The story of the life and times of the late Roberto Clemente—the first Latino baseball player inducted into the Hall of Fame—will soon be told through music in the Big Apple.
The musical “DC-7, The Roberto Clemente Story” will shine a spotlight on the legendary Afro-Puerto Rican baseball player’s life, including the discrimination he suffered, his extraordinary success on the field during his career and the humanitarian work that led to his untimely death at the age of 38.
“I don’t just want to talk about the ballplayer, but about what he suffered, about his having to sit in the back of the bus, go to other restaurants and stay at other hotels [for blacks], about being attacked, about how much he had to fight,” added Caballero.
The curtain opens on Clemente’s wake following his death when the DC-7 he was flying in while en route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua crashed into the sea off the coast of Costa Rica on December 31, 1972.
“Besides showing Roberto the baseball player, I want people to see Roberto the humanist, his relations with his wife, his kids, as a brother and the racial problems he faced in the 50s and ’60s,” says Luis Caballero, the play’s author.
Starring actor Modesto Lacen, who appeared as Pedro Knight in the musical about the life of late salsa queen Celia Cruz, the musical run from November 11-December 4 at the Society of the Educational Arts‘ new TEATRO SEA in New York City.
Clemente, a 12-time Golden Glove winner with 3,000 hits, played his entire 18-year baseball career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973—the only current honoree for whom the mandatory five-year waiting period was
waived since the wait-requirement was instituted in 1954.
Clemente was also the first Hispanic player to win a World Series as a starter, win a league MVP award and win a World Series MVP award.