Featuring the historic photography of Donald Sparks
21 holds a special significance in baseball, and particularly in Puerto Rican pop culture. But what makes it so special? From an arithmetic perspective, it’s made up of 3 sets of 7. Both of those numbers have a huge degree of significance in many religions, Christianity in particular.
It’s also half of 42, Jackie Robinson’s number. Maybe hearing and seeing the number, and internalizing its structure in association with Roberto (whose faith was strong), is part of the phenomenon. But it may be even simpler: people love Roberto Clemente, and 21 is an immediately recognizable shorthand to express that admiration.