Less than 10 years later, Roberto Clemente would be playing softball with men on the Sello Rojo team, sponsored by a large rice-processing company. Two years after that, when he was just 16, Roberto was offered a professional baseball contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Pittsburgh Pirates then drafted Roberto Clemente in 1955 for $4000, and by 1960 Roberto had become a dominant player in professional baseball, helping lead the Pirates to win both the National League pennant and the World Series.
Roberto Clemente's life came to a tragic end on New Year's Eve 1972 when his plane crashed while en route to Nicaragua with relief supplies for earthquake victims. The plane went down off the coast of San Juan shortly after takeoff, and Roberto's body was never found.
For his "outstanding athletic, civic, charitable, and humanitarian contributions," Roberto Clemente was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by the United States Congress in 1973. He was also elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame the same year.
1. 1940 U.S. Census, Carolina, Puerto Rico, population schedule, San Anton, enumeration district (ED) 2–16, page 210(stamped), sheet 3A, household 40, Inosencio Clemente y Sanchez household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 April 2012); citing NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 4594.