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    Late 1950's Roberto Clemente Game Worn Pittsburgh Pirates Batting Helmet. The original recipient of this important relic may not have been successful in his quest for a Major League contract, but he did emerge from the experience with some great stories and a particularly important souvenir. We present that souvenir here, along with aspiring minor leaguer Rich Sojka's notarized letter of provenance, that reads:

    "The year was 1959 and I was invited to spring training in Fort Myers, Florida. I came in from the outfield to get a couple of swings and at the time, Clemente was up at bat having a bad day. After he missed his last pitch, he just threw his bat and helmet down and walked off. Thereafter, I picked up Clemente's helmet and put it on, hoping it would bring me luck, but it was too big. So, I put my baseball cap on and then put on the helmet. Unfortunately, I too was having a bad day hitting against the "Iron Mike" pitching machine, which was set to over 100 mph and had everyone laughing. I guess that's why I went to Jacksonville next."

    Along with this typed signed notarized letter is a second handwritten by Sojka, and a photocopy of a brief article entitled "Pirates Sign Sojka" reporting his upcoming term with the Class C Northern League farm club. The helmet perfect matches other known exemplars, with number "21" written in vintage marker at interior padding, and a second barely-visible repetition of Clemente's fabled jersey number at center botton of rear exterior shell. Solid wear evident, suggesting that this helmet saw at least a full season of wear before the rather bold young prospect secured it as a memento. LOA from Heritage Auctions. Letter of provenance from Rich Sojka.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2014
    6th-8th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,794

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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