1971 World Series Roberto Clemente Signed Professional Model Bat Grade 9.5 PSA/DNA LOA "Best Wishes, Roberto Clemente"
Sixty-eight years after being crowned the first national league champions (in 1903), the Pittsburgh Pirates returned to the top of the National League in 1971 evoking memories of their former glory. Many fans still remembered Bill Mazeroski's ninth inning blast that defeated the perennial champion New York Yankees in 1960 and now they were anxious to see Roberto Clemente win his second series title. At 39, Clemente was the oldest player in the World Series, but he proved his prowess yet again by powering the Bucs past the defending World Champion Orioles in seven games. Clemente was undoubtedly voted the series MVP and totaled twelve hits in 29 AB's to finish with a .414 average.
At the prodigious size of 36 inches and 37.1 ounces, this Louisville Slugger signature model U1 war club is purported to have been one of Clemente's weapons of choice for the 1971 series. According to an accompanying letter of provenance it was acquired from Clemente in Baltimore at the 1971 World Series by Russ Summers. Summers and a friend had field passes and met Clemente and Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks who was on special assignment for the Chicago Tribune. Clemente presented summers with the bat, at which time Clemente and Banks signed it. All but a faint trace of the Banks signature has since been removed. The bat was given as a gift to a personal friend of Summers and his statement accompanies the bat. Roberto's number "21" is written on the knob of this bat in faded black marker, and solid game use is apparent. Dating from the 1969-72 period according to it's labeling, this ideal Clemente gamer shows a slight handle crack that has been repaired. Many ball marks and ball stitch impressions are visible on all sides of the barrel.
Cleat marks are visible on the front and right barrel and there is a light coat of pine tar on the mid handle. Remnants of green paint from the Pirates bat racks are visible on the knob. Clemente's signature and the added inscription Best Wishes' are on the front barrel in blue ball point pen. A review of Clemente's bat ordering records on file at Louisville Slugger show him ordering U1 models of this length and weight from the middle to latter part of the 1971 season, which ties in with the bats documented provenance. In addition to the aforementioned typed letter of provenance the bat also includes a full LOA from PSA/DNA (auto.) and John Taube of PSA/DNA (Grade GU 9.5).
MIN BID $7,500
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