As MLB celebrates Roberto Clemente Day today, there's a special twist: all Puerto Rican players will be permitted to wear Clemente's uniform No. 21 in honor of the late Pirates legend who continues to be a source of great pride for his fellow countrymen.
Among the Puerto Rican-born Major Leaguers in 2020 who would be granted permission to wear No. 21 on Clemente Day include the Cubs' Javier Báez, the Indians' Francisco Lindor, the Astros' Carlos Correa and Martin Maldonado, the Mets' Edwin Díaz, the Dodgers' Kiké Hernández, the Tigers' Joe Jiménez, the Red Sox's Christian Vázquez and more. The Cardinals' Yadier Molina, whose club was off Wednesday, plans to wear No. 21 on Thursday.
MLB's move to allow Puerto Rican players to wear the No. 21 for Roberto Clemente Day came with the blessing of the Clemente family, according to ESPN's Marly Rivera.
In addition to the Puerto Rican players wearing No. 21 as their uniform number, all teams were provided optional commemorative “21” patches to be worn on their jerseys during Roberto Clemente Day games.
All of the Pirates' players and coaches will also wear Clemente's No. 21, with Clemente playing all 18 years of his Hall of Fame career with Pittsburgh. Additional players and coaches from other clubs, including several Roberto Clemente Award nominees, have also requested to wear 21, pending uniform availability from those clubs.
This year will mark the 19th Clemente Day. Clemente, who collected exactly 3,000 hits in his MLB career and won two World Series championships with the Pirates in 1960 and '71, died tragically in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972.