Clemente dreamed of creating a sports center
for the young athletes of Puerto Rico, especially those from disadvantaged
His hope was to teach kids the virtues of hard
work and personal integrity that would improve their chances of
success in life. As an unintended benefit, the Sports City provides
a venue for Puerto Rico’s premiere athletes and teams to
make the major leagues and prepare for international competitions.
Roberto Clemente Sports City in Carolina—under the direction
of his wife Vera and son Luis Roberto—provides a wide array
of programs true to Clemente’s dreams. It features a baseball
stadium, practice fields, a swimming pool with an accessible entrance,
and a fully equipped gymnasium. Programming over the years has produced
a long list of success stories both in life and in sports, including
future major league stars Roberto and Sandy Alomar, Juan Gonzalez,
Ivan Rodriguez, and Ruben Sierra. Plans and fundraising for renovations
and expansion are currently underway.
"He was planning
for the next four years before he died. That was Roberto. He
was adding every day and he got up with a new idea every morning."
"Before I came
here, you never had many outstanding players from the Caribbean.
There were some good ones and now I won the MVP. This makes me
happy because now I feel that if I could do it, then they could
do it. The kids have someone to look up to and to follow. I show
them what baseball has done for me, and maybe they will work
harder and try harder and be better men."
National League Most Valuable Player, 1966