• Vera Clemente, widow of Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente in 'delicate health'

    By: WPXI.com

    Updated:

    The 81-year-old widow of Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente reportedly has been hospitalized and is in poor health.

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    According to a tweet from the Pirates, Vera Clemente "is in delicate health."

    "We ask all fans to join our Pirates family in sending thoughts and prayers at this difficult time to Vera and the entire Clemente family," the Pirates tweeted.

    Vera Cristina Zabala married the Pirates' right fielder Nov. 14, 1964, in Carolina, Puerto Rico. The couple had three children -- Roberto Clemente Jr., Luis Roberto Clemente and Roberto Enrique Clemente.

    Vera Clemente is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico.

    Roberto Clemente played for the Pirates from 1954 to 1972. He collected 3,000 regular-season hits and played for World Series-winning teams in 1960 and 1971. He was named the MVP of the '71 Series after batting .414 against the Baltimore Orioles. He had a career batting average of .317 and won four National League batting titles.

    Clemente was inducted into the Hall of Fame in a special election in 1973.

    The Pirates star died Dec. 31, when the plane he was a passenger on crashed just north of the Puerto Rican coast after takeoff. Clemente was en route to Nicaragua to deliver supplies after that country was devastated by an earthquake.

    According to the Roberto Clemente Foundation, Vera Clemente is chairwoman of the organization and is a goodwill ambassador for Major League Baseball. She has hosted a telethon on behalf of MLB in Puerto Rico to raise money for the Ciudad Roberto Clemente in that country.

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