PERTH AMBOY – On Wednesday, March 12, Mayor Joseph Vas proudly presented an approved City Resolution to Julio Pabon, National Coordinator of the “Retire 21” campaign, and to Ralph Morales, President of the Puerto Rican New York State Parade, requesting Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to retire number 21, the baseball uniform number worn by baseball legend, Roberto Clemente. Roberto Clemente died during a humanitarian effort in 1972 while on a plane en route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
“I am proud that the City of Perth Amboy has become the first municipality in New Jersey to take the lead in the ‘Retire 21’ movement, honoring Roberto Clemente, who is no doubt, one of the best players to have played the game of baseball. His example goes beyond that of a great player, it exemplifies the ultimate sacrifice that great humanitarians give for their beliefs – his life to help others. His name is recognized and adorns hundreds of public and private institutions throughout this country, his homeland, Puerto Rico and throughout the world,” Vas said. “The City of Perth Amboy has had admiration for Roberto Clemente for years by holding an annual gala in his name, honoring various members of the community for their leadership and civic involvement for the betterment of society as a whole. Thus, it is very fitting for Perth Amboy to take this role.”
Perth Amboy is the first municipality in the State of New Jersey to join the national effort, and the fifth municipality in the United States, to have joined Chicago, Philadelphia, New Haven, and Holy Oak in the “Retire 21” movement. Vas has designated community leaders Joel Pabon and Jesus “Chu” Marrero to lead Perth Amboy’s effort in asking members of the community to sign a petition in this effort.
“As this movement continues to grow, cities like Perth Amboy help to unite this important and honorable effort and keep it alive. Eventually, number 21 will be retired thanks to the efforts of Mayor Joseph Vas and people like those in the City of Perth Amboy,” Pabon said.
Vas is also the sponsor of state Assembly Ceremonial Resolution 160, which requests that Major League Baseball retire the number 21 in honor of the life and career of Clemente, which would make New Jersey the first state to lead this honorary effort.
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