March 2022 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/1/2022
Often times, during the course of tedious and strenuous activities that combine to form an ordinary day in the fast-paced life we live, the most rewarding experiences are overlooked and indeed, ignored. We forget that simple pleasures can often be gleaned from what transpires at the workplace, as we toil feverishly to ensure that our families have a roof over their heads and food on the table while the routines and activities that we go through time and time again can begin to seem a bit monotonous, if not mundane. It is at times like this that I relish the opportunity to take a moment to contemplate the very nature of the items that come through our offices, and take delight in participating in a hobby such as ours. Case in point: the offered piece of lumber wielded by the legendary Bambino, a stunning and incredibly impressive Louisville Slugger George "Babe" Ruth personal model bat. At a time when the national pastime was in severe jeopardy following the Black Sox scandal, and many Americans viewed professional baseball as a seedy organization rife with gamblers, con men and back-alley grifters, the baby-faced kid from New York by way of Boston kindled a new love for the sport, with his bubbling personality, affinity for the public eye and, of course, those long, towering home runs. Obviously, Ruth didn't invent the home run, but before his arrival, the long ball was basically an afterthought to most fans and students of the game. Then with 54 bombs in 1920 and 59 the following year, the kid with the skinny legs and broad shoulders had single-handedly rejuvenated the game. The Babe was a giant among men and the Yankees rewarded him for it following the 1929 season, making him the first player in history with a higher annual salary than the President of the United States. Asked why he should make more money than President Hoover, Ruth responded: “I had a better year than he did.” The presented artifact of not just baseball but American history dates to the 1929-30 labeling period, and while the Sultan was known to have experimented with different brands and sizes of lumber, he ultimately preferred the Louisville Slugger such as this one, which weighs just short of 37 ounces and measures 35 inches in length. Distinct characteristics of this club consistent with Ruth gamers are the barrel scoring (he felt it would make the ball rise after contact), handle scoring (for a better grip) and a defined contact area above Ruth's name as he had a tendency to turn the center brand down towards the ground. Numerous other known Ruth game-used bats, including one on display in the Hall of Fame, display these features. A professionally repaired handle crack is further testimony to the club's use, and the finish of the wood displays a warm brown patina. John Taube of PSA/DNA has concluded that the bat is authentic, was game-used by Ruth during the 1929-30 time period and displays the proper player use characteristics attributed to Ruth, granting it a very impressive evaluation of GU 9. A letter tracing the lineage of the bat is included, detailing how the owner's grandfather was a New York politician that was well known in the community. A friend of the grandfather worked in the clubhouse at Yankee Stadium and was given the bat by Ruth after discovering the crack, precluding its continued use. Ruth supposedly told the recipient that while using this particular bat, he hit three home runs. The friend then gave it to the grandfather, not as a collectible piece but as something for his sons to play with. Only one of the sons seemed to have any interest; the owner's father, who put it away and passed it down to the owner. And now, against all odds but certainly to the delight of all of us here at MHCC who have a deep appreciation and respect for the history of the game, this wonderous artifact is made available to the knowledgeable clientele who follow our hobby offerings. Full LOA from Vince Malta/John Taube, PSA/DNA with a grade of GU 9, along with a handwritten letter of provenance.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $50,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $258,997.20
Number Bids:19
Competitive in-house shipping is not available for this lot.
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