CANTON - Roberto Clemente III, the grandson of Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente, is set to attend SUNY Canton this fall as a freshman and will play on the Roos baseball team in the upcoming spring semester.
He is excited at the opportunity to help the growth of the baseball program and get started with his coursework in the coming weeks.
I decided to come here because of the courses SUNY Canton offers, and I wanted to come to an environment where I can be successful, Clemente said.
Clemente grew up in Puerto Rico where he started playing the game of baseball at just three years of age and has played for the last 17 years. He started off in the Pamper League where the youngsters would play in diapers and get the practice of hitting the ball off of tees and running the bases similar to the American game of tee-ball.
We would run and make it to the bag before getting tagged, basically learn the fundamentals, Clemente stated.
I like the adrenaline of the game, the people, everything about the game and the opportunity to move to the next level, he said.
Although his grandfather passed away tragically in 1972, Clemente grew up and learned a lot through the instruction of his grandfathers legacy.
He was always helping others out without expecting anything in return. He taught me to always be truthful and straight in what I do and always be a man of character.
Clemente said his greatest baseball memory to date was when he came to the local Canton area to play in a baseball tournament in 2008 and had great reception from the local media. The treatment I got from the local kids and community are something I never forget, he said.
Coming to SUNY Canton to play baseball, Clemente hopes to improve his skills and physical abilities. He totally buys into the team concept of wanting to win and wants to make a difference for the team while continuing his grandfathers legacy.
I am my own individual. I hope people dont expect me to play like him. However, I do want to continue to carry his traits of being a man of character, he said.
Clemente is part of an impressive recruiting class that fifth-year Head Coach Joe Carbone has put together for the upcoming season. Roos baseball recruits this year have come from Canada, Puerto Rico, Florida, New Hampshire and New York.