Roberto Clemente was my hero when I was growing up in the PIttsburgh area. He had a swashbuckling style combined with tremendous skills. My favorite memories were when my Dad took me to see him play at Forbes Field. When he died in a tragic accident, I never quite had the same passion for baseball.
When somebody dies young, they are forever frozen in time, as depicted in this statue in Pittsburgh.
Here is some information about him from Wikipedia.
[b]Roberto Clemente Walker (August 18, 1934 – December 31, 1972) was a Puerto Rican baseball right fielder who played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1955 through 1972. Clemente was awarded the National League (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in 1966. He was on the NL All-Star team 15 times, received 12 Gold Glove Awards, and led the NL in batting average four times. In 1972, Clemente got his 3,000th major league hit.
Off the field, Clemente was involved in charity work in Puerto Rico and other Latin American countries, often delivering baseball equipment and food to those in need. He died in an aviation accident on December 31, 1972, while en route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Clemente was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame posthumously in 1973, becoming the first Latin American to be selected and the only current Hall of Fame member for whom the mandatory five-year waiting period had been waived. Clemente is also the first Hispanic player to win a World Series as a starter (1960), receive an MVP Award (1966), and receive a World Series MVP Award (1971).[/b]