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Vera Clemente, widow of Pirates great, dies at 78

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Published in Baseball
Saturday, 16 November 2019 19:16

PITTSBURGH -- Vera Clemente, the widow of Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente and a goodwill ambassador for Major League Baseball, has died. She was 78.

MLB and the Pittsburgh Pirates announced her death on Saturday. She died in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

MLB said she recently had experienced health issues. The Pirates tweeted on Nov. 1 that she had been hospitalized in "delicate health."

Vera and Roberto Clemente were married in November 1964, according to the Roberto Clemente Foundation. Roberto Clemente was a 15-time All-Star with the Pirates. He was killed in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Vera Clemente "impacted countless children and extended her family's humanitarian legacy of helping those in need."

She served as the chairwoman for the foundation, which works "to promote positive change and community engagement through the example and inspiration of Roberto." Vera and Roberto had three sons: Roberto, Luis and Enrique.

Pirates owner Bob Nutting called Vera Clemente "a cherished member of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Major League Baseball family." He said she "epitomized grace, dignity and strength in the wake of heartbreaking tragedy and loss."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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