PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Roberto Clemente was killed in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve, 1972. Thirty-five years later, the former Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder is still helping others.
He was one of the Pirates most decorated players. Quite simply, Clemente was “The Great One.”
“It told a lot about who he was — not only a great baseball player, a teacher, humanitarian as well,” Dave Hunt, of Hunt Auctions, said.
This weekend, as part of the MLB All-Star weekend in Miami, a blockbuster auction will be held to sell an incredible roster of Clemente’s memorabilia.
“Uniforms, bats, more traditional things. But, even his golf clubs and things like that,” Hunt said.
They also will be selling the two World Series rings — one from 1960 and his second — from 1971.
“If I had to bet on a horse as far as what might be the best Clemente dollar piece, it might well be his 1971 World Series ring that is estimated at $150,000 to $300,000, but is already in the $150,000 range in the pre-bidding,” Hunt said.
In all, 300 items from Clemente’s personal collection are part of the 700-piece auction. In the tradition of Clemente’s notable charity work, the money raised will go to help others.
“He was so much more than a baseball player. There is pottery that he made, as a pottery student learning how to do that. Musician, billiards player. We have his automobile, his 1972 Dodge Charger that he won as the MVP,” Hunt said.
While these priceless items will soon be sold, it’s also an opportunity for baseball fans from around the world to learn more about “The Great One.”
“It was a big part of the decision for the Clemente family and us. Given the Latino population and being so close to his homeland in Puerto Rico, we wanted to give people the ability to come and see these things and really learn about his life,” Hunt said.
The auction will be visible online this weekend with the main bidding to be held Monday and Tuesday.