Fall, 2018 Premier Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/25/2018

Brand new to the hobby, this Roberto Clemente pro-model Louisville Slugger has direct provenance, tracing the bat directly to Clemente. The beautiful model U1 is in pristine condition, manufactured between 1966-1968, and traced right to the 1967 season.  The monstrous club weighs in at 38.6 ounces, measuring 36" in length, with Clemente's uniform number 21 written on the knob and the top of the barrel, both in black marker.

A young boy in 1967, our consignor, then a Pittsburgh resident, was actually a fan of the San Francisco Giants, the slugging first baseman Willie McCovey his favorite player.  His father was a supervisor at the ticket counter for TWA Airlines, and worked at the Greater Pittsburgh Airport.  In that capacity he met many celebrities, none more important than Roberto Clemente, who looked to our consignor's father for help making his personal and family flight arrangements.  As an expression of gratitude, Clemente would occasionally pass along tickets to Pirates games.

Such was the case in the midsummer of 1967, when our consignor's father brought his young son to Forbes Field to see the Pirates take on his favorite team, the San Francisco Giants.  Upon their arrival, however, they learned that the Pirates outfielder would not be playing in the game.  Our consignor's father quietly excused himself, making his way to the Pirates clubhouse in hopes of taking his young son inside to meet the Hall of Famer.  He was unsuccessful in gaining admittance for the young man, but returned with this beautiful Louisville Slugger, a gift for the young boy from Clemente himself.  The bat has remained in possession of our consignor ever since, displayed in his Pittsburgh sports-themed basement bar, a highlight of his collection.

Based on the details of our consignor's story, the events in question likely happened during a Pirates homestand between July 18 and 20 of 1967.  The Giants were in town for that period, splitting a four-game series that included a Tuesday doubleheader.  Clemente sat all four games of that series, attributing his "rest" to an ailing knee.  Some felt, however, that anger of the recent firing of Pirates manager Harry "The Hat" Walker contributed to his off-days.

The bat itself is pristine, with very light use and no cracks.  A few ball marks are visible on the barrel, along with some very light additional markings throughout.

Roberto Clemente remains one of the most widely-collected players of his era, a true superstar who transcends the game.  His tragic 1972 death by plane crash while delivering supplies to Nicaragua to aid victims of a December 23 earthquake cemented his reputation as a hero; the Baseball Hall of Fame waived the mandatory waiting period and inducted him into the Hall of Fame just three months after his death.  A beautiful bat, freshly introduced to the hobby, with impeccable provenance.  Full LOA from both PSA/DNA and our consignor.

Edited to add: Please note, after our auction went live, our consignor contacted us to let us know we had part of the story wrong.  He was not a Giants fan, but a lifelong Pittsburgh Pirates fan!  He did talk about seeing McCovey crush a home run off Steve Blass one game in Pittsburgh, and did go to see the Pirates and Giants, but he wanted the record clear - he's die-hard black & yellow!

Spectacular 1967 Roberto Clemente (HOF) Pro-Model Bat - PSA/DNA GU 8 - Fresh to the Hobby!Spectacular 1967 Roberto Clemente (HOF) Pro-Model Bat - PSA/DNA GU 8 - Fresh to the Hobby!Spectacular 1967 Roberto Clemente (HOF) Pro-Model Bat - PSA/DNA GU 8 - Fresh to the Hobby!Spectacular 1967 Roberto Clemente (HOF) Pro-Model Bat - PSA/DNA GU 8 - Fresh to the Hobby!Spectacular 1967 Roberto Clemente (HOF) Pro-Model Bat - PSA/DNA GU 8 - Fresh to the Hobby!Spectacular 1967 Roberto Clemente (HOF) Pro-Model Bat - PSA/DNA GU 8 - Fresh to the Hobby!Spectacular 1967 Roberto Clemente (HOF) Pro-Model Bat - PSA/DNA GU 8 - Fresh to the Hobby!Spectacular 1967 Roberto Clemente (HOF) Pro-Model Bat - PSA/DNA GU 8 - Fresh to the Hobby!Spectacular 1967 Roberto Clemente (HOF) Pro-Model Bat - PSA/DNA GU 8 - Fresh to the Hobby!
Spectacular 1967 Roberto Clemente (HOF) Pro-Model Bat - PSA/DNA GU 8 - Fresh to the Hobby!
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Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $3,500
Final prices include buyers premium.: $7,800
Number Bids: 11
Auction closed on Sunday, November 25, 2018.
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