GOYA Foods’ New Clemente Statue in Bronx Contains Big Factual Error, Too

Jun 30, 2013
2:16 PM

We spoke to GOYA today. Here is the latest.

Yesterday we wrote about whether the placement of a large GOYA Foods logo was appropriate on the base of a new Roberto Clemente statue unveiled last week in a New York state park in the Bronx. The initial social media reaction from New Yorkers of Puerto Rican descent led us to draft a letter to GOYA executives, asking them to reconsider removing or changing the logo’s placement. Like we said in the letter, “The logo’s size and placement do a disservice to Clemente’s life. It reads like an advertisement for your brand, and it serves no place on such a powerful and dignified statue. The statue’s impact, unfortunately, is cheapened. GOYA is and forever will be a brand that is authentically loved by the community. You don’t need this extra publicity, and we feel that the removal of your logo in this case would be the right thing to do.”


Several followers of baseball history (including us) have also noticed that the statue’s base contains an obvious factual error. The picture of the base below describes the moment when Clemente acknowledged the fans after he got his 3,000th at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium. However, that happened on September 30, 1972 and not September 29, 1972, which is what the statue says.


The office story behind the 3,000th hit could explain the confusion and why the error occurred. Here is what the National Baseball Hall of Fame writes:

Roberto Clemente thought he had hit #3000 on September 29, 1972, as he safely beat out a ball that never left the infield at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. But the official scorer ruled that Mets second baseman Ken Boswell erred on the play and Clemente went hitless the rest of the game. Clemente’s historic hit came the next day as he sparked a fourth inning Pirate rally with a double off Met pitcher Jon Matlack. It was Clemente’s final at bat of the season and, tragically, the last of his career—the Puerto Rican hero perished in an airplane accident during the off-season.

Clemente was a stellar defensive right-fielder, winning the Gold Glove Award 12 times. The next big leaguer to join the 3,000-Hit Club was also known for his defensive prowess in right, garnering 10 Gold Glove Awards over his 22-year big league career. His name: Al Kaline.

Roberto Clemente’s 3,000th Hit
Date: September 30, 1972
Location: Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh
Club: Pittsburgh (NL)
Opponent: New York (NL)
Pitcher: John Matlack
Hit: Double
Total career hits: 3,000


So, we ask: if GOYA has to go ahead an fix that error, why not remove the prominent GOYA logo from the bottom of the base and put it somewhere else? Or what about a simple sentence that reads: “Funding provided by GOYA Foods,” with no logo? This is a public statue in a public park. It is a statue for the community, not an advertisement for GOYA. But like the meme our hermano @UrbanJibaro shared with us yesterday,” it could have been worse.”


Meme by @urbanjibaro

GOYA, we understand that you have every right to do whatever you want to the statue that you funded. But there is a big difference between your right and what is the right thing to do. Here’s hoping you do the right thing.

If you are interested in letting GOYA know about the statue, you can visit our letter here.