|April 21, 2008|
Monday, April 21 at 9pm on PBS (check local listings)
On December 31, 1972, Roberto Clemente, a thirty-seven-year-old baseball player for
the Pittsburgh Pirates, boarded a DC-7 aircraft loaded with relief supplies for survivors of a catastrophic earthquake in Managua, Nicaragua. Concerned over reports that the Nicaraguan dictatorship was misusing shipments of aid, Clemente, a native of neighboring Puerto Rico, hoped his involvement would persuade the government to distribute relief packages to the more than 300,000 people affected by the disaster. Shortly after take off, the overloaded aircraft plunged into the Atlantic Ocean, just one mile from the Puerto Rican coast. Roberto Clemente’s body was never recovered.
On Monday, April 21, PBS’s AMERICAN EXPERIENCE premieres Roberto Clemente, a one-hour documentary about an exceptional baseball player and committed humanitarian, who challenged racial discrimination to become baseball’s first Latino superstar. From independent filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz, Clemente features interviews with Pulitzer Prizewinning authors David Maraniss (Clemente) and George F. Will (Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball), Clemente’s wife Vera, Baseball Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda, and former teammates, to present an intimate and revealing portrait of a man whose passion and grace made him a legend. Go to www.pbs.org for more info. Also, check out www.robertoclemente.si.edu/english/index.htm.