It’s always fun to establish historical linkages where they may not yet exist. Given our location in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and our passion for the Clemente legacy, we are asking if Roberto Clemente visited Ottawa, Ontario to play a game or games against the Ottawa Athletics in the 1954 season ?
We are looking into this exciting possibility.
Clemente played for the Montreal Royals in the International League under the Brooklyn Dodgers farm system. At that time, the Dodgers were well aware of the immense talent they had, so they attempted to hide Clemente who eventually was scouted and signed by Branch Rickey to play for the Pirates.
Ottawa also had a team in the International League who played at Lansdowne Park and we are sourcing archives and history to determine if Clemente did indeed visit Canada’s Capital.
Canada celebrates its’ 150th Birthday next years in 2017 and the Ottawa Champions Baseball Club are hosting the CanAm / American Association All-Star Game to recognize the history of baseball in Ottawa and across Canada. What an amazing addition to the program it would be to include recognition of Clemente in Ottawa !
Clemente was only 19 in 1954 and played in 87 games and only had 148 AB’s for the Dodgers, so there is a possibility he did not visit or play.
We welcome any insights or thoughts !