It’s hard to avoid associating Roberto Clemente with death.
The Puerto Rican star and MLB Hall of Famer died in a plane crash on his way to help victims of a Nicaraguan earthquake when he was 38, so that’s what people are most likely to remember about him. But there was also everything he did before Dec. 31, 1972.
There were the 3,000 major-league hits. The 12 gold gloves. The pair of World Series titles as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The charity work he did in Latin America. The 1966 National League MVP Award. And the 15 All-Star Game appearances.
While collecting those accolades as a baseball player, Clemente gained fame and fans that remained after his death. He also collected various reminders of his storied career. And if you’re one of those fans, you will be able to buy some of Clemente’s personal items at this year’s All-Star Game FanFest.
Never miss a local story.
The 2017 FanFest will take place from Friday to Tuesday at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The auctioning of “The Personal Collection of Roberto Clemente” will take place on Tuesday at noon and is run by Hunt Auctions. And spokesman David Hunt said even if fans don’t want to or can’t buy anything, the Clemente items will be displayed like they’re in a museum for fans to enjoy.
Among the unusual items in the collection are a set of Clemente’s personal golf clubs with an embroidered bag, a 1960s black-and-white suit with a leather collar worn by Clemente and a 1972 Special Edition 440 Magnum Dodge Charger awarded to Clemente after he was named the 1971 World Series MVP.
Those items are slated to sell for $2,000 to $4,000, $2,000 to $4,000 and $50,000 to $100,000, respectively. But there are other options available.
“We want things to be inexpensive as well,” Hunt said. “Not everyone can afford a World Series ring.”
The cheaper items, which are expected to fetch several hundred dollars, include receipts, membership cards and photographs.
The items are all coming from the Clemente family, which is partnering with Hunt auctions. The majority of the profits from the auctions will go to the family, though Hunt didn’t say what percentage his company will take.
There will also be non-Clemente items, like a Babe Ruth-signed baseball, auctioned on Monday at 11 a.m.
In addition to the Clemente auction, Hunt Auctions is also hosting and appraisal fair at FanFest starting on Friday where fans can bring in old sports memorabilia and have its value assessed for free.
Hunt said at a 2007 appraisal fair, a man brought a legitimate Lou Gehrig jersey that his great grandfather had bought from the Yankees for a church-league team. The jersey had been preserved and sold for $500,000 six months later.
Hunt added that thanks to Florida’s spring training history — teams have been coming down since the early 1900s — some unique and valuable items might be brought in.
“It might be really interesting,” he said, “to see the types of things that show up.”