PITTSBURGH — Vera Clemente, the widow of 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 Saturday. She died in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
MLB says Vera Clemente had health issues recently. The Pittsburgh 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 says Vera Clemente “impacted countless children and extended her family’s humanitarian legacy of helping those in need.”
Vera Clemente 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 Jr., Luis and Enrique.
Pirates owner Bob Nutting called Clemente “a cherished member of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Major League Baseball family.” He says she “epitomized grace, dignity and strength in the wake of heartbreaking tragedy and loss.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Justin Bour agrees to play for Japan’s Hanshin Tigers, report says
Per the Kyodo News agency, Tigers general manager Osamu Tanimoto said this week the team has reached a basic agreement with the 31-year-old Bour, who played first base for the Los Angeles Angels last season.
Hanshin officials were not available for comment on Saturday.
Bour has a career .253 batting average with 92 home runs, 303 RBIs and 433 hits over six seasons in Major League Baseball. He started his career with the Miami Marlins in 2014 and had a brief stint with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2018 before joining the Angels for the 2019 season.
Seymour Siwoff, longtime Elias Sports Bureau owner, dies at 99
Seymour Siwoff, the statistics maven who turned the Elias Sports Bureau into the place to go for exact information on teams and athletes for more than a half-century, died Friday. He was 99.
Siwoff owned Elias for more than 70 years before selling it to his grandson in March 2018. He started as an accountant in 1938 and purchased the company in 1952.
Elias was started in 1913 by brothers Al Munro Elias and Walter Bruce Elias and became official statistician of baseball’s National League in 1919. It is now the official statistician for MLB, NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLS and the NBA G-League.
Elias also works with broadcasters and sports networks such as ESPN, MLB Network, NFL Network, Turner Sports, Comcast and NESN.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Mr. Niche Guy — The best free-agent fits for very specific needs
We’re past Thanksgiving now, or at least the main event, though lots of you surely have fridges full of leftovers to dispatch. Football takes center stage during this particular holiday, which pains me to admit, but what can you do? It’s not like baseball is riding a tidal wave of happy PR at the moment.
In our sport, there has been some movement on the free-agent market. The White Sox made a splash last week by signing the best available catcher in Yasmani Grandal. The Braves jumped into the leftover backstop market to nab Travis d’Arnaud to assume co-catching duties with Tyler Flowers, a spot opened up by Brian McCann‘s retirement. The Braves also grabbed the top available reliever in all-purpose lefty Will Smith.
Not bad, considering the glacial pace of recent hot stove seasons. Those three players are the best free agents to change teams. Other solid veterans have re-upped with their old teams, a group that includes Flowers, Nick Markakis, Chris Martin and Darren O’Day — all with the proactive Braves — along with Jose Abreu (White Sox) and Adam Wainwright (Cardinals). Jake Odorizzi accepted the qualifying offer proffered by the Twins, and J.D. Martinez declined to option out of his Red Sox contract.
That’s pretty much your free-agent update. Of Keith Law’s Top 50 free agents, 43 remain unaccounted for, including the top seven. Opportunity abounds!
We tend to look at free agency through the prism of rankings, such as Keith’s list. If our team needs a pitcher, we go to the rankings, skim down to the best available guy and decide that’s who our hardworking local GM must sign. It’s a reasonable attitude.
However, it’s not the only way to look at things. While top-line evaluations of available talent are the best guides to free agency, there is also the question of fit. What are the categories in which a team’s prospective roster is deficient? And which players are most apt to shore up those specific categories? Players often fit better on some teams than others in a way not reflected in ordinal rankings.
Looking at the free-agent pool through the fit lens adds nuance to tracking the offseason. It becomes more than a matter of crossing names off the ranking list and shines a light on some names that aren’t dominating the rumor mill. The best part from the team perspective is that signing most of these players won’t break your bank.
Let’s wade into the remaining free-agent pool with this in mind by asking, and answering, a few strategic game-situation and roster-building questions.
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