Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Clemente's 3,000th was 40 years ago today

Today is the 40th anniversary of the 3,000th -- and final -- hit of Roberto Clemente's legendary career. In a 5-0 win over the Mets on Sept. 30, 1972, Clemente doubled to the left-center field gap at Three Rivers Stadium off New York rookie Jon Matlack to become the 11th player to reach 3,000. He died three months later in a plane crash en route to delivering relief aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. 

Clemente didn't bat in the season's final three games so that was the final hit of his career (he went 4 for 17 in the NLCS loss to the Reds but those hits, of course, don't count). Here's his 1972 game log, courtesy of Baseball Almanac. caught up with Matlack for a story about his memories of the game and Clemente's career.

Check out this video that includes snippets of Clemente from the 1971 World Series in Baltimore, the opposite-field home run to the upper deck in right field he hit in the '71 All-Star Game at Detroit's Tiger Stadium, and the 3,000th hit. Below that is a random YouTube I found with some terrific vintage footage

---Mike Harrington
Twitter: @BNHarrington 

comments powered by Disqus

About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |