Roberto Clemente Baseball Cards

55T-CLEMENTEOn New Year’s Eve 1972, Roberto Clemente died tragically in a plane crash shortly after take off.

Clemente was on his way to provide relief for earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

As was the case with Lou Gehrig, the Baseball Hall of Fame waived their mandatory five-year waiting period, and inducted Clemente just months after his death. During his eulogy of Clemente, Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn said “He gave the term complete a new meaning. He made the word superstar seem inadequate. He had about him the touch of royalty.”

As you can imagine, Roberto Clemente is still highly sought after by card collectors.

The Brooklyn Dodgers actually signed Clemente three years before his debut with the Pirates. By letting Clemente slip through their fingers, the pitching-rich Dodgers make a huge blunder; they cost themselves a five-tool player (hit, hit for power, field, throw and run) who to this day, is a king in the Latin community.

Clemente’s Topps rookie card coincides with his 1955 debut with the Pirates. Card #164 features a close-up of the Pittsburgh superstar with a smaller batting pose to the right. Topps went on to produce Clemente cards every year through 1973. No mention of Clemente’s death appears anywhere on his 1973 card.

68T3D-CLEMENTEAs one of baseball’s biggest stars, Clemente regularly appeared on special cards throughout his career, including the 1959 Topps Corsair Outfield Trio (with Bob Skinner and Bill Virdon),1963 Topps Buc Blasters (with Smoky Burgess, Dick Stuart and Bob Skinner), 1968 Topps Manager’s Dream (with fellow Latin stars Tony Oliva & Chico Cardenas) along with eight different National League Batting Leader cards.

After referring to him as “Roberto Clemente” in 1955 and 1956, Topps Anglicized his name to “Bob Clemente” between 1957 through 1969. All of his 1970s Topps cards revert back to “Roberto.” Over the years, many people have asked me if Bob Clemente is related to Roberto Clemente. Well, sort of.

While Clemente’s rookie is a highly desirable card in any condition, it’s not his most expensive. The 1968 Topps 3-D, an extremely limited test set, holds that honor.

If you have any Roberto Clemente baseball cards (produced between 1955 and 1973) to sell or any items on our baseball buy list, PLEASE CONTACT Mark Rubin at 914-725-2225 or via email at A quick phone call is all it takes to get started.