In an interview this week with MLB Network's Harold Reynolds and Pedro Martinez, former New York Yankees star and Roberto Clemente Award winner Derek Jeter spoke about Pittsburgh Pirates legend Roberto Clemente and his massive legacy.
Harold Reynolds, a former MLB player himself, asked Jeter, who won the Roberto Clemente Award in 2009, what the honor has meant to him.
Derek Jeter responded:
"I mean, I'll tell you what it's it's right there up at the top because it's not just about what you did on the field, you know. I think you go around and you ask everyone in the game about Roberto Clemente. The first thing that comes to mind is all the work that he did in the community.
"Look, he tragically passed away giving relief aid, emergency aid, and the tragic accident, and its really is unfortunate, but I think that in your mind goes to just what he stood for, not just to stats on the field in the fact that he's a Hall of Fame baseball player with just how much giving back to the community meant to him."
Next, Martinez put forward a question:
"Well, DJ, I'm curious to know you were always looked at someone that was the leader, the captain of the team. Would that person that everybody looked up to? But when you see Clemente and you see the clips and you see how he stood up for black players, the Latino players everything in general that he stood up for. How does that make you feel and should major-league retire? His number 21?"
"Well, you know, look, I think the thing that stands out with Roberto like I said is just how much he gave back. I think, you know what he stood for what he represented, you know. He was playing for more than just the sport of baseball.
"He was playing for his country is playing for his people. He was playing for his community and those are things that I think rubbed off on the next generation of players and still to this day, you have so many players that are giving him back."
Speaking about retiring Roberto Clemente's jersey, Jeter said:
"So, you know, look, I'm not the one that makes the decisions on whether or not someone's number should be retired, but you talk about someone who has done so much for the game in the sport and the Legacy lives on to this day.
"I mean, he's right there at the top and and, you know, I was just so proud of the fact that I was able to win this award because I do think it is, it is an award that people strive to win. They, they strive to be considered for, because it's much more than just a game."
"Former winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, Derek Jeter joined Harold and Pedro Martinez to speak on Clemente's legacy and what winning the award means to him." - MLB Network
Undeniably, Derek Jeter is always spot on with his responses.
Derek Jeter received the Roberto Clemente Award in 2009
According to MLB.com, "The Roberto Clemente Award is bestowed annually to the player who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field."
"Congrats to Derek Jeter -- 2009 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy winner." - MLB
Pittsburgh Pirates legend Roberto Clemente died in a plane crash in 1972 while helping supply earthquake victims in Nicaragua with food and health needs. After his passing the MLB's Commissioner's Award was renamed in his honor.