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1972 Roberto Clemente Signed Check - PSA/DNA
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $3,555
Roberto Clemente personal check signed by the legendary outfielder just seven months prior to his tragic death. Encapsulated by PSA/DNA, with the signature graded NM-MT 8. The check, dated May 21, 1972, is made out to "Cash" in the amount of $100 and is signed “Roberto Clemente” in blue ink along the base. The check, which is drawn on the Mellon National Bank and Trust Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was later deposited by the Pittsburgh Hilton hotel (the hotel has stamped its name on the "Pay To The Order Of" line) and bears the hotel chain's stamped endorsement on the reverse. The Pirates hosted the Montreal Expos for a doubleheader on May 21, 1972, the day this check was signed. Clemente went 0-3 in the club's 1-0 win in the first game and then sat out the second game, which the Pirates also won by a score of 5-3. Roberto Clemente died on December 31, 1972, when the plane he was on, which was carrying relief supplies to Nicaraguan earthquake refugees, crashed over the Atlantic ocean. The Baseball Hall of Fame immediately waived their normal five-year waiting period for Clemente and he was inducted the following summer. Clemente checks are rare and this is an exceptional example. As a point of reference, the only other Clemente check we have offered in the past ten years (made out to his mother) appeared as Lot 734 in our May 2007 auction, where it realized a final sales price of $6,462. The check (6 x 2.75 inches) bears the handwritten initials of the hotel manager in the upper left corner, as well as bank cancellation stamps, and is otherwise in Excellent to Mint condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500+. SOLD FOR $3,555
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