Proud Pittsburgh Pirates Team Roberto Clemente Knew Pillaged Over the Years

Tony MenendezCorrespondent ISeptember 2, 2009

PITTSBURGH - JULY 7: Fans look over Roberto Clemente memorabilia during opening day of Fan Fest for the Major League Baseball 2006 All-Star game at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center July 7, 2006 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)

Major League Baseball announced today, on Roberto Clemente Day, the names of the 30 finalists for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award.


The award is given annually to the Major League Baseball Player who combines a dedication to giving back to the community with outstanding skills on the baseball field.


Today marks the eighth-annual Roberto Clemente Day, which the majors established to honor Clemente's legacy.


Among the winners are 13 members of the Hall of Fame and nominees this year feature 13 players selected for the 2009 All-Star Game.


For Pittsburgh Pirates fans, Clemente's name lives in the nostalgia of great years long gone.


Even though he was not present, he would have been proud of Willie Stargell and his 1979 "We Are Family" World Champions.


He would have been proud of Jim Leyland’s Bucs from 1990-92.


But sitting up there in heaven, he can't be proud of the club's recent 17-year cycle of losing. By the way, that's a new major league record.


This season, they've proved to be so bad that the only position player remaining from opening day is catcher Ryan Doumit.


I bet Clemente would not be proud of what used to be, from the '60s to the '90s, a franchise driven year after year to have in its roster the best Latino players possible.


Let’s not forget either that a day like yesterday, Sept. 1, 1970 Manager Danny Murtaugh made the first all-black and Latino lineup in MLB history.


Clemente was batted third in that lineup that beat the Philadelphia Phillies 10-7  at Three Rivers Stadium.


For those history buffs on Roberto Clemente Day, this is my list of the top 15 Latinos to wear a Pittsburgh Pirates uniform:


Mateo Alou

Rafael Belliard

Bobby Bonilla

John Candelaria

Roberto Clemente

Jose Lind

Orlando Merced

Omar Moreno

Jose Antonio Pagan

Tony Peña

Aramis Ramirez

Enrique Romo

Manny Sanguillen

Rennie Stennett

Frank Taveras