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July 11, 2006

Joe Buck

Vera Clemente

Allan H. "Bud" Selig

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - Historic Achievement Award

JOE BUCK: Tonight here in Pittsburgh as the game's best players gather on the field, Major League Baseball stops to remember a man who symbolized excellence both on the field and off the baseball diamond. There have been nine recipients of the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award, all recognized for the tremendous accomplishments on the field of play. But tonight, for the first time, this award takes on an even deeper significance, to honor not only a great baseball player, but to honor a life committed to helping others; to honor a life well led.
Here for the presentation escorted by Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski, please welcome the Commissioner of baseball, Bud Selig, and the wife of Roberto Clemente, Mrs. Vera Clemente.
BUD SELIG: Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of Major League Baseball, I am very pleased to have the privilege of presenting the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award to Roberto Clemente.
The Commissioner's Achievement Award is presented to a player or former player who has made an enormous historical impact on the game of baseball. Roberto Clemente has done that. Roberto was a legend not only in Pittsburgh, not only in the Latin American communities, but he was a legend and still is throughout America and around the world. He was truly one of the game's all time great players, a Hall of Famer with 3,000 hits, a .317 lifetime batting average, 14 All-Star Game appearances, 12 consecutive Gold Glove awards and named the 1971 World Series Most Valuable Player.
More importantly, Roberto Clemente was and always will be remembered for his wonderful humanitarian efforts. Roberto Clemente was taken from his wife, Vera, his children, and from all of us much too young, while escorting a plane load of emergency supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua on December 31, 1972.
Roberto was a hero in every sense of the term. He was idolized by fans here in Pittsburgh and Roberto will be remembered as long as the game of baseball is played.
Vera, I want to thank you and your family for being with us tonight, and I am truly honored to present you with this Award.
VERA CLEMENTE: Thank you very much. On behalf of my husband, Roberto and my family, I want to thank you for this great honor, and to all of Roberto's fans, and for all generations, I want you to know that Roberto still loves you from heaven.
JOE BUCK: Thank you, Vera. A special night here at Pittsburgh for the entire Clemente family.

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