Roberto Clemente jersey, 3,000th-hit game ticket among Pirates memorabilia up for auction
A ticket for a general admission seat at Three Rivers Stadium on Sept. 30, 1972, when Roberto Clemente collected his 3,000th and final hit sold for $1.90, including tax and stadium charge.
Brian Dwyer believes it’s worth a lot more than that.
Dwyer is president of Robert Edward Auctions of Chester, N.J., and he’s auctioning off three pieces of Pittsburgh Pirates memorabilia, including the ticket from that historic game. Also at auction are Clemente’s jersey, from either 1971 or 1972, and a 1960 World Series trophy presented to relief pitcher Clem Labine.
Bidding for the jersey began at $10,000 while Dwyer expects the ticket to fetch $2,500. The trophy was originally sold in 2004 for $14,850, he said.
Who is Labine? He pitched in the major leagues for 13 years, to some acclaim. But he was only a bit player in the twilight of his career with the 1960 Pirates, joining the team from the Detroit Tigers on Aug. 17. He appeared in 15 games, plus three in the World Series where the New York Yankees roughed him up for 13 hits and 11 runs in four innings.
He acquired his greatest fame through four World Series (two championships) with the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers. He was the winning pitcher in Game 6 of the 1956 World Series, throwing 10 shutout innings in a 1-0 victory the day after the Yankees’ Don Larsen threw the only perfect game in Series history.
Dwyer said he is auctioning the items on behalf of private collectors, who acquired them from the families of Clemente and Labine. He said he’s also auctioned off 1960 World Series trophies that belonged to Pirates pitchers Bob Friend and Harvey Haddix and infielder Dick Schofield.
‘I started collecting as a kid,” Dwyer said, “and became obsessed, for lack of a better word, with baseball cards. Then, I found there is a strong market all around the world.”
Robert Edward Auctions said it has sold more than $100 million worth of collectibles in the past decade. Among the items sold, Dwyer said, are a 1909-1911 Honus Wagner card ($1.32 million), a 1916 Babe Ruth card ($600,000), Jackie Robinson’s 1949 Brooklyn Dodgers contract ($276,000), Carlton Fisk’s home run ball from Game 6 of the 1975 World Series ($142,200) and the shoes Muhammed Ali wore for the 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” with George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire ($100,725).
Dwyer said he was intrigued with the purchase price of Robinson’s contract, which called for an annual salary of $21,000 in 1949. “It sold for more than 10 times what it was worth (when Robinson signed it),” he said.
Interested bidders can participate in the auction through Sunday.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.