Yard Goats and baseball legend’s family help kick off Puerto Rican parade – NBC Connecticut

It was buzzing in Hartford to kick off the Puerto Rican Day Parade.

It was a day of celebrations as family and community came together to honor the life and legacy of Roberto Clemente.

“I’m a huge Clemente fan. Saw him play in the 60s and 70s, big fan, so here I am,” Southbury’s Will Soltren said.

Dozens of fans dressed in Roberto Clemente jerseys..

“It’s an honor to have the family here and to honor Roberto Clemente. His birthday would have been last Thursday,” noted Sammie Vega of Hartford.

The family, community and Governor Ned Lamont kicked off the Puerto Rican Day Parade festivities by honoring Clemente, the first Latino inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

“It’s super exciting to have so many Latinos come together to celebrate the legacy of Roberto Clemente,” said Amilcar Hernandez, treasurer of the CICD Puerto Rican Day Parade.

His son, Luis Clemente, told NBC CT it was an honor to celebrate his father in the capital.

“It’s always, always great to come and walk into this incredible ballpark and look at the center field wall and see that retired number twenty-one,” Clemente said.

Clemente played eighteen major league seasons, all with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was tragically killed in a plane crash in 1972 while delivering supplies to earthquake victims.

“He used baseball as a platform to get his message across and it still resonates today. I think everyone should understand what an individual can do and the impact they have on life” , continued Clemente.

“The most important thing he did was outside of baseball. He died on December 31 while he was traveling to Nicaragua and helping people. That’s why I admire him the most,” added Vega.

His family will participate in tomorrow’s parade in his honor.

Saturday’s event kicked off the Puerto Rican Day Parade festivities on Sunday. NBC and Telemundo will be there so be sure to drop by to say hello.

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