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Circa 1959 Multisigned Pittsburgh Pirates Ball with Clemente on the Sweet Spot
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $960
Red-stitched ball (no manufacturer's stampings visible) signed in blue ink by Roberto Clemente (grading "7/8"), Dick Groat ("7"), Bill Virdon ("6/7"), and Bob Friend ("7"). Clemente's signature sits alone on the sweet spot, while the other three signatures each occupy a separate side panel. This 1959 Pirates ball is especially notable for two reasons: The first is that Clemente has placed his signature on the sweet spot. Clemente favored the side panel whenever he signed a baseball, thus the overwhelming majority of Clemente single-signed baseballs circulating in the hobby today feature his signature in that location. Second, Clemente has signed his name in a "straight-line" form. When signing autographs, Clemente almost always placed his first name directly above his surname, even on those rare occasions when he did place his signature on the sweet spot of a ball. Both of those anomalies make this an extremely unique and highly prized Clemente signed ball. (This is only the second ball we have ever handled featuring a Clemente signature in this form on the sweet spot of a ball.) Clemente, Groat, Virdon, and Friend were teammates on the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1956 to 1962, so it is reasonable to assume that the ball dates from that time period. The ball is heavily soiled with a number of abrasions (indicative of game use), but all of the signatures remain clearly legible. In Good condition overall. Full LOA from James Spence/JSA. SOLD FOR $960
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