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    Acquired (and likely used) during the 1971 World Series!

    1971 Roberto Clemente Game Used & Signed Bat, PSA/DNA GU 9.5. Though the Pirates defeat of the mighty New York Yankees in the 1960 World Series is widely considered the greatest upset in Fall Classic history, the Bucs' return to the mountain top in 1971 was only slightly less improbable. The American League Champion Baltimore Orioles had won 100 regular season games and swept the ALCS, a seemingly irresistible juggernaut powered by the last pitching rotation in Major League history to feature four twenty-game winners: Mike Cuellar, Pat Dobson, Jim Palmer and Dave McNally. So when the Orioles took a quick two games to none World Series lead, it appeared that the Pirates ship was doomed to sink.

    And it likely would have, if not for one of the greatest individual performances ever to grace October baseball. Despite having turned thirty-seven years old during the 1971 regular season and hobbled by an ever-growing list of injuries, Clemente bashed out twelve hits in twenty-nine at bats for a scalding .414 average with two home runs including a Game Seven solo shot that represented the margin of victory in the two to one final. Nobody was surprised when Clemente was named World Series MVP.

    One Pirates fan in enemy territory-a man named Russ Summers who was the lucky owner of a field pass--was fortunate enough to cross paths with the red-hot Pirate at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium during that Series, coming away from the meeting with a heavily-used signature model Hillerich & Bradsby in Clemente's distinctive knobless U1 format. While this game use--evident in the form of multiple ball marks, stitch impressions, cleat marks and pine tar at mid-handle (a key Clemente trait)-cannot be definitively attributed to Fall Classic action, the bat's acquisition in this venue strongly suggests it. Green paint on the knob, typical of Pirates bat racks, covers a faded number "21" in marker.

    Clemente's autograph on the barrel, preceded by his standard "Best wishes" salutation, survives in 7/10 condition, while a second autograph from fellow Hall of Famer Ernie Banks (on special assignment in Baltimore with the Chicago Tribune) has faded from legibility.

    Length of thirty-six inches (36") and weight of thirty-seven ounces (37 oz.) match factory ordering records for the 1971 season. A nearly picture-perfect representation just narrowly missing PSA/DNA's highest assessment. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 9.5. Full LOA from PSA/DNA (autograph). Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2015
    21st-22nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,679

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