NEW YORK (WABC) -- They called him "The Great One" -- Roberto Clemente was a proud Puerto Rican baseball all-star who broke records and barriers in his nearly two-decade career.
Today we honor his impact for Hispanic Heritage Month while the Paley Center for Media honors his great achievements on and off the field.
The right fielder was number 21 who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1955 through 1972.
"I had a locker next to him, Roberto put me under his wing," said former Pittsburgh Pirates player Fred Cambria. "He treated me like a son. I'm 21, he's a superstar and he made me feel so wanted on the team."
The 15-time MLB all-star was the very first Latino ever to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973.
"This exhibit is taking place on the 50th anniversary of his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame," president & CEO of the Paley Center for Media Maureen Reidy said.
That exhibit features Clemente's actual baseball hat and bat and collectibles like baseball cards and an old Corn Flakes box with his picture on it.
"The only way I can describe him, is a better person than a ball player," Cambria said.
Tragically in 1972 when Clemente was 38, he died in a plane crash while en route to help the victims of a devastating earthquake in Nicaragua.
"Just a few months later, after his death, Major League Baseball suspended their waiting period and unanimously voted him into the Hall of Fame," Reidy said.
The MLB still honors him annually, naming a Roberto Clemente Award recipient and with a day of service.
The sports legend shattered racial barriers helped to pave the way for future Latino greats.
"He was an asset to the game, because of the way he played, the way he treated people and what he did for other people, was just fantastic," Cambria said.