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Roberto Clemente left us too soon, but a foundation and various enterprises have kept his legacy thriving.
Nobody had any reason to suspect then that 1972 would be Roberto Clemente's final season with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Nor could they have foreseen the odd assortment of industries that would surround his memory over the next 25 years.
Mr. Clemente was enroute to aid Nicaraguan earthquake victims on New Year's Eve, 1972 - personally, because he wanted to make sure that the supplies went to the needy instead of winding up mired in red tape.
The plane crashed. His body has never been found.
Superstar in life, hero in death, a legend to ponder and to sell commemorative items including pins and jerseys, cachets and air fresheners, Mr. Clemente is a unique figure in professional sports.
The sale of these products helps support his dream of helping inner-city youth in his adopted hometown. But marketing a legend is an awkward business.
His vision of Roberto Clemente Sports City, a recreational project for youths in his native Puerto Rico, is clearcut compared to the relatively recent launch of the Roberto Clemente Foundation in Pittsburgh.
At a time when baseball's future here is fiddled with doubt, when many of its superstars are seen as overpaid, temperamental and aloof, the image of …