1958 Topps #52 Roberto Clemente White Team Letters PSA 9 MINT - Only 2 PSA Examples Graded Higher!
MINT "WHITE LETTERS" CLEMENTE!!! Who could have possibly realized that when the great Roberto Clemente roped Jon Matlack's pitch into left-center field for his 3,000th hit on September 3, 1972, it would be the final regular-season hit of his spectacular career. After the 1972 playoffs, Clemente would never again step on a baseball diamond, for in one of baseball's saddest events, the immortal right-fielder would tragically die in a plane crash on December 31, 1972 at the tender age of 38, flying to Nicaragua to assist stricken earthquake victims. Soon thereafter, Clemente would immediately be placed in baseball's Hall of Fame, becoming the first Latin American and/or Caribbean player to receive that distinguished honor.
As a grand testament to his hallowed stature, presented here is a sensational PSA 9 MINT 1958 Topps #52 Clemente White Team Name marvel that, along with an additional 15 examples or only 0.4% of the 3,800 PSA encapsulated copies, has only been bested by a meager two examples! Although not as scarce as its Yellow Letter brethren, this White Letter variation is no slouch, substantiated by this EXACT SAME CARD selling for an extraordinary $89K in a Memory Lane May 2022 auction, a record-setting price electrifying the collecting community.
Tantamount to the iconic Jackie Robinson, Clemente cardboard treats are on fire, realizing stratospheric price tags seemingly each and every day, with this Cooperstown-worthy masterpiece worthy of the highest hobby accolades via its pack-fresh assessment. The classic Clemente batting pose revealing his legendary #21 is encompassed by a radiant yellow setting, with the white PITTSBURGH PIRATES verbiage residing in a bold red text box. Dazzling white borders, excellent centering reflecting only a slight partiality towards the upper left edges, blistering sharp square corners, sparkling hues and immaculate surfaces complete this breathtaking keepsake that seldom surfaces with a glorified 9 MINT assessment. By 1958, Clemente was still getting his feet wet with regard to elevating his game to a world-class level, and only two years later, he would begin an incredible streak of batting .300 or better in 12 of the next 13 seasons, including a .312 mark his final 1972 campaign.
His esteemed 18-year Pirates tenure included four batting titles, 12 Gold Gloves, a 1966 NL MVP, 12 consecutive Gold Glove Awards, and a 1971 World Series MVP when his superior play dismantled the Baltimore Orioles in winning his second championship. Clemente did it all, and it comes as little surprise that his cardboard keepsakes are among the most sought-after of all the 1950s/'60s Hall of Famers. One look at this meticulously preserved offering can literally make one's heart skip a beat, for it truly turns back the clock to an era when this iconic player stood alongside Mantle, Williams, Mays and Aaron as one of baseball's finest players, synonymous with this '58 Topps PSA 9 memento that joins a mere few as one of the best-preserved examples over the past 65 years!
MIN BID $20,000