Photo: Roberto Climente
ESPN Deportes and ESPN to Debut The Clemente Effect March 10
An ESPN Deportes original film documenting Clemente’s incredible legacy 40 years after his tragic death
ESPN Deportes and ESPN will premiere The Clemente Effect, a feature-length documentary that chronicles the life and accomplishments of Roberto Clemente Sunday, March 10. The film will debut on ESPN at 4:30 p.m. ET and on ESPN Deportes at 10:30 p.m. The network’s exclusive Spanish-language coverage of the World Baseball Classic game between Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico at 7:30 p.m. will appropriately serve as a lead-in for the film on ESPN Deportes.
“Clemente, a man who was so much more than a baseball hero, led a life worth commemorating, and we are thrilled to share his story and legacy with our viewers,” said Lino Garcia, ESPN Deportes General Manager. “Our goal is to create compelling, original content that is relevant to our fans, and we hope that this documentary has a powerful impact on our audience and those who have followed his story through the years.”
Forty years ago, Clemente died in a tragic plane accident while delivering aid to victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua. Yet Clemente’s legacy remains and his effect is still felt across the U.S. and Latin America decades later.
The ESPN Deportes and Momen Film Inc. production takes viewers through Clemente’s life, from his humble upbringing in Puerto Rico to becoming the National League Most Valuable Player in 1966 and a World Series hero for the Pirates in 1960 and 1971. Along the way, Clemente faced numerous obstacles: injuries, an antagonistic press corps and the racial injustices of the time. But Clemente prevailed. Inspired by the civil rights movement, he became an unwavering defender of minorities, an advocate for Latino players’ rights and a great humanitarian.
After his death, Clemente was posthumously elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and hailed as a hero all around the world. Statues erected in his honor and institutions were named after him. But The Clemente Effect goes one step further to explore how his legacy has fared in the last 40 years, focusing on his legacy in Pittsburgh, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico, where Clemente’s dream of creating a Sports City became a reality for some time.
Directed by Mario Diaz (HBO’s Bazooka: The Battles of Wilfredo Gómez), The Clemente Effect is an ambitious work that draws extensively from archival footage and photographs of Clemente during the 50s, 60s and 70s, including never-before-seen footage of Clemente with his family, playing for the Puerto Rican Winter League and visiting Nicaragua a few months before his death.
The original footage is paired with present day interviews of family, close friends and baseball stars such as Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda, two-time American League MVP Juan González, three-time All-Star Carlos Baerga, 2003 AL RBI Champion Carlos Delgado, 2007 World Series Champion Alex Cora, Pittsburgh Pirates teammate Steve Blass, and 2012 No.1 overall pick Carlos Correa.