June 2018 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 6/22/2018

"Baseball is a red-blooded sport for red-blooded men. It's no pink tea, and mollycoddles had better stay out. It's a struggle for supremacy, a survival of the fittest." - Ty Cobb. While "The Georgia Peach" is famous for his unwavering killer instinct and brute force that few in the sport's history have ever matched, he was also an intellectual who embraced a scientific and mathematical approach that served to keep him among the games best throughout his later years. "The longer I live, the longer I realize that batting is more a mental matter than it is physical" said an aging Cobb. "The ability to grasp the bat, swing at the proper time, take a proper stance; all these are elemental. Batting is rather a study in psychology, a sizing up of a pitcher and catcher and observing little details that are of immense importance. It's like the study of crime, the work of a detective as he picks up clues." Part Sherlock Holmes and part George Patton ... this was the complex mind of Ty Cobb, arguably the greatest hitter in major league baseball history. Ironically, his trademark split-hands grip and other elements of his swing would be considered flaws today, all to be corrected in the early stages of a player's development. Oh, but Cobb had hacked the system. He developed his own cheat code to maximize his production in the "dead-ball" era. A full-time starter for the Detroit Tigers from the age of 20, Cobb reeled off nine consecutive American League batting titles and twelve over a thirteen-year span (his .371 average in 1916 placed him second behind Tris Speaker). In addition to being able to place the ball virtually anywhere he wanted, his blinding speed and superior baserunning ability turned many of his rare misses into hits. The featured Ty Cobb game-used bat is a Cooperstown worthy specimen from the 1910-15 time period, just when Cobb was entering the prime of his storied career. As opposed to store model bats of the time period that carried a "40 TC" designation within the H&B stamping, the two "dash-dot-dash" symbols appearing below "Louisville Slugger" and markings on the knob to show that it was hand spun confirm it as an authentic Cobb gamer. The location of the engraved Cobb signature also dates the bat to the early years of his career as it would be moved further up the barrel on Cobb bats from the 1920s. This incredible stick, carrying no model number and known simply as "his original Cobb" (later designated C28) measures 34.5 inches and weighs 38 ounces, the exact specifications ordered by Cobb over a century ago. That's extremely significant since most aged bats lose moisture over time and tend to weigh an ounce or two off of their original weight. But not this one, this wondrous specimen has been so well-preserved that it appears virtually identical to the last time it was in Cobb's hands. Tremendous use is evident with a slight handle crack, chipped knob and minor grain separation from repeated ball contact, all of which have been repaired. Cleat marks are also evident, as is residue from the wide spiral tape application that was later removed; two other telltale signs of a Ty Cobb gamer. After careful examination by noted expert John Taube at PSA/DNA, the bat was given an almost perfect score of GU 9.5, matching available factory records, possessing identifiable player characteristics and exhibiting medium to heavy use with allowances for slight cracks and minor repairs. This is without question the very finest example of an early career Ty Cobb game-used bat, as perfectly preserved as if Cobb walked right off the field just now and handed it over to us. One of the most important pieces of lumber in the history of major league baseball! LOA from Vince Malta/John Taube (PSA/DNA) with a grade GU 9.5 grade.

*** ADDENDUM *** - We wanted to give some additional information as to the origins of this bat. The labeling traces to the 1910-15 time period by PSA/DNA for several reasons. First off, the company changed their center stamp from “J. F. Hillerich & Son” to “Hillerich & Bradsby’ in 1916. Secondly, there's the close proximity of the Ty Cobb branding to the center stamp. Player branding of bats, which preceded actual model numbers attributed to individual players, was a new concept and, like the center stamp, was moved out to the barrel also around 1916. Page 100 of Richard Bak’s book, “Ty Cobb, his Tumultuous Life and Times” features Cobb holding a bat very similar to the one offered here that faintly shows the barrel brand much closer to the center brand than bats produced for Cobb from 1916 to 1928. PSA/DNA authenticator John Taube also noted that the length, 34.5 inches, is the most significant aspect of the bat since virtually every bat of Cobb’s with conclusive evidence of use came in at this weight, as opposed to 34 and 35 inch bats known to exist.

1910-1915 Ty Cobb Professional Model Game-Used J.F. Hillerich & Son Louisville Slugger Bat PSA/DNA GU 9.51910-1915 Ty Cobb Professional Model Game-Used J.F. Hillerich & Son Louisville Slugger Bat PSA/DNA GU 9.51910-1915 Ty Cobb Professional Model Game-Used J.F. Hillerich & Son Louisville Slugger Bat PSA/DNA GU 9.51910-1915 Ty Cobb Professional Model Game-Used J.F. Hillerich & Son Louisville Slugger Bat PSA/DNA GU 9.5
1910-1915 Ty Cobb Professional Model Game-Used J.F. Hillerich & Son Louisville Slugger Bat PSA/DNA GU 9.51910-1915 Ty Cobb Professional Model Game-Used J.F. Hillerich & Son Louisville Slugger Bat PSA/DNA GU 9.51910-1915 Ty Cobb Professional Model Game-Used J.F. Hillerich & Son Louisville Slugger Bat PSA/DNA GU 9.51910-1915 Ty Cobb Professional Model Game-Used J.F. Hillerich & Son Louisville Slugger Bat PSA/DNA GU 9.5
1910-1915 Ty Cobb Professional Model Game-Used J.F. Hillerich & Son Louisville Slugger Bat PSA/DNA GU 9.51910-1915 Ty Cobb Professional Model Game-Used J.F. Hillerich & Son Louisville Slugger Bat PSA/DNA GU 9.51910-1915 Ty Cobb Professional Model Game-Used J.F. Hillerich & Son Louisville Slugger Bat PSA/DNA GU 9.51910-1915 Ty Cobb Professional Model Game-Used J.F. Hillerich & Son Louisville Slugger Bat PSA/DNA GU 9.5
1910-1915 Ty Cobb Professional Model Game-Used J.F. Hillerich & Son Louisville Slugger Bat PSA/DNA GU 9.5
1910-1915 Ty Cobb Professional Model Game-Used J.F. Hillerich & Son Louisville Slugger Bat PSA/DNA GU 9.5
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Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $75,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.:
Number Bids: 9
Auction closed on Friday, June 22, 2018.
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