Lot # 3: Extraordinary 1955 Pirates Team Signed Official N.L. Warren Giles Baseball Including a ROOKIE ROBERTO CLEMENTE PSA 8 NM-MT Script! – PSA 7.5 NM+ Overall Ball Grade

Category: Signed Balls

Starting Bid: $5,000.00

Bids: 4 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Spring '23 Rarities Auction",
which ran from 4/13/2023 9:00 AM to
5/6/2023 7:00 PM

(LOT 3)
Extraordinary 1955 Pirates Team Signed Official N.L. Warren Giles Baseball Including a ROOKIE ROBERTO CLEMENTE PSA 8 NM-MT Script! – PSA 7.5 NM+ Overall Grade

CLEMENTE ROOKIE AUTO!!!... The 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente rookie card stands as one of the hobby's foremost collectibles due to his iconic stature as one of our National Pastime's greatest all-around players, with roughly 8,500+ PSA/SGC examples to choose from. Indeed, there are an excessive number of inaugural Clemente cards to accommodate the collecting community, justifying why this super rare 1955 Pittsburgh Pirates team-signed Official NL Warren Giles baseball portraying an incredible Roberto Clemente rookie signature belongs in Cooperstown, NY! Scripted by 26 Bucs including the legendary Clemente, it's the only such example we have ever encountered, with PSA justifiably assigning a world-class 7.5 NM+ assessment for this miraculous heirloom. One of the few known 1955 Roberto Clemente rookie year signatures known to exist, all 26 autographs have been penned in bold blue ink, with the "7.5" assessment based on a "8" grade for all of the scripts, as well as a "6" baseball assessment, and a well merited +0.5 overall grade "bump" for its incredible eye appeal. Extraordinary to say the least, we cannot even recall the last time a 1955 Clemente rookie signature surfaced on any artifact, let alone on an Official N.L. baseball signed during the 1955 campaign.

Roberto Clemente's professional baseball roots can be traced back to October 1952 when he signed his first professional contract with the legendary Cangrejeros de Santurce Puerto Rican Winter League club, playing in only several games and batting a dismal .234. The next season, Clemente would be given a starting job in the outfield, batting a more formidable .288 and catching the eye of many professional scouts via his exceptional five-tool skill sets. While he would continue playing for this prominent Winter League club, the Dodgers signed him in the amateur draft in February 1954, assigning him to play with the renowned Montreal Royals. After a single season with Montreal, the Pirates would eventually select Clemente in the rookie draft, signing the star right-fielder on November 22, 1954. Clemente would capture a championship with the 1954/'55 Cangrejeros club, and made his Major League debut on April 17, 1955, posting his first MLB hit in a 10-3 Pirates loss to the Brooklyn Dodgers at Forbes Field.

Although his rookie season would see the future Cooperstown inductee bat only .255 on a last-place club, his combined cannon-like throwing arm, hitting, fielding, and base-running skills electrified the Pittsburgh fans who were surely taken in by his flashes of brilliance. Little did anyone know this unique player would be embarking on one of the most celebrated careers in MLB history, leading Pittsburgh to two world championships (1960 & 71), while accumulating a .317 lifetime batting average, 3,000 career hits, the 1966 regular season MVP award, four batting titles, 12 consecutive gold glove awards, and a 1971 World Series MVP Award! Yet, as is the case with the immortal Lou Gehrig, he will always be best remembered for his tragic death after the 1972 season, with his plane crashing into the Atlantic Ocean carrying supplies to assist earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Obviously shocking the entire nation, Clemente's coupled unparalleled skill sets and excruciatingly sad passing placed an unequivocal stamp on his legacy, with this miraculous offering the perfect testament for this momentous Hall of Famer.

Similar to Clemente's uncanny playing superiority is this unfathomable offering that appears as if it has been signed today, rather than some 68 years ago when the 20-year-old future star injected immense hope into the previously frustrated Steel City faithful. The presented horse-hide sphere has eluded any obtrusive flaws, with the ball revealing minimal toning, tight red stitching and an imposing "Official National League – Warren Giles Pres." black ink stamp on the reverse side sweet spot. Of course, it is the 1955 "Roberto Clemente" PSA 8 signature on the south panel that steals the show, with all of the 26 scripts listed as follows: Fred Haney/Mgr.; John Fitzpatrick/coach (on the sweet spot), Roy Face, Bob Friend, Dick Cole, Tom Saffel, Toby Atwell, Dick Groat, Johnny O'Brien, Dick Littlefield, Roberto Clemente/HOF, Eddie O'Brien, Frank Thomas, Gene Freese, Dick Hall, Jack Shepard, Vernon Law, Sam Narron, Red Swanson, Laurin Pepper, Ron Kline, Max Surkont, Dale Long, Preston Ward, Jerry Lynch & Jake Martin.

We highly advise any sophisticated autograph collector to place the final bid on this museum worthy heirloom bearing a Roberto Clemente script from his inaugural 1955 MLB campaign. Fittingly so, Clemente coined the eloquent phrase: "Any time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don't, then you are wasting your time on Earth", living his sanctified life to the tune of this hallowed quote. We cannot imagine more profound words spoken by even the most articulate of world philosophers, and it comes as little surprise that the immortal Roberto Clemente would utter such an expression, for he truly represented the embodiment of human valor!

MIN BID $5,000

NOTE: The PSA Grades for the autographs, baseball and overall ball assessment have been updated by PSA, with the MLI Website TITLE and DESCRIPTION now reflecting the revised grades.  The printed catalog inadvertently reflects the prior (incorrect) grades.

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