Goya Foods will honor the lifetime achievements of Roberto Clemente in celebration of his 40th anniversary into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and unveil a life size statue at Roberto Clemente State Park in the Bronx on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 11 a.m.
The bronze statue, sculpted by Maritza Hernandez, weighs approximately 3,000 pounds and will stand at a total height of seven feet tall on a four foot granite pedestal and portray one of Clemente’s most memorable moments in his baseball career; acknowledging fans after his 3,000th hit. The statue, commissioned and donated by Goya Foods to Roberto Clemente State Park, will be installed at the front entrance of the 25-acre public park and represents the first statue of a Puerto Rican legend to be constructed in New York City.
Roberto Clemente was an iconic role model who made a significant difference in the Hispanic community, not only for his success and career as a Hall of Fame baseball player, but also for his humanitarian work. Off the field, Clemente dedicated much of his time and efforts to helping people in Puerto Rico and other Latin American countries. The community lost this great man in an aviation accident on December 31, 1972, while en route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Much like the life of Roberto Clemente, Goya has fostered a longstanding history as a cultural symbol and civic leader. “The story we share is as much about achieving the American dream as it is about helping to cultivate and preserve the richness of the Latin culture and people in the United States,” says Bob Unanue, President of Goya Foods. “Roberto Clemente will always be remembered in our hearts and we hope that his spirit of giving will encourage and inspire others to do the same.” Goya has always believed in the importance of extending a helping hand in the face of unfortunate circumstances and actively engages with charitable endeavors that promote and sustain community wellness and further the advancement of the Hispanic culture.
“The life of Roberto Clemente is an inspiration to us all and particularly to those of us at Roberto Clemente State Park where we celebrate and honor the legend’s accomplishments by striving every day to offer the community a safe and inviting open space for play, recreation and respite. New York State Parks is proud to have within its system a park named after a truly great American. Thank you to Goya Foods for this generous and deeply meaningful contribution to our park; we will house this remarkable statue with great pride and stewardship,” says Rose Harvey, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Commissioner.
Also celebrating its 40th anniversary, Roberto Clemente State Park is a 25-acre waterfront park located along the Harlem River in the Bronx. The park opened in 1973 as the Harlem River Park and was renamed after Clemente, the first Latino-American inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The park offers the community a variety of recreational and cultural activities year-round and includes a multi-purpose recreation building, an Olympic-size pool complex, ball fields, basketball courts, picnic areas, playgrounds and a waterfront promenade.