No stranger to the squared circle, Robert De Niro won the Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Jake LaMotta in the biopic Raging Bull (1980) and starred in the sports comedy Grudge Match (2013) with Sylvester Stallone as aging boxing rivals coaxed out of retirement to fight one final bout. De Niro now portrays legendary trainer Ray Arcel in the film Hands of Stone—a biopic of former welterweight boxing champion Roberto Duran—which debuted in theaters on Aug. 26, 2016.
A 12-time All-Star, Roberto Clemente also won 12 Gold Gloves, two World Series titles, four batting titles and the 1966 NL MVP award. The Puerto Rican star's abilities as a player — his sensational throwing, his acrobatic fielding, his relentless hitting (.317 lifetime average) — overpowered the prejudice against Latin American players. On Dec. 31, 1972, he insisted on flying to Nicaragua to deliver supplies to victims of an earthquake, but his plane crashed and he died at just 38. A few months after his death, Clemente, whose 3,000th hit on Sept. 30, 1972, turned out to be his last, was elected to the Hall of Fame. We present these classic SI photos of Pittsburgh's legendary rightfielder, who was born on Aug. 18, 1934.
This week’s cover of Sports Illustrated features actor Will Smith ahead of the Christmas Day release of the movie Concussion. Smith is one of many celebrities to appear on an SI cover over the years — including Brad Pitt for Moneyball, Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale for The Fighter, and Kate Upton for sharing the same last name as a couple of ballplayers.