1955 Topps #164 Roberto Clemente Rookie PSA 7 NM
One of the most formidable and highly coveted rookie cards is the 1955 Topps #164 Roberto Clemente issue that is sought-after by virtually every sophisticated rookie-card collector. Indeed, the inaugural Topps baseball card of the iconic Clemente transcends time back to an era when this outstanding player was about to embark on a career for the ages. Presented here is a spectacular PSA 7 example of this exalted keepsake, depicting a sparkling Clemente portrait image that jumps off the card. Following his 1954 campaign with the Montreal Royals of the AAA International League, Clemente would be summoned by the Pirates to be their starting right-fielder for the 1955 season. While he only posted a .255 batting average in his inaugural campaign, his flashes of brilliance, including his powerful throwing arm, captivated the Pittsburgh faithful, and in his second 1956 campaign, Clemente would bolster his batting average to .311.
He would ultimately achieve a .317 lifetime batting average, 3,000 career hits, the 1966 regular season MVP award, four batting titles, and an astonishing 12 consecutive gold glove awards. However, for all of his incredible accolades, it would be the 1971 World Series that would be his pinnacle shining star when he dominated the Baltimore Orioles via his stellar hitting and fielding prowess, earning the MVP for his supernatural accomplishments. For all of his world-class accolades, as was the case for the immortal Lou Gehrig, he will always be best remembered for his tragic death when, after the 1972 season, his plane crashed carrying supplies to assist earthquake victims in Nicaragua. A bona fide hero to say the least, Clemente's legendary status amongst the Hispanic baseball community is consistent with the magnitude of Jackie Robinson's legacy to all African Americans.
That said, this rookie card offering is a grand testament for the star right-fielder, and the card's superb attributes certainly don't disappoint its viewers. Brilliant green and red-orange hues grace the obverse side, with the classic portrait and batting images portraying near-perfect contrast and clarity. Like most Clemente rookie cards, the image is not perfectly positioned, in this case somewhat favoring the lower right edges. No glaring flaws are evident, with the square corners and relatively clean surfaces standing as additional highlights. Its myriad of pack-fresh qualities justifies the grade, with a PSA 7 Roberto Clemente rookie card truly residing as one of the cornerstones of the card-collecting industry!
MIN BID $7,500