Roberto Clemente left his mark on Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as a player for the Pirates baseball team and as a humanitarian. His legacy lives on at this attraction that shares his story. 

Mural of Roberto Clemente outside The Clemente Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (photo courtesy of The Clemente Museum)

There aren’t a lot of baseball players who get their own museum, but The Clemente Museum is a testament to Pittsburgh Pirates player Roberto Clemente’s brilliant career that was cut short when he died in 1972 at the age of 38. The Puerto Rican baseball legend made his Pirates debut in 1955 and has since been memorialized in the city where he spent his career.

The museum in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood is housed in the retired Engine House 25 fire station, where local photographer Duane Rieder set up a photography studio in 1994 to photograph Clemente memorabilia for a commemorative calendar. Rieder had grown up admiring Clemente and received photos and awards from the family to use in the calendar, all while growing his personal collection of items. When the All-Star Game returned to Pittsburgh 12 years later in 2006, Clemente’s widow, Vera Clemente, told Rieder the firehouse looked like a museum to her late husband, and soon after, it opened as one.

The two-story museum has a wealth of items from Clemente’s life such as clothes and uniforms, awards — including Gold Glove Awards — and memorabilia from one of the greatest eras in Pittsburgh baseball. Skilled museum workers lead guests on a guided tour through the exhibits that highlight Clemente’s life, the racism he faced as a Puerto Rican player, his teammates and career. The exhibits all endeavor to tell the story of Clemente the humanitarian and his efforts to make the world a better place on and off the field.

Baseball fans know that he died in a plane crash on his way to deliver emergency supplies to Nicaraguan earthquake victims in 1972 (the propeller of the DC-7 that crashed, killing Clemente, is on display), but many do not know the extent of the philanthropy he was involved in during his lifetime. No walk-ins, tickets must be purchased in advance. 3339 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15201, 412/621-1268,