The ball field at Joseph Lee Playground was named Roberto Clemente Field in honor of the legendary Hall of Fame baseball player and humanitarian. Proclaimed by his contemporaries as "the greatest right fielder of all time" and lauded for his abilities on the field, the Puerto Rican native is equally remembered for his tireless charitable work around the world.

Tragically killed in a plane crash in 1972 while attempting to deliver relief supplies to Nicaraguan earthquake victims, Clemente's memory has certainly not been forgotten. For his "outstanding athletic, civic, charitable, and humanitarian contributions," Clemente was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by the United States Congress in 1973. Since that year, Major League Baseball has annually presented the Roberto Clemente Man of the Year Award as a means of honoring his "spirit and goodwill." The award is given to the player who "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement, and the individual's contribution to his team." 

Located within one of the city's premier parks, the Back Bay Fens, Clemente Field is part of the city's 1,100-acre chain of parks and waterways known as the Emerald Necklace. The Emerald Necklace was designed in the late 19th century by Frederick Law Olmsted, whose other well-known works include Central Park in New York City and the landscaping of the U.S. Capitol.

The Emerald Necklace was meant to serve the city as a place for both relaxation and recreation. At the foundation of Olmsted's plan to develop the Back Bay Fens was a desire to remain true to "both the character of the land and the needs of the growing population." Although over time the area has undergone change, most notably in the early 20th century through the damming of the Charles River and the addition of new features, including the ball fields designed by landscape architect Arthur Shurcliff, Olmsted's vision of creating a park that meets the needs of the city's residents has remained strong.