Washington Nationals 2021 Stories: Nationals visit Roberto Clemente Museum in Pittsburgh
[ed. note – “We’re looking back at some of the stories that got lost in the shuffle during the long, ultimately disappointing season for the Washington Nationals in 2021. This one is from late in the ‘21 campaign, when the club traveled to Pittsburgh for a series with the Pirates and a number of Nats traveled with manager Davey Martinez to visit the Roberto Clemente Museum.”]
Roberto Clemente – The baseball god of Latin gamers:
Davey Martinez led quite a few gamers on a visit to the Roberto Clemente Museum whereas the membership was in Pittsburgh, PA this previous September, simply earlier than the annual Roberto Clemente Day celebration for Main League Baseball.
The fourth-year skipper in the nation’s capital was thrilled he bought to put on the quantity that Clemente wore for many of his main league profession (No. 21) on his personal Nationals’ jersey as groups round baseball celebrated the lifetime of the late Pirates’ outfielder.
“It means — clearly you guys know the way I really feel about Roberto Clemente,” Martinez stated in a pregame Zoom name with reporters as soon as the workforce was again in D.C. after the collection in PNC Park. “It means the world to me to signify anyone like him, not solely as a participant however as a humanitarian. Roberto was — rising up — he was my idol. He was at all times talked about in my family, not solely what he did on the sector however off the sector. It really jogs my memory of who I have to be each day. I’ll cherish carrying that quantity. I bought all his jerseys at my home. I used to be going to carry one in the opposite day, however I wore one the opposite day, to Pittsburgh, and I needed to get it washed.”
Martinez stated he was thrilled so a lot of his gamers determined to visit the Clemente Museum as a gaggle when he organized the outing throughout some downtime in the Metal Metropolis.
“I’ll inform you, we had a busload,” Martinez defined. “I made positive we had a bus to take us all and the bus was full, which was sort of good. Clearly they’d a selection, I’m not going to drive anyone to go, however all of them confirmed up, which was actual good. After which the truth that we sit round and speak about completely different elements: What they noticed? What they realized? What was the very best a part of the expertise? It was superior to simply sort of talk with them what they loved, what it meant for them to see one thing like that, and so they all began speaking about it.”
The journey had the added benefit of bringing everybody nearer as a workforce, Martinez stated.
“It does construct workforce chemistry, and it’s a part of our tradition, in order that they perceive that every time we’ve got an opportunity to do one thing collectively, we’re going to do it,” he stated.
“This isn’t the primary time this 12 months that we hung out collectively. I like for these guys to get collectively aside from on the ballpark, away from the ballpark the place they’ll open up and actually be themselves, simply be an individual, not only a participant. And it means so much to not solely me, however the employees and all the opposite gamers to see them talk exterior the sport.”
Martinez additionally talked about what he hoped his membership would take away from the outing, and what he needed them to be taught or respect about Clemente’s legacy?
“I believe it’s essential for them to be taught the historical past and the way far again — he was a Latin participant again when issues weren’t that good, and the battles that he needed to combat — I believe it’s essential for them to grasp that, and what it meant for him to play the sport, and what it means to every particular person now to signify and play the sport. I bought nice suggestions from our younger guys, particularly our Latin guys that went, they beloved it, they loved it, they couldn’t imagine all of the stuff that Roberto had executed in quick time period in his life.”
Maintaining Clemente’s reminiscence, and story, alive is essential to Martinez.
“I believe it’s essential as a result of one — for us Latin gamers and coaches, he signify much more than simply — like I stated, the baseball a part of it. He represents what we view as an individual. Folks don’t understand, however this man served time in the army too, so he was — for us rising up he was the man. My dad at all times talks about him being, for Latin gamers, the baseball god of Latin gamers. So I believe it’s essential that we acknowledge that.”