Pittsburgh Pirates: Roberto Clemente Rookie Card Sells for $792,000

A 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente Rookie Card, graded PSA Mint 9, sold for $792,000 in the first part of Goldin Auctions' "Goldin 100" event.
Clemente at the 1970 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
Clemente at the 1970 Major League Baseball All-Star Game / Focus On Sport/GettyImages

While Honus Wagner will always have the most famous Pittsburgh Pirates baseball card, a Roberto Clemente card is also making news

Roberto Clemente is on a shortlist of the greatest Pittsburgh Pirates of all time. Whether you believe the Pirates G.O.A.T. is Clemente, Honus Wagner, Willie Stargell, or someone else, Roberto earned the nickname "The Great One" for a reason. His stellar play and humanitarian efforts make him an icon among Pittsburgh natives and baseball fans alike, and his top baseball card prices reflect his widespread popularity.

On June 14th, 2023, a PSA Mint 9 copy of Roberto's famous 1955 Topps #164 Rookie Card sold for a whopping $792,000 at auction as a part of Goldin Auctions' "Goldin 100" event. Of the 5,000+ copies of the '55 Clemente that have been graded, there are only 11 in existence that earned a Mint 9 from PSA, and only a single Gem Mint 10 exists, which sold for $432,690 in 2012 and has not surfaced publicly since.

If the Gem Mint 10 card resurfaces for public sale, it will most likely sell for upwards of $1.75 million, shattering the previous record ($1.1 million) for the highest sale of a Roberto Clemente card.

Clemente played 18 seasons for the Pirates before his tragic and untimely passing at age 38 in a plane crash in the 1972 offseason. The 15-time MLB All-Star is one of only 33 players to ever tally 3,000 career hits, and he won 2 World Series rings with the Pirates, earning World Series MVP honors in 1971. His legacy lives on in Pittsburgh through the Clemente Bridge and the 21-foot-tall Clemente Wall in right field at PNC Park.

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