This Week in Pittsburgh History: Roberto Clemente Gets His 3,000th Hit
It was the last regular-season at-bat of his career.
Struggling with injuries in the final days of the regular season in 1972, Roberto Clemente complained bitterly when he felt the official scorer deprived him of his 3,000th hit on Sept. 29. The next day, at Three Rivers Stadium, there was no dispute when Clemente smacked a double in the fourth inning off Jon Matlack of the New York Mets. A crowd of over 12,000 gave Clemente a standing ovation as he stood on second base and raised his cap in a gesture of appreciation.
It was the last regular-season at-bat of Clemente’s career. In the National League playoffs that season, he had four hits during 17 at-bats. His last game was Oct. 11, 1972, at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium in the fifth and final game of the 1972 National League Championship Series. Clemente died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve that year while attempting to deliver earthquake relief supplies to Nicaragua.
Learn more about the city’s past at The Odd, Mysterious & Fascinating History of Pittsburgh’s Facebook page.