Roberto Clemente and the World Series blessing heard round the world

Every day during the World Series La Vida Baseball will showcase a great Latino moment in World Series history. Today’s piece is about when the sport’s patron saint made history – but not in a way you’d expect.

Clemente was simply doing what he had grown up doing as part of a Puerto Rican family: asking for La Bendición (The Blessing).

La Bendición is a cultural tradition that individuals ask of their parents, grandparents, or respected elders from the community.

It is a tradition not unique to Puerto Ricans. Latinos from other countries also share in the cultural practice.

Yet, Clemente made history with his timing.

Introduced as the “greatest right-fielder in the game of baseball, Roberto Clemente,” Prince congratulates “Bobby on a great World Series” and turns him microphone toward the Puerto Rican.

“Before I say anything in English, I want to say something for my mother and father in Spanish,” Clemente began.

“En el dia mas grandes en mi vida, para los nenes la bendición mia, y que mis padres me den la bendición desde Puerto Rico.”

“In the proudest day in my life, to my children I give my blessing, and from my parents I ask their blessing from Puerto Rico.”

Those words spoken in Spanish by the World Series MVP were the words in Spanish ever broadcast via satellite.

But for Puerto Ricans and Latinos across the Americas that moment, where Clemente was both “Momen” the son and Clemente the father, instilled great pride in our shared Latino cultural heritage.

To see Clemente on video and hear his voice still give chills now.

Then it brought tears of joy and pride to many Latinos, regardless of their country of origin.

The Great One had once again demonstrated his greatness on and off the field by just being true to himself.

Keep reading throughout the World Series to see how our favorite players performed on the game’s biggest stage.

Oct. 22: Sergio Romo
Oct. 23: Luis Gonzalez
Oct. 24: Ozzie Guillén
Oct. 25: Edgar Rentería
Oct. 26: Roberto Clemente
Oct. 27: David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martínez

Featured Image: Focus on Sport