On March 20, 1973 — Roberto Clemente becomes the first Hispanic American to gain election to the Hall of Fame. The Baseball Writers Association of America announces the results of a special ballot, with Clemente receiving 393 of 424 votes. Clemente died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve. In light of his tragic death, the Hall’s Board of Directors waived the five-year waiting period that is normally required before a player is eligible for election. A twelve-time All-Star, Clemente batted .317 and won a dozen Gold Gloves over an 18-year career, and batted .362 in World Series play. Named National League MVP in 1966, he was voted the outstanding player in the 1971 World Series, when the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the heavily-favored Baltimore Orioles in seven games.

 

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