Description1957 Roberto "Momen" Clemente Game Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 8.5. He lived a hero of Pittsburgh and died a hero of Nicaragua, his body forever lost at sea following the crash of his overloaded earthquake relief plane in the coastal waters of his native Puerto Rico. Already guaranteed baseball immortality through his eighteen brilliant seasons of Major League service and his newly-minted key to the 3,000 Hit Clubhouse, Roberto Clemente achieved the closest thing to baseball sainthood that tragic last day of 1972, assuring that any artifact once blessed by his touch would be held in the highest of collecting esteem.
As a child, the pensive young Roberto had earned the nickname "Momen," a playful teasing of his habit of avoiding distraction by answering "momentito" (just a moment, in Spanish) when interrupted by his family. Rookie-era bats are particularly prized for this variation in the facsimile barrel signature, a trend abandoned by the future Hall of Famer upon claiming his first World Championship in 1960. From 1961 onwards, Clemente decided it was time to put away childish things.
And so these early bats are both far more scarce and coveted than the still enormously desirable later models, particularly "Momen" specimens exhibiting such heavy use as the presented example. The thirty-four inch Hillerich & Bradsby S2 exhibits multiple ball and stitch marks, light checking, cleat marks, bat rack streaks, and three nails repairing a crack in the pine tarred handle. A faded number "21" is visible in marker on the knob.
Bat expert John Taube was able to pinpoint this bat to an order of ten made on April 30, 1957, near the start of the twenty-two year old outfielder's third Big League campaign. It's one of the earliest and most appealing Clemente bats ever to reach the public auction block. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 8.5.
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