An autographed Roberto Clemente game-used bat will be up for auction next month, and it’s estimated to sell for at least $250,000 at Heritage Auctions. It’s set to be auctioned off Feb. 24 in Dallas.
The Hall of Famer used the bat during the 1971 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team he spent his entire 18-year career with. The bat has Clemente’s trademark knobless handle and Ruthian dimensions of 36 inches of length and weighs 35.5 ounces. It was a gift to Carey Diab, a well-known baseball memorabilia collector in Montreal. The inscription reads: “To my friend Carey, Best Wishes Always, Roberto Clemente.”
The bat comes with a letter of authenticity from PSA/DNA, has the highest possible grade of GU 10, and includes a photo of the 15-time All-Star holding it while posing against a backdrop of an empty Three Rivers Stadium.
“Extraordinary Hillerich & Bradsby signature model U1 finds the tragic Hall of Famer near the end of his career and life, an era that saw him revisit the pinnacle of the baseball world with victory in the 1971 World Series and enter the 3,000 Hit Club with his final base knock in regular season competition,” reads the description on the Heritage Auctions website.
Expert bat authenticator John Taube assess the game use as “excellent” because the impressions on the barrel shoed evidence of Clemente’s scoring and the handle is uncracked.