On this date in 1954, the Dodgers signed a lanky Puerto Rican outfielder name Roberto Clemente to a Triple-A contract. It cost them $5,000 in salary and a $10,000 signing bonus.
That summer, the 19-year old Clemente batted .257 in 87 games for the Montreal Royals and the Dodgers left him unprotected before the Rule 5 Draft. In swooped Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Branch Rickey, who selected Clemente and launched a Hall of Fame career with the Pirates.
Clemente’s major-league debut came on April 17, 1955. He went 3-for-8 with a double and two runs scored against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Those were the first three of his 3,000 career hits.