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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/30/2023

Roberto Clemente’s #164 rookie is the most valuable card in Topps’ prestigious 1955 set, and one of the most desirable rookies from the so-called “Golden Era” of collecting in the 1950s. Fresh discoveries are becoming harder and harder to come by, with authentic autographed examples earning their rightful place as holy grails in the scorching hot market of vintage signed card collecting.

Clemente demonstrated a keen eye for aesthetics when applying his lovely script – whether to a baseball or trading card – preferring a blue ballpoint pen as his tool of choice. This grail is His lovely blue autograph, graded NM 7 by PSA/DNA, has wonderful eye appeal flowing across his full body batting pose just above his facsimile signature. The card itself appears crease-free with decent centering, strong colors and a very clean back. The PSA card grade is Authentic, but this may have been intentional by the original submitter due to the now outdated theory of not grading a signed card unless it can meet mid-grade status. Despite very faint remnants of tape along the top and bottom edges (barely visible to the naked eye) the card’s edge, corner and surface wear is deserving of a GD to VG assessment.

According to this card’s previous auction listing, the autograph was obtained in-person by a persistent New York City autograph seeker who has been chasing celebrity athlete signatures since the ‘50s. Fifty years have passed since Clemente's unexpected passing in 1973, and autographed copies of his ‘55 Topps RC remain the scarcest of all post-war Hall of Famers. When completing a 1955 Topps autographed set, only the near-impossible signature of Harry Agganis (died 6/27/1955) can compare to the rarity of a Roberto Clemente signed rookie. While over 6,500 unsigned versions appear in the PSA pop report, there are just 16 signed examples (the highest being VG-EX+ 4.5), a ratio of less than 1:400.

It should be noted that this same exact card sold for $77,800 in 2021. And two months ago, a PSA VG-EX+ 4.5 example also with a 7 auto grade went for $162,000.

1955 Topps #164 Roberto Clemente Signed Rookie – PSA Authentic, PSA/DNA 7 Auto. (Only Six Graded Higher)
This lot has a Reserve Price that has not been met.
Current Bidding (Reserve Not Met)
Minimum Bid: $15,000
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Number Bids:15
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