff.

It’s been a day of celebrations as family and the community came together to honor the life and legacy of Roberto Clemente. 

“I'm a big Clemente fan. I watched him play in the sixties and seventies, big fan, so here I am,” Will Soltren of Southbury said.

Dozens of fans decked out in Roberto Clemente jerseys.. 

“It is an honor having the family here and honoring Roberto Clemente. His birthday would have been last Thursday,” Sammie Vega of Hartford noted.

Family, the community, and Governor Ned Lamont kicked off the Puerto Rican Day parade festivities by honoring Clemente, the first Latin-American inducted into the national baseball hall of fame. 

“This is super exciting to have so many Latinos gathering together to celebrate the legacy of Roberto Clemente,” Amilcar Hernandez, treasurer of CICD Puerto Rican Day parade, said.

His son, Luis Clemente, tells NBC CT it’s an honor to celebrate his dad in the capital city. 

“It is always, always awesome to come and walk into this incredible ballpark and look at the wall in centerfield, and see that number twenty-one retired,” Clemente stated. 

Clemente played eighteen seasons in the major leagues, all with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was tragically killed in a plane crash in 1972 delivering supplies to earthquake victims. 

“He utilized baseball as a platform to get his message across and that still resonates today. I feel like everyone should understand what a single individual can do and the impact that he has on lives,” continued Clemente.

“The most important thing he did was outside of baseball. He passed away on December 31 going to Nicaragua and helping people. That's why I admire him the most,” Vega added. 

His family will march in tomorrow's parade in his honor. 

Saturday's event kicked off the festivities for the Puerto Rican Day parade Sunday. NBC and Telemundo will be present so make sure to stop by and say hi.

Contact Us