LAWRENCEVILLE (KDKA) — It’s greatest repository of Roberto Clemente artifacts in the world — right here in Lawrenceville.
“His first bat. His last bat, sitting on the 1971 World Series home plate that came from Three Rivers Stadium.”
Clemente Museum founder and executive director Duane Reider has assembled them with care over the past 20 years.
“This room is the 1971 World Series room, and we have a gold glove from 1971,” he said.
So it’s with mixed emotions for Reider that about 500 other Clemente artifacts will be going up for auction before the Major League All-Star Game in Miami on Tuesday.
Happy they’ll find a home — saddened that many will never make it back here.
“I don’t know that we could acquire all that. There’s so much stuff, it’s a little overwhelming,” Reider said. “It’s definitely sad for us that some of it will go.”
The Clemente Museum is now drawing visitors from all over the world, and it’s special stop for visiting pro teams, who catch up with The Great One through his duffle bags and World Series rings.
Reider’s dream has always been to expand the museum and acquire more signature Clemente items — like a flashy suit Clemente wore during an interview with Pirate broadcaster Bob Prince.
And so going into Tuesday’s auction, Reider is reaching out of friends of the museum to bid on items, acquire them, and then donate or put them here on loan for display and safe keeping.
“If we could acquire some stuff ourselves through the museum and if someone was to buy something and put it on loan here, at least if would get here,” Reider said. “So that would be a happy ending.”
And so the hope is that as many of these signature pieces as possible be acquired by friends of the museum and that they make their way back to Pittsburgh.