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1961 Roberto Clemente Two-Page, Handwritten Letter (Signature PSA 9)

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1961 Roberto Clemente Two-Page, Handwritten Letter (Signature PSA 9)

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SKU: 28584 Category:


By the summer of 1961, Roberto Clemente was no longer the best-kept secret in baseball. One year after he led the Pittsburgh Pirates to their first World Series title in four decades, it seemed that everybody wanted a piece of the great right fielder, most notably the Latin Americans to whom he had become a national hero. So it came as no surprise that, even weeks before the 1961 regular season had run its course, Clemente received a contract bid to play winter ball in his native Puerto Rico.

In this exceptional two-page, handwritten letter (dated Aug. 31, 1961), Clemente responded to the request made by the head of the San Juan Baseball Club. Plagued by a sore right arm and mental fatigue – Clemente would hit “only” .300 in September but still claimed his first National League batting title – the weary superstar tactfully offered detailed reasons as to why an extended season did not interest him at the time.

“I see that things have changed a lot over there”, Clemente wrote in Spanish – the bold, exquisite strokes unmistakably his own. “My participation in Puerto Rico depends on many things. 1. I don’t think I’ll start playing a) Because I’m tired; b) I may have to have an operation on my right arm because it has swollen over the last few weeks, and if this continues, I will have to have an operation to take a chip out of my elbow; c) If this were so, my decision is not to play in Puerto Rico. I should know this within two weeks; d) As to salary, I want you to know I would not play for what you have sent me; e) San Juan Baseball owes me a sum of money which must be paid before I start playing. 2. I don’t want you to count on me if I have the operation. And if not, I would have to take a couple of weeks rest before doing it. Here is my unsigned contract, as we always have time for that. Cordially yours, Roberto Clemente.”

Fortunately for the collector, each page is single-side written (thus providing for full, fixed display). Technically in mildly compromised condition, the sheets reveal a single compacting fold, punch holes at the top and minor stains. However, none of these qualifications encroach upon or detract from the integrity of the text or the signature. Included is the original envelope, which bears a Pittsburgh postmark. A letter from PSA/DNA experts assesses the black fountain pen Clemente pan style=”font-weight: bold;”>MINT 9 in quality. To say the least, the extraordinary missive offers a rare glimpse into the world of the emerging icon.

PSA-DNA Auction House Letter

1961,Ball,Baseball,Batting,Letter,National League,Pittsburgh Pirates,Unsigned,World Series  Roberto Clemente

Auction End: 31-Mar-06  Post Views: 3013

Price; $0.00 – $0.00




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