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Smithsonian exhibit reminds students of baseball legend

By Desiree' Knight
Staff Writer

The new Smithsonian exhibit titled "Beyond Baseball, the Life of Roberto Clemente" is now open in the Lakeview Building on the Floyd Campus.

It will remain open in the Lakeview exhibit hall through the spring semester.

The exhibit includes numerous standing boards that contain information and pictures about Clemente. They portray various themes of Clemente's life, such as his image, his heritage, his family and his career.

One board in the exhibit titled "Pirated Away" depicts his transfer from the Brooklyn Dodgers to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ironically, Clemente connected for a single in his first Major League Baseball game, against the Dodgers on April 17, 1955.

There is one board titled "Nicaragua" that discusses the earthquake that devastated the country in 1972. Clemente had managed a team in the amateur baseball World Series previously held in Nicaragua. This earthquake resulted in a loss of many of Clemente's close friends.

Another display is entitled "Breaking into the Pros." It discusses Roberto Clemente's struggle and success in major leaque baseball.

Clemente was the first Latin-born player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame after his death in a plane crash that occurred while he was delivering humanitarian relief to Nicaragua.

"Clemente was the greatest God-given talent I ever saw on a baseball diamond," said former Pirate teammate Dick Groat. This and many other quotations from teammates, family members and biographers can be found throughout the exhibit.

Students and staff can also view a virtual exhibition at Curriculum materials for teachers, interactive children's activities and downloadable web casts with interviews can also be found on the website.

The website is funded by the Smithsonian Women's Committee, while the exhibit is sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico and Carimar. The Smithsonian exhibit also provides students with a take-home pamphlet written in Spanish and English containing a timeline of the life of Roberto Clemente, as well as photos of his career.