7 Rare Photos of Roberto Clemente

The Carnegie Museum of Art gives us a peek at its new Teenie Harris photography exhibition.


All photos courtesy of the Teenie Harris Archive, Carnegie Museum of Art

 

The thing about worshiping Roberto Clemente is this: There’s not enough. Not enough photographs and certainly not enough video.

Those of us born after his death only get to read about his ability to throw a perfectly timed, perfectly aimed zinger from far right field to third base, where a desperate runner would feel the heat off the ball as it whizzed past his ear and landed with a thunk in the waiting glove of the third baseman. There isn’t adequate video to allow us to really appreciate that arm.

And I don’t just want one video with a grainy fleeting glimpse of that arm. I want hours of video. I want to watch his every move. Study it. Drink it in. Had we known that Roberto would be lost that last day of 1972, I’m sure we’d be fat with warehouses full of video reels dedicated to immortalizing his talent. And we’d have many more photos that would have given us a better look at who he was off the field.

I’ve studied every picture of Roberto to be found online . . . and read every interview and quote found in the newspaper archives. It’s just not enough.

But now we have more. Because the Carnegie Museum of Art’s archivists have taken the time to scan, catalog, caption and make available more than 60,000 of legendary Pittsburgh photographer Teenie Harris’ images. You’ll find Roberto Clemente in dozens of them — photos you only would’ve previously been able to find sifting through print archives. They’re all part of a new exhibition of Harris’ baseball-themed photographs taken around the city.

“Teenie Harris Photographs: Baseball in Pittsburgh” features an inside look at some of the greatest moments in Negro League, Major League and sandlot baseball in Pittsburgh. Also on view, Harris’ never-before-seen film footage of Negro League games at Forbes Field. This CMoA exhibition runs through Sept. 22.

Browse the catalog, visit the exhibition and hunt down the pictures of Roberto Clemente. Here are just a few. They’re still not enough — but it’s more than we had previously.

 

Charles "Teenie" Harris
American, 1908–1998

Pittsburgh Pirates baseball player Roberto Clemente and former Pirates manager Bobby Bragan standing on field before opening game of 1960 World Series, Forbes Field, October 5, 1960

Heinz Family Fund
Courtesy of the Teenie Harris Archive, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

 

Charles "Teenie" Harris
American, 1908–1998

Pittsburgh Pirates baseball player Roberto Clemente riding in back of car in parade for celebration of 1960 National League Championship, Downtown, September 1960

Heinz Family Fund
Courtesy of the Teenie Harris Archive, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

 

Charles "Teenie" Harris
American, 1908–1998

Pittsburgh Pirates baseball player Roberto Clemente and another man signing autographs for boy, possibly David Weber, at Hilton Hotel, c. 1961

Heinz Family Fund
Courtesy of the Teenie Harris Archive, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

 

Charles "Teenie" Harris
American, 1908–1998

Roberto Clemente signing his 1962 contract for the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team, with Danny Murtaugh and Joe Brown beside him, in office, February 1962

Heinz Family Fund
Courtesy of the Teenie Harris Archive, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

 

Charles "Teenie" Harris
American, 1908–1998

Governor David L. Lawrence, Pittsburgh Pirates baseball player Roberto Clemente, unknown man, and Al Abrams, at Dapper Dan banquet, King's Garden, Hilton Hotel, 1962

Heinz Family Fund
Courtesy of the Teenie Harris Archive, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

 

Charles "Teenie" Harris
American, 1908–1998

Roberto Clemente and his son Roberto Clemente Jr. seated on floor, in their apartment in East Liberty, June 1966
Heinz Family Fund

Courtesy of the Teenie Harris Archive, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh

 

Charles "Teenie" Harris
American, 1908–1998

Vera Clemente, Roberto Clemente, and their son Roberto Clemente Jr., seated on chair in their apartment in East Liberty, June 1966

Heinz Family Fund
Courtesy of the Teenie Harris Archive, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh


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