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Lot # 14 (14 of 1911)   « Previous Lot | Next Lot »

Extraordinary 1972 Roberto Clemente Single-Signed Baseball with Outstanding Provenance - PSA/DNA 7.5 Including MINT 9 Signature Grade!

Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $12,000

Eastern Airlines promotional ball boldly signed in blue ink across the sweet spot by Hall of Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente. Graded 7.5 by PSA/DNA (signature graded 9, ball graded 6, resulting in its final grade of 7.5). This ball comes with remarkable provenance, which is fully detailed in our consignor's accompanying one-page typed-signed letter. In full:

Robert Edward Auctions Buyer: In 1972 I played for the Windsor South Canadians Little League All-Star team from Windsor Ontario Canada. We won the Canadian Championship which qualified us to play in the Little League World series in Williamsport Pennsylvania. On August 22 1972 we played San Juan Puerto Rico in the opening game of the tournament. As a good will gesture each team exchanged gifts before the start of the game. San Juan Puerto gifted each member of our team a single signed Roberto Clemente baseball which was signed right on the sweetspot. This ball has been stored away for almost 45 years and now has been consigned to Robert Edward Auctions.

While this is one of the finest documented Clemente single-signed balls we have ever seen, it is also noteworthy for the placement of Clemente's signature and the fact that it is an Eastern Airlines promotional ball. As most collectors are aware, Clemente normally favored the side panel when presented with a ball to sign. As a result, Clemente single-signed balls bearing his signature on the sweet spot are the exception rather than the rule and have always been highly prized by advanced collectors. Eastern Airlines promotional balls signed by Clemente are equally rare. Clemente was a spokesman for Eastern Airlines in the 1960s (promoting flights between Miami and Puerto Rico during the time when much-publicized hijacked flights to Cuba were impacting the airline). However, despite his affiliation with the company, we have seen very few such balls bearing his signature. It might even be the case that nearly all of the examples in the hobby today originate from the 1972 Canadian Little League team. This is certainly the finest example we have ever seen and only the second Clemente single-signed Eastern Airlines ball we have ever offered. Extraordinary in all respects. The ball remains housed in its PSA/DNA holder (seal broken). Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $12,000

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