February 19th, 2013

Roberto Clemente

February 19, 1954 – The Brooklyn Dodgers sign free agent outfielder Roberto Clemente from Puerto Rico to a one-year contract for $5,000 and a $10,000 signing bonus. At age 19, Clemente batted .257 in 87 games at Triple-A Montreal. The Dodgers tried to “hide” the prospect by not playing him full time and gambled by not protecting him in the Rule 5 Draft after the season. The ploy doesn’t work and Pittsburgh President Branch Rickey drafts Clemente to begin his eventually Hall of Fame journey with the Pirates.