Unfortunately, I was a little too young to ever watch him play. But the story about him helping the people of Managua still gives me goosebumps and reminds me that there are people out there who give back to society and try to make our world a better place to live in.
That's why it's not too surprising that Clemente's cards are some of the most treasured among collectors.
I purchased my first vintage Clemente back in the early 90's and over the past twenty-something years, I've added a few more along the way.
Two days ago, Matt over at Bob Walk the Plank announced his retirement. As most of you know... he's a diehard Pittsburgh Pirates fan, so in honor of him, I decided to show off my nine favorite Clemente cards.
#1: 1956 Topps #33
Are you surprised? This card isn't just my favorite Clemente. It's one of my favorite cards in the collection.
#2: 1965 Topps #160
1965 Topps is my 3rd favorite Topps design... right under 1983 and 1956. This is one of those cards I bought back in the early 90's. If I were to ever submit a card for grading... it'd be this card.
#3: 1964 Topps Giants #11
One of my favorite vintage oddball sets. One day I'll add the 1970 and 1972 Kellogg's Clementes to my collection. When I do, it'll knock this card out of the #3 slot.
#4: 1972 Topps #309
1972 Topps is my birth set... and this card is one of the most iconic from it. This particular copy has a lot of character... just like Arriba himself.
#5: 1970 Topps Posters #21
Another amazing vintage oddball issue.
#6: 2001 UD Decade 1970's Game-Used Jerseys #J-RC
The first five cards on this list were easy to choose. #6 through #9 were much more challenging. I feel like on any given day these cards could switch spots depending on my mood.
Today I filled the #6 spot with my only Clemente game-used memorabilia card.
#7: 1968 Topps Game #6
Another vintage oddball. Are you beginning to see a pattern?
#8: 1967 Topps #400
This is the other card I purchased back in the early 90's. Like the 1965 card, I plan on one day submitting it for grading.
#9: 1968 Topps #374
Some of my favorite vintage subset cards are the The Sporting News all-stars found in certain Topps sets. I don't own a lot of them, but I'm sure glad to own this one.
Well there you have it... my Top 9 Roberto Clemente cards.
I've gotta admit... whenever I see a nice Clemente... the first person I usually think of is Matt. Enjoy your retirement buddy.
By the way... if you're wondering why I decided to make a Top 9 list... instead of the standard Top 5 or Top 10 list. It's because Daniel over at It's like having my own Card Shop is running a contest to celebrate his 9 year blog-o-versary. All you need to do to enter is write a post featuring 9 cards.
So what are you waiting for? Join the fun and start digging through your collection. Pick out 9 cards. Then write a post. The winner will receive a nice package of Paul Goldschmidt cards and at least one card for your PC.
Happy Monday and sayonara!