38 years ago today, Roberto Clemente became the 11th member of the 3,000 hit club. In the last game of the regular season in 1972, Clemente stepped into the batters box for what would be his last at-bat of the season. He stepped in against New York Mets’ pitcher Jon Matlack and crushed a no-out double to left field. 3 batters later, Clemente would be knocked in by catcher Manny Sanguillen for the game's winning run. The Pirates would go on to beat the Mets 5-0 in the game, but Clemente’s 3,000 hit and 1,416th run scored would end up being the last of his career.
Clemente would pass away on New Years Eve of 1972 in a plane crash off the coast of Isla Verde, Puerto Rico. He remains the only player in the 3,000 hit club (currently 27 members) to hit his 3,000 hit in his last at bat. In his 18 seasons in Major League Baseball, Clemente had a career batting average of .317, was selected to 15 all-star games, won 12 Gold Gloves, won 2 World Championships (in 1960 and 1971), and was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973. He accomplished all of these feats with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Clemente’s number #21 jersey is retired by the team, but Mitchell & Ness brought it out of retirement in his honor.