Lot # 95: 1968 Topps 3D Roberto Clemente PSA 8 NM-MT

Category: 1960-1969

Starting Bid: $15,000.00

Bids: 14 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Winter Rarities '23 Auction",
which ran from 12/10/2022 12:00 PM to
1/7/2023 7:00 PM

(LOT 95)
1968 Topps 3D Roberto Clemente PSA 8 NM-MT

SCARCE CLEMENTE!!! One of the rarest of all post-WWII issues is the seldom surfacing 1968 Topps 3D "Test" baseball cards, with the most valuable subject being the iconic Roberto "Bob" Clemente. It's the late Pittsburgh Pirates star-right fielder's PSA 8 NM-MT 3D card that is presented here, obviously eluding any glaring flaws over the past 55 years. While a number of high-grade examples do exist since these were test issues that were never distributed to the general public, only 68 Clemente specimens reside in PSA holders for that same reason - the lack of any mass distribution.

Two years before Kellogg's began its run of popular 3D baseball cards, Topps threw its hat into the ring by experimenting with a similar 3D test issue including 12 subjects. A thick "ribbed" plastic coating was laminated over a sharp player image and fuzzy stadium background. This combination provided the illusion of depth perception as the card was moved or tilted. Some of the inaugural produced cards are stamped on back with a notice from Visual Panographics of New York reading: "This is an experimental XO-GRAPH card produced as a limited edition". A majority of the cards do reveal blank versos, as is the case for this PSA 8 Clemente gem. Due to extremely limited distribution, these cards are ultra-scarce and demand a significant premium in today's market.

It's not an overstatement to claim that legendary Hall of Fame right fielder Roberto Clemente is worshiped by the Hispanic baseball community at a similar level that Jackie Robinson was to all African Americans. In fact, both their iconic legacies extend far past their racial heritage since both players were, simply stated, two of the greatest performers in Major League baseball history. Clemente's accomplishments include a .317 lifetime batting average, 3,000 career hits, the 1966 regular season MVP award, four batting titles, 12 consecutive gold glove awards, and if that isn't enough, a 1971 World Series MVP when he single-handedly dominated the Baltimore Orioles from both the batter's box and right field.

Yet, as is the case with the immortal Lou Gehrig, he will best be remembered for his tragic death when, after the 1972 season, his plane crashed carrying supplies to assist earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Every technical attribute of this card is consistent or even exceeds hallowed grade including image quality, superb centering, fine edging, print registration, and near-immaculate surfaces including a super clean blank verso, placing it as one of the most aesthetically pleasing Clemente 1968 Topps 3D specimens extant. In 2022, two separate examples fetched $49k and $50k at public auctions, more than justifying its world-class standing as one of the immortal Roberto Clemente's scarcest cardboard collectibles!

MIN BID $15,000

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