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1965-1968 Roberto Clemente Pro-Model Bat
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $4,700
Roberto Clemente H&B signature model "U1" bat dating from the 1965-1968 labeling period. Graded A7.5 by MEARS, one of six graded at this level, with seventeen graded higher (out of a total of thirty-nine Clemente bats listed in the MEARS census). Clemente's stamped facsimile signature on the barrel is light, but clearly legible. Heavy use is apparent along the entire barrel, including ball marks, deeply embedded stitch marks, cleat marks, and grain swelling. A crack in the handle has been professionally restored. Clemente's uniform number ("21") is written on the knob in badly faded black marker. Factory records indicate that Clemente favored 36-inch U1 model bats, weighing between 36 and 38 ounces, between the years 1965 and 1968. Clemente was at the peak of his career during that four-year period, winning two of his four batting titles as well as the MVP Award in 1966. Clemente is one of the magic names in baseball history, and this is an exceptional Clemente bat dating from the heart of the 1960s. A great humanitarian as well as an accomplished ballplayer, Clemente died tragically in a plane crash in 1972 while flying relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. The following year he became the first Hispanic ballplayer elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame (the Hall waived its normal five-year waiting period in his honor). Length: 35.75 inches. Weight: 38.8 ounces. Graded A7.5 by MEARS (5 point base grade, plus 3 points for use but minus a half point for the light barrel stamping). LOA from Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000. SOLD FOR $4,700
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