MLB legend Roberto Clemente would've turned 81 today

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Roberto Clemente's career
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MLB legend Roberto Clemente would've turned 81 today
Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder, shown in a posed portrait in 1957. (AP Photo)
This series shows Pittsburgh Pirates' right fielder Roberto Clemente making a sensational backhanded catch of a long drive by Bobby Thomson of the Cubs, Aug. 19, 1958. Player in background at lower left is center fielder Bill Virdon. (AP Photo)
PITTSBURGH - CIRCA 1960s: Outfielder Roberto Clemente #21of Pittsburgh Pirates stands at the plate ready to hit during a MLB baseball game circa early 1960s at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Clemente played for the Pirates from 1955-72. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Outfielder Roberto Clemente #21 of the Pittsburgh Pirates takes a breather on the field during the 1960s. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Pirates baseball players Roberto Clemente and Dick Groat examining bat on Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, circa 1960-1962. (Photo by Charles 'Teenie' Harris/Carnegie Museum of Art/Getty Images)
Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates is seen in Tampa, Fla., March 3, 1963. (AP Photo/Preston Stroup)
CIRCA 1960's: Outfielder Roberto Clemente' #21 of Pittsburgh Pirates poses for this photo before a MLB baseball game circa mid 1960's. Clemente' Played for the Pirates from 1955-72. (Photo by Focus On Sport/Getty Images)
Two men presenting trophy to Pittsburgh Pirates baseball player Roberto Clemente at Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, circa 1966. (Photo by Charles 'Teenie' Harris/Carnegie Museum of Art/Getty Images)
Vera Clemente, Roberto Clemente, and their son Roberto Clemente Jr., seated on chair in their apartment in East Liberty, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 1966. (Photo by Charles 'Teenie' Harris/Carnegie Museum of Art/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Pirate outfielder Roberto Clemente, right, had a chance to visit with friend Carlos Ortiz, world lightweight boxing champion at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, June 11, 1966. Ortiz is here training for his June 20 championship fight with challenger Johnny Bizzarro. Clemente and Ortiz are natives of Puerto Rico. (AP Photo)
Outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team Roberto Clemente is shown, 1967. (AP Photo)
Pittsburgh’s Roberto Clemente goes high on the fence to take a home run away from Willie Mays in sixth inning of game with San Francisco Giants on June 13, 1968. There were two Giants runners on base at the time. Pittsburgh won a slugfest 8-7. (AP Photo/RHH)
Roberto Clemente, superstar of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is off to another brilliant start in his 17th season of the major leagues, batting around 370, May 14, 1970 in Pittsburgh. At 35, and after four National League batting titles, he is performing with perfection - like he always has. (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)
CIRCA 1970s: Outfielder Roberto Clemente #21of Pittsburgh Pirates leads off of second base during a MLB baseball game circa early 1970s. Clemente played for the Pirates from 1955-72. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 1971: Roberto Clemente #21 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hugs the bag after sliding in during the World Series against the Baltimore Orioles at Three Rivers Stadium on October 1971 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Focus On Sport/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Pirate Roberto Clemente robs New York Mets' Cleon Jones of a hit at New York's Shea Stadium, Sept. 21, 1970. The Mets won the game, 4-1. (AP Photo)
1972: Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a photo circa 1972. ( Photo by Louis Requena/ MLB Photos via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 1971: Outfielder Roberto Clemente #21 of the Pittsburgh Pirates races down the first baseline against the Baltimore Orioles during the World Series October 1971 at Three Riverfront Stadium in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. The Pirates won the series 4-3. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Roberto Clemente and his wife Vera pose with the automobile as he was honored on "Roberto Clemente Night,", Sept. 24, 1971 at New York's Shea Stadium. (AP Photo/Jack Kanthal)
Roberto Clemente holds his son Roberto Jr. in his arms during ceremonies honroing the Pittsburgh Pirates superstar prior to the game with Houston in Pittsburgh, July 25, 1970. Also shown are Clemente's wife Vera and their two older sons Enrique, right, and Luis, left. (AP Photo)
Pittsburgh Pirates star Roberto Clemente is shown, 1971. (AP Photo)
PITTSBURGH - Roberto Clemente #21 of the Pittsburgh Pirates talks to the media after getting his 3000th hit against the New York Mets at Three Rivers Stadium on September 30, 1972 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by: Morris Berman/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates drops his bat and heads for first base as he watches the ball get through the infield for a 4th inning hit Tuesday night, September 26, 1972, against the Phillies in Philadelphia. Clemente got two hits in the game leaving him only four shy of 3,000 career base hits. (AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy)
SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO - CIRCA 1972: Roberto Clemente, wife Vera and sons; Roberto Jr. Roberto Enrique and Roberto Luis and formerGovernor of Puerto Rico, Luis A. Ferre at the Governors palace of Santa Catalina in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Ed Fernandez/Sporting News via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 30: Roberto Clemente #21 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is shown tipping his hat after collecting career hit number 3,000, his last regular season hit ever, against the New York Mets at Three Rivers Stadium on September 30, 1972 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pirates defeated the Mets 5-0. (Photo by Morris Berman/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
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Roberto Clemente was one of the most game-changing men that baseball has ever known. A member of the 3,000 hit club, a 15-time All Star and two-time World Series champion, Clemente is a legend not only among the Pittsburgh Pirates community but the MLB realm as a whole.

Clemente died prematurely on Dec. 31, 1972 at the age of 38, when attempting to deliver aid packages to an earthquake-ridden Nicaragua. His plane crashed into the ocean shortly after takeoff. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame the following year -- bypassing the customary five-year wait upon retirement.

On what would've been Clemente's 81st birthday, we take time to remember the icon's legacy. Click through the gallery above to see Clemente in action over his 18-year career, and watch the video below for a brief biography.

Roberto Clemente - Mini Biography

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