1955 hails as an important year in baseball as it was Roberto Clemente’s rookie year. His baseball cards have always been collector favorites but things get really interesting when we take his presence into the memorabilia market.
Roberto Clemente spent his entire 18-year professional baseball career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Issued here is a Pirates team signed baseball from 1955, his rookie year. Usually, ink on baseballs this old comes faded and the baseball itself features a rugged presentation.
Offered here is a gorgeous official N.L. Warren Giles baseball featuring a rookie year Roberto Clemente signature along with signatures from the rest of the 1955 Pittsburgh Pirates roster. This baseball has been authenticated by PSA with an overall grade of 7.5, autograph grade of 8, baseball grade of 6, and +0.5 eye appeal. Anything signed by Roberto Clemente during his 1955 rookie year campaign is exceedingly rare since whatever exists is left to remain in permanent collections likely to be inherited from one generation to the next overtime, which results in a dry market for such desirable pieces.
With a presentation that looks as if it was signed 8 years ago and not 68 years ago, this baseball comes with a slight touch of toning and ink that appears to be as vibrant as the day it was signed. The PSA 8 quality Roberto Clemente autograph, second down from the top of the side panel, is the key piece of this historical specimen. Other signatures on this ball include: Toby Atwell, Dick Cole, Roy Face, Gene Freese, Bob Friend, Dick Groat, Dick Hall, Ron Kline, Vernon Law, Dick Littlefield, Dale Long, Jerry Lynch, Jake Martin, Sam Narron, Eddie O’Brien, Johnny O’Brien, Laurin Pepper, Tom Saffel, Jack Shepard, Max Surkont, Red Swanson, Frank Thomas (The Original), Preston Ward, and Manager Fred Haney and Coach John Fitzpatrick signed on the sweet spot.
Roberto Clemente is currently the only player to amass a cumulative hits total of exactly 3000, which has generally been known as the baseline standard for guaranteed Hall of Fame induction for that particular category. Thing is, Clemente achieved so much more than just hitting. Clemente debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1955 and over the following 18 years, he’d collect a carnival of accolades, which includes 15 All-Star appearances, 12 Gold Gloves, 4 Batting Titles, one each of standard and World Series MVPs, and he helped the Pirates win the World Series twice.1
While he was a great hitter, he was an even greater person. Following his 3000th hit in 1972, Clemente boarded a plane with supplies headed to Nicaragua to help earthquake victims. Sadly, the plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean while in transit and killed everyone on board, including Clemente. People are generally as sad by his passing as they are respectful of his legacy.
Serious collectors are encouraged to bid aggressively for this exceptional and extremely elusive 1955 Pirates Team Signed baseball featuring the rookie year signature of Roberto Clemente. Given the extreme rarity of such an artifact, this may be the only time collectors will get the chance to add such a fine specimen.
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