It was six decades ago that Roberto Clemente–black and Puerto Rican–made his major league baseball debut. Throughout his career, he endured discrimination and hatred based on his skin color, ethnicity and nationality. It was so bad that, in 1960, Clemente led the Pirates to the World Series title and the MVP was given to Bobby Richardson, a white player from the losing Yankees.
After the ’72 season, a vicious earthquake devastated Managua, Nicaragua. Clemente immediately began organizing relief efforts, sending plane loads of basic necessities. When he discovered these goods were being diverted by the corrupt Somoza government, he chartered a jet and joined the mission. It plunged into the ocean almost immediately after takeover on New Year’s Eve.