On Thursday, MLB announced the Pittsburgh Pirates and Miami Marlins will play a two-game series in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Roberto Clemente Day as part of the 2016 regular season schedule.
The official announcement was through MLB’s public relations Twitter account.
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) November 19, 2015
The games will take place on May 30th and 31st at Hiram Bithorn Stadium and they will be considered Marlins home games.
From CBS Pittsburgh:
“The Pirates are thrilled to return to Puerto Rico in 2016,” said Pirates President Frank Coonelly. “Roberto Clemente embodied what it means to be a Pittsburgh Pirate, a player of great determination, grit and skill on the field who also embraced the more weighty obligation to make a difference in the lives of others off the field. We very much look forward to bringing 2015 Roberto Clemente Award-winner Andrew McCutchen and the rest of the 2016 Pirates to Roberto’s homeland to take on the Miami Marlins before the passionate baseball fans in Puerto Rico. We greatly appreciate the efforts of Commissioner Rob Manfred, the Major League Baseball Players Association and the Marlins to make this great opportunity possible for our players and fans.”
The Hall-of-Famer was killed in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972 while trying to deliver supplies to Nicaragua following an earthquake, therefore, Roberto Clemente Day was established by Major League Baseball in 2002 to honor the former Pirates superstar for his efforts on the field and his humanitarian work.
Clemente, who was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, spent his entire 18-year MLB career with the Pirates and finished with exactly 3,000 hits.
Traditionally, Roberto Clemente Day has taken place in September but will be moved up this year so the Pirates and Marlins can celebrate in his home country.
The Marlins are not strangers to playing games abroad, especially in The Island of Enchantment. They have a history of playing games in Puerto Rico, previously doing so in 2003 against the Montreal Expos and 2010 against the New York Mets.