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Clemente's 3,000th was 40 years ago today

Today is the 40th anniversary of the 3,000th -- and final -- hit of Roberto Clemente's legendary career. In a 5-0 win over the Mets on Sept. 30, 1972, Clemente doubled to the left-center field gap at Three Rivers Stadium off New York rookie Jon Matlack to become the 11th player to reach 3,000. He died three months later in a plane crash en route to delivering relief aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. 

Clemente didn't bat in the season's final three games so that was the final hit of his career (he went 4 for 17 in the NLCS loss to the Reds but those hits, of course, don't count). Here's his 1972 game log, courtesy of Baseball Almanac.

MLB.com caught up with Matlack for a story about his memories of the game and Clemente's career.

Check out this MLB.com video that includes snippets of Clemente from the 1971 World Series in Baltimore, the opposite-field home run to the upper deck in right field he hit in the '71 All-Star Game at Detroit's Tiger Stadium, and the 3,000th hit. Below that is a random YouTube I found with some terrific vintage footage

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---Mike Harrington
Twitter: @BNHarrington 

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