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    1971 Roberto Clemente Game Worn Pittsburgh Pirates Jersey, MEARS A7.5. Like the Red Sox of 1912 and the Yankees of 1923 (and 2009), a new home in 1971 meant World Championship glory for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who abandoned Forbes Field in the middle of the 1970 season but celebrated their first home opener at Three Rivers Stadium in 1971. Like the park he had left behind with the lament, "I spent half my life there," Clemente, at age thirty-six, was suffering from the wear and tear of a long term of service when he suited up in this home white knit pullover, but he was still a player of uncommon brilliance.

    He'd finish the regular season with a .341 batting average, superior to half of his four seasons as National League batting champion but not good enough to catch the red-hot Joe Torre. The long, hard season couldn't cool Clemente's red-hot bat as October rolled in, and he'd hit .333 to help slay the Giants in the NLCS, and a scorching .414 against the heavily-favored Baltimore Orioles to win the World Series and recognition as its Most Valuable Player.

    So it's clear that this garment is one of magical vintage for Steeltown's noblest champion, a style worn during each of Clemente's final two seasons of his career and life, but assigned with high probability to the former by the particular tagging style found at interior rear left tail: "Rawlings [size] 42" and a washing instructions label. "Pirates 21" is applied to the chest in black on gold tackle twill, those digits repeated on verso in larger format. Game wear is characterized as "moderate to heavy," evident most notably in the fabric separation that causes a two-point MEARS deduction, and a half-point for soiling and foxing from play and storage. LOA from MEARS, A7.5. LOA from Heritage Auctions.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2017
    16th-18th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 20
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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