The New York Times
January 2, 1973

Clemente, Pirates' Star, Dies in Crash Of Plane Carrying Aid to Nicaragua

                Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES

                SAN JUAN, P. R., Jan. 1--Roberto Clemente, star outfielder for the Pittsburgh
                Pirates, died late last night in the crash of a cargo plane carrying relief supplies to
                the victims of the earthquake in Managua.

                Three days of national mourning for Mr. Clemente were proclaimed in his native
                Puerto Rico, where he was the most popular sports figure in the island's
                history. He is a certainty to be enshrined in Baseball's Hall of Fame. He was
                only the 11th man in baseball history to get 3,000 hits, and his lifetime
                batting average of .317 was the highest among active players.

                Mr. Clemente, who was 38 years old, won the National League batting
                championship four times in his 18-season career, was named to the All-Star
                team 12 times and in 1966 was named the league's Most Valuable Player.
                He was also one of the finest defensive outfielders with a very strong throwing
                arm. He led the Pittsburgh Pirates to two world championships, in 1960 and
                1971, the latter time being named the Most Valuable Player in the World Series.

                Mr. Clemente was the leader of Puerto Rican efforts to aid the Nicaraguan
                victims and was aboard the plane because he suspected that relief supplies
                were falling into the hands of profiteers.

                The four-engined DC-7 piston-powered plane crashed moments after takeoff
                from San Juan International Airport at 9:22 P.M.

                The plane, carrying a crew of three and one other passenger, came down in
                heavy seas a mile and a half from shore.

                Coast Guard planes circled the area trying to locate the plane by the light of
                flares. The wreckage was not found until 5 P.M. today in about 100 feet of
                water. There was no sign of survivors.

                Airport officials said the plane crashed after making a normal left bank while
                climbing after the takeoff. It could not be learned if the pilot, identified as Jerry
                Hill, radioed that he was in difficulty.

                Cristobal Colon, a friend of Mr. Clemente who was working on the
                committee to raise funds and collect clothing for the earthquake victims, said
                he had driven Mr. Clemente and his wife, Vera, to the airport. Mrs. Clemente
                did not board the plane.

                Mrs. Clemente said she was concerned that the plane seemed old and
                overloaded, but her husband assured her that everything would be all right.
                When the pilot did not show up until late, she said he told her, "If there is one
                more delay, we'll leave this for tomorrow."

                Mr. Colon said Mr. Clemente had insisted on going with the flight to make
                certain that the supplies got into the hands of the people who needed them.
                "He had received reports that some of the food and clothing he had sent
                earlier had fallen into the hands of profiteers," said Mr. Colon.

                Mr. Clemente had been asked to take part in the collection of funds by Luis
                Vigoraux, a television producer.

                "He did not just lend his name to the fund-raising activities the way some
                famous personalities do," said Mr. Vigoraux. "He took over the entire thing,
                arranging for collection points, publicity and the transportation to Nicaragua."

                Mr. Clemente's relief organization had collected $150,000 in cash and tons of
                clothing and foodstuffs. More money and clothing are still being donated.

                "We sent a ship loaded with supplies during the week," said a member of the
                earthquake relief committee. "One of the reasons Roberto went on the plane
                was to get there before the ship arrived to see the supplies were distributed

                The baseball star was supposed to be met at the airport by Anastasio
                Somoza, the Nicaraguan military leader, a friend said.

                Mr. Clemente's interest in Nicaragua may have been heightened by his
                experience in managing the Puerto Rican team that participated in the amateur
                world series held in Managua in late November and December. Sixteen teams
                participated. The Puerto Ricans took fifth place.

                News of Mr. Clemente's death plunged Puerto Rico into mourning.

                Gov. Louis A. Ferre decreed three days of mourning and Governor-elect
                Rafael Hernandez Colon, who will be sworn into office tomorrow, ordered
                the cancellation of an inaugural ball and all other social activities related to the