If you are a serious vintage baseball card collector you should have a few basics, including original cards of Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax, Warren Spahn, Jackie Robinson and Ted Williams among others.
And you definitely need a card of Roberto Clemente.
Cards of Clemente are not cheap, but if you look hard enough, you can find one for under $20. This 1962 example cost me $25.
But you don't have to be a vintage collector to appreciate Clemente. If you are a parent, consider getting your child a baseball card of Roberto Clemente instead of that video game that will be relegated to the back of the sock drawer in a few months.
Get your child a card of the Pittsburgh Pirate great and tell them about his humanitarian efforts. Tell them about how he was elected into the Hall-of-Fame after an untimely death flying goods to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Tell them how he ended his career with exactly 3,000 hits. Tell them about his 12 Gold Gloves and 12 All-Star selections.
They will eventually forget about that video game, but they will always remember the time you bought them that baseball card of one of the game's greatest.
Very cool card. It's weird how condition doesn't do too much to affect the value of some players' cards.
For example, you never get a deal on Clemente or Koufax no matter the condition, but you can occasionally steal an Aaron.
And great post! People like Clemente can be used to connect kids with the game's past and, more importantly, with some pretty strong values everyone can agree on no matter their politics.
You are absolutely right. You sometimes see an Aaron for only a couple of bucks but not Clemente, Mantle or Mays. Thanks for reading.
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