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N.J. Senate to vote on retiring Clemente No. 21

June 21, 2012 at 4:11 PM

TRENTON, N.J., June 21 (UPI) -- The New Jersey Senate was expected to vote Thursday on a resolution urging Major League Baseball to retire Roberto Clemente's number.

Clemente, No. 21 with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1955 until his death, was killed in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972, on a trip to bring supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

The only number universally retired in the Major Leagues is 42, Jackie Robinson's number when he broke the color bar with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Senate resolution suggests that Clemente, a native of Puerto Rico, also broke racial barriers in the sport, The Star-Ledger of Newark reported.

Clemente "overcame the dual obstacles of both racism and language to become the first dark-skinned Latino player to achieve superstar status," the resolution, SCR27, reported.

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