Category Archives: Roberto Clemente Collection

Roberto Clemente Was A 12-Time All-Star

Roberto Clemente Was A 12-Time All-Star

From the 1960 baseball season through the 1972 baseball season, Roberto Clemente was named as an All-Star twelve times.

Better than, or on par with, the best outfielders in the sport, Clemente often shared the outfield with Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Willie McCovey, and even Stan Musial.

Clemente is the all-time leader in All-Star selections for the Pittsburgh Pirates.


Roberto Clemente: The Pride Of Puerto Rico

Roberto Clemente: The Pride Of Puerto Rico

Roberto Clemente’s professional baseball career began at 17 years of age in Puerto Rico.

Immensely talented, Clemente was soon being watched by major league teams and was eventually signed to join a Dodgers minor league affiliate in Montreal.  He was eventually drafted by the Pirates as the first pick in the 1954 rookie draft.

It did not take long for Clemente to show off his skills and become a fan favorite in Pittsburgh.  And with his fans in Puerto Rico watching, Clemente’s ability to score runs, make great defensive plays, and get on base led to him quickly becoming one of the more well-rounded young players in the sport.

Always loyal to his homeland, Clemente often spent most of his off-season back home in Puerto Rico.  He donated his time and money to help build a better country.  And in turn, the people of Puerto Rico adopted him as their favorite son.


Happy Birthday Roberto Clemente!!!

Happy Birthday Roberto Clemente!!!

On of the sport’s greatest superstars, Roberto Clemente transcended baseball at a time when there a need for new heroes to help grow the sport and its popularity.  And in Pittsburgh, where he spent 18 seasons, Clemente was beloved.

An MVP, a dynamic outfielder, and a Hall of Famer, there is very little that Roberto Clemente did not accomplish as a major league baseball player.

So, to celebrate him and his legacy, I will dedicate a days worth of posts to honor this baseball legend.

Stay tuned all day to ’30-YOC’.  It will be fun!!

Happy Birthday Mr. Clemente!!!


Roberto Clemente 2014 Topps Archives – Topps Got This One 100% Right!!!

Roberto Clemente 2014 Topps Archives

Now this is what I am talking about.

If you read my post the other night about the new Archives card of Frank Robinson, you recall that since the card design that was used for Robinson’s card was issued during his playing days, I thought that the image should be linked more closely to the time.  But, it was not.

So, I suggested that the card would either be better had it featured an era-appropriate image or shift Robinson to a design that was issued after his playing days were done so there were ‘No Rules’.

Well, when Topps designed the Roberto Clemente card for the set, they nailed it.

Have a look:



The card design for the card is from the 1980 Topps set.  Obviously, this set was released well after Clemente’s playing days so using any image works.


And it is a ‘Batting Cage Card’ too!

Roberto Clemente 2014 Topps Gypsy Queen – Base

Roberto Clemente 2014 Topps Gypsy Queen – Base

I’m always eager to see what images fill the Gypsy Queen set when it comes to the legends selected to be in the set.

And more often than not, I am pleased.

This is one of those cases!  I love this card:



Roberto Clemente, and all vintage Pirates, looks good in the GQ set.  The colors work well together and the lettering of the ‘P’ on a Pirates cap or helmet along with the wording on the jersey s a great match to the fonts that Topps uses for the GQ design.

I also like the image selection of Clemente.  Very relaxed at the plate, single batting glove, pork-chop sideburns…  Very 1970’s baseball!!

I Told You I Would Finish That 1997 Topps Gold Roberto Clemente Set…

I Told You I Would Finish That 1997 Topps Gold Roberto Clemente Set…

I told you, I told you…

At the baseball card show that I attended back in January, I was able to grab 4 of 5 cards from a 1997 Topps Gold tribute set that celebrated the career of Roberto Clemente.  At the time, I did not know that the set was just 5 cards deep, but I thought that being able to purchase cards 1-4 was a pretty solid start.

When I returned home from the show, I did a little homework and learned that the card was indeed just 5 cards deep.

And then I made it a collecting mission of mine to nab.

And I was able to grab RC5, the fifth card, two weeks ago and I posted about it here.

Now, the set is complete.  And it looks great!!

Check it out:



I have to say that the set was very easy to piece together and I am especially proud to honor the career of Mr. Clemente in this way.

I wish that there were more of these kinds of sets out there – they are right up this collector’s alley!

