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Should Roberto Clemente's number 21 be universally retired by the MLB? Why or why not? Information, in case you don't know Currently there are only 2 numbers in sports universally retired (Wayne Gretzky #99 in the NHL, and Jackie Robinson's #42 in the MLB) Gretzky's because he is the undoubtably best hockey player all time Jackie Robinson's because he was the first black player in the MLB (or at least since the AL was created) Clemente while he wasn't the first hispanic player in the MLB, he was the first great one. He had over 1,400 runs, .317 average, and is one of the few 3,000 hits club (with 3,000 exactly). But despite his great play, he is remembered more for his off-field performance, he was known for helping out the needy and spending lots of time with fans and the less fortunate. It was this that lead to his death in 1972, during Christmas a earthquake hit Nicaragua and Clemente organized a plan to send supplies, he would hire a pilot and a plane and fly the supplies there, as well as himself. The plane crashed on New Years Eve 1972, Clemente's body was never found. The argument against is that he has 'already been commemorated enough', MLB celebrates Roberto Clemente Day every year, as well as handing out the Roberto Clemente Award to the best humanitarian in baseball. And that if they did wouldn't then other players numbers get retired? Babe Ruth was the best player (batter and pitcher), Gehrig, Mays, Aaron, Cobb, Jeter, or even Ichiro being the first great (and really only potential HOF) to player in the MLB The argument for is that, while he wasn't the first hispanic player, he was the first great one and his contributions outside the sport will be unmatched, and that the league retired Robinson's number due to breaker the mold of the 'color barrier'. They say "Robinson opened a door for non-whites to play in the MLB, and Clemente created the bridge between whites and non-whites" So if the league is going to retire Robinson's shouldn't they retire Clemente's as well? My opinion, the league should, but I can see why they wouldn't. But, I also feel that they should even if #21 is only retired by the NL