By Jason Shetler
It was on this date in 1973 that Roberto Clemente became the first ever Latin American born player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Clemente of course spent his entire 18 year Major League career with the Pirates. In honor of Clemente’s Hall of Fame anniversary, I have put together a list of his five greatest seasons.
5. 1968: Although Clemente was beginning to exit his prime years, he was still putting up very productive numbers. In 1968, Clemente batted .291 with an .838 OPS, a 152 OPS+ and a WAR of 8.1 in 132 games. Surprisingly, he was not an All-Star that year, but did capture his eighth Gold Glove award.
4. 1961: After helping the Pirates to a World Series title in 1960, Clemente really broke through in 1961. That year, Clemente won his first batting title by hitting .351 while posting a .949 OPS, an OPS+ of 150 and a 6.4 WAR in 146 games. He also captured his first Gold Glove honors.
3. 1966: Clemente did something in 1966 that hadn’t been done before, and that was becoming the first Latin American player to be named MVP. In 154 games, he batted .317 along with an OPS of .896, a 146 OPS+ and an 8.2 WAR. Clemente hit 29 home runs that season, which ended up being his career best.
2. 1969: After putting up some of the best numbers throughout the 1960’s, Clemente ended the decade with another solid season in 1969. He hit .345 with a .955 OPS, a 168 OPS+ and a 7.5 WAR in 138 games. Clemente was also selected to his ninth All-Star Game.
1. 1967: Clemente’s greatest season with the Pirates came in 1967. He batted a career best .357 while collecting 209 hits, which were most in the National League that season. Clemente posted a .954 OPS, a 171 OPS+ and a WAR of 8.9 in 147 games played.