Roberto Clemente 1997 Topps Gold ‘A Tribute To Roberto Clemente’ Card #RC5

Roberto Clemente 1997 Topps Gold ‘A Tribute To Roberto Clemente’ Card #RC5

You may recall that at the baseball card show that I attended in January I scored four of five cards from a special Roberto Clemente tribute set issued by Topps.

You can re-read that post here.

At the time of that purchase,I had no idea of the size of the full set I just happened to have found the four cards together in a bargain bin and really liked the look of the cards and the Golden accents from the design.

Well, I paid just $1.00 for those four cards and I was off to the start of a very affordable commemorative set that honors Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente.

And now, I have secured card #5, the last one of the set.

Have a look:


I bought this one from a seller on Sportlots when I was doing some PC shopping.  And while I paid the same amount for this one that I paid for the other four combined, I am happy to bring it home.

The card shows a great action shot of Clemente getting ready to fire a ball into the infield.  And the backdrop of the Puerto Rico flag is a very solid, yet subtle, addition to the card.


Baseball Card Show Purchase #7 – 4/5 Cards From The 1997 Topps Roberto Clemente Commemorative Set

Baseball Card Show Purchase #7 – 4/5 Cards From The 1997 Topps Roberto Clemente Commemorative Set

I bought these four cards from the same seller that I picked up the 1989 Topps Andre Dawson coin from.

As I mentioned in that post, his table was full of vintage oddball stuff  – and I rummaged through a majority of it.

I came across these four cards of Roberto Clemente and I was immediately intrigued.

Have a look:


Upon reviewing the cards, I saw that they were numbered as RC1, RC2, RC3, and RC4.  I immediately wanted to know if I had a full set, but the dealer did not know.  Still, I bought them all with the goal of learning more when I got home and was able to get online.

Well, research shows that this is a 5-card set.  They were randomly inserted into packs of 1997 Topps Series 1 and Series 2.  And they are not that rare – you could find one in every twelve packs.

As for card #5, I will have to seek it out so I can complete my set!

1972 Headline: ‘Roberto Clemente Dead At 38’

1972 Headline: ‘Roberto Clemente Dead At 38’

From Wikipedia:

Clemente spent much of his time during the off-season involved in charity work. When Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua, was affected by a massive earthquake on December 23, 1972, Clemente (who had been visiting Managua three weeks before the quake) immediately set to work arranging emergency relief flights.  He soon learned, however, that the aid packages on the first three flights had been diverted by corrupt officials of the Somoza government, never reaching victims of the quake.

Clemente decided to accompany the fourth relief flight, hoping that his presence would ensure that the aid would be delivered to the survivors. The airplane he chartered for a New Year’s Eve flight, a Douglas DC-7, had a history of mechanical problems and sub-par flight personnel, and it was overloaded by 4,200 pounds.  It crashed into the ocean off the coast of Isla Verde, Puerto Rico immediately after takeoff on December 31, 1972. A few days after the crash, the body of the pilot and part of the fuselage of the plane were found. An empty flight case apparently belonging to Clemente was the only personal item recovered from the plane. Clemente’s teammate and close friend Manny Sanguillen was the only member of the Pirates not to attend Roberto’s memorial service. The catcher chose instead to dive into the waters where Clemente’s plane had crashed in an effort to find his teammate. Clemente’s body was never recovered.

At the time of his death, Clemente had established several records with the Pirates, including most triples in a game (three) and hits in two consecutive games (ten),. These include tying the record for most Gold Glove Awards won among outfielders with twelve, which he shares with Willie Mays.  He also became the only player to have ever hit a walk-off inside-the-park grand slam.  He accomplished this historic baseball-event on July 25, 1956 in a 9-8 Pittsburgh win against the Chicago Cubs, at Forbes Field. In addition, he was one of four players to have ten or more Gold Gloves and a lifetime batting average of .317.

Roberto Clemente 2001 Upper Deck – UD Decade 1970’s – Decade Dateline

Roberto Clemente 2001 Upper Deck – UD Decade 1970’s – Decade Dateline

Over the last few years, I have brought a bunch of cards into my collection from this 2001 Upper Deck ‘Decades’ set.

And while I will be the first one to admit that the image selection from this set, especially from a company like Upper Deck, is a bit off, there is no doubting that the card’s design is a blast-back to the 1970s’.

The cards are ripe and vivid with color and the fonts and text sizes make for easy reading while also staying true to a 1970’s vibe.

This is one of the Roberto Clemente cards from the set.



Far from spectacular, and also far from super.  But, I will take it!!