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1963 Roberto Clemente Signed Portrait Baseball
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $1,777.50
Official National League (Giles) ball bearing both the signature and painted portrait of Hall of Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente. Clemente has signed the ball in blue ink (grading "7") across the sweet spot. Painted on the panel directly below is a portrait image of Clemente that has been signed by the artist in the lower right, "S. West/Ball." Portrait balls have always been appreciated by collectors as both a unique and attractive alternative to a simple single-signed ball. For many of the modern Hall of Famers, finding a single-signed of the respective player is easy. However, for someone like Clemente, who died tragically in 1972 at the age of thirty-seven, the task is far more challenging. Because of that, one enterprising collector decided to take matters into his own hands with regard to this particular creation. This ball was originally a 1963 Pittsburgh Pirates team-signed ball that, ideally, featured Clemente's name on the sweet spot. Clemente's signature, even on team-signed balls, is rarely found on the sweet spot, which made this ball the perfect candidate for what came next. In order to create the blank canvas needed to create a portrait ball, all of the other signatures were painted over, leaving just Clemente on the sweet spot. The artist then proceeded to turn this into the artistic treasure it is now: a Roberto Clemente single-signed portrait ball. It should be noted that the cosmetic procedures were professionally done, leaving no trace of any of the former signatures. The ball displays a Near Mint overall appearance. Needless to say, there are very few, if any other, Clemente single-signed portrait balls in the hobby (we have never seen another), making this a truly remarkable Clemente signed display item, albeit at the expense of his teammates' signatures. Full LOA from PSA/DNA and LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,777.50
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