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    Also a period newspaper clipping picturing bat & describing its history!

    1971 Roberto Clemente Game Used Bat with Pirates Team Letter Confirming World Series Use, PSA/DNA GU 10. The Pittsburgh Pirates saw two Fall Classics during the eighteen seasons they enjoyed the services of Hall of Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente, each Series ending in glory after a gut-churning seven games. Presented is perhaps the most significant artifact to emerge from the second and final appearance of Clemente on the sport's grandest stage, a Series that saw the battle-scarred veteran turn back the clock and deliver a performance for the ages. The Puerto Rican superstar would bat .414 in thirty-one plate appearances, delivering twelve hits, two home runs and four RBI's to earn the World Series MVP Award.

    Just over fourteen months later, Roberto Clemente would be dead, his body lost to the Atlantic. He'd supply one final gift to the baseball public before his passing, the registration of his 3,000th hit, a hallmark of greatness well earned and deserved. But it could be accurately stated that Clemente's 1971 World Series heroism was the high-water mark of his illustrious career.

    The offered signature model Hillerich & Bradsby U1 is linked to that glorious Series by an October 28, 1971 letter on Pirates letterhead from Assistant to the General Manager Joe O'Toole to Mr. Austin Turner at Boswell Memorial Hospital in Sun City, Arizona. He writes, in part, "Under separate cover, I am sending to you Roberto Clemente's bat that he used during the World Series and also one of Danny Murtaugh's caps. Danny asked me to be sure and send you a token for the remembrance of the luck that the Indian Sun God brought."

    That strange statement is explained in an included newspaper clipping from Sun City humorously entitled, "Arizona Kachina doll, not Clemente bat, won series." The article explains that Turner had sent the Pirates a Native American good luck charm to a fellow hospital employee's brother--the Pirates' O'Toole--advising him that it would bring his team success in the Series. The article notes that manager Murtaugh accepted the delivery when the Pirates were down two games to nothing to start the Series, riding the good mojo of the magical totem to four wins in the next five games. A photograph used in the article finds O'Toole's sister wielding this bat and wearing Murtaugh's cap.

    The bat is standard format--not a specially-issued World Series bat--but players often stuck to time-tested models when playing in October, saving their "event bats" as souvenirs. The outstanding game use on this bat suggests it served its master long and well, bearing numerous ball marks, light scoring on the barrel, light pine tar on the uncracked handle and green rack streaks. A black marker number "21" and red slash appear on knob. Length is thirty-six inches (36"), weight just under thirty-seven ounces (36.6 oz.). LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 10. Letter of provenance from Pittsburgh Pirates, 1971. Newspaper article, 1971.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2019
    17th-18th Saturday-Sunday
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