2022 FALL PREMIER AUCTION

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Roberto Clemente collected exactly 3,000 hits before his life came to a sad, abrupt end on Dec. 31, 1972 at the tender age of 38. This upcoming New Year's Eve will mark the 50th anniversary of that tragic plane crash in his his native Puerto Rico. The kindhearted Latino had chartered a small freight plane to deliver much-needed supplies to Nicaragua as part of an earthquake relief effort for the small Central American country. Unfortunately, engine failure right after take-off sent the Douglas DC-7CF falling into the Atlantic a mile and a half offshore killing all five people on board. The 15-time All-Star played all 18 seasons of his Hall of Fame career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, helping deliver World Series titles to the Steel City in 1960 and ‘71. He was, without question, the greatest right-fielder ever to play the position, winning 12 straight Gold Gloves from 1961-72.

Presented here is a divine Hillerich & Bradsby Louisville Slugger U1 professional model bat issued to Clemente during the 1965-69 era during which he won two batting titles and an NL MVP award. Deemed game-ready by renowned bat expert John Taube of PSA/DNA, what makes this bat truly special is the incredible autograph and inscription on the barrel. In 6-7/10 green ink that he was prone to use, Clemente has signed his full name on the right of his facsimile brand impression, adding "Lots of Luck" and "Best Wishes" on the left. The 36” ash bat weighs 38 oz. and has some brown spotting (perhaps from age and storage) on the upper handle area. The unique lower handle with no knob is a key identifier for Clemente H&B pro models. This one maintains its smooth handle finish and has his famous No. "21" penned in black along with "38-1/4" in pencil right over the U1 model engraving on the knob-less end. This is just the fourth Clemente autographed pro model bat we have ever handled in our 25+ years of doing online auctions. Around 25 or fewer game/pro models with his genuine autograph have ever surfaced according to our research.

Comes with LOA's from both JSA and Beckett for the autograph and inscription, each noting handwriting removal of a supposed personalization by Clemente. Also included is the PSA/DNA paperwork from John Taube noting the bat details.

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