January 2020 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/24/2020
Had it been anyone but the legendary Ty Cobb, existing video of "The Georgia Peach" taking his swing would be shown to America's youth as an example of how NOT to approach batting a pitched ball. His trademark "split-hands" grip and other elements of his swing would be considered flaws today and while most historians considered Cobb's unorthodox approach to have been obsolete with the end of the "dead-ball" era, it should be noted that Cobb maintained his lifetime .366 batting average from 1920-25 while reaching double-digit home run totals for the first time in two of those seasons. Cobb wasn't just the exception to the rule; he was the ultimate exception and baseball's ultimate hitter. Other great contact hitters have come and gone, like Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Rod Carew, Tony Gwynn, and Wade Boggs, but none have come close to the career achievements of Ty Cobb. A full-time starter for the Detroit Tigers from the age of 20, Cobb earned 9 consecutive American League batting titles and 12 out of 13 from 1907-1919 (his .371 average in 1916 placed him second behind Tris Speaker). In addition to placing the ball virtually anywhere he wanted, his blazing speed and superior base running ability turned sure outs for other players into singles and singles into doubles and triples (Cobb ranks #4 all-time in doubles and #2 in triples). "The longer I live, the longer I realize that batting is more a mental matter than it is physical," said 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." The featured Ty Cobb game-used Hillerich & Bradsby Louisville Slugger bat is a Cooperstown-worthy piece dated to 1922, when Cobb was a 35-year old player/manager and his .401 batting average put him over the .400 mark for the third and final time in his career, evaluated by PSA/DNA with a perfect score of GU 10. Measuring 34.5 inches in length and weighing a whopping 40.7 ounces, the C-3B center brand carrying the "dash-dot-dash" design narrows the origin of the bat to the 1919-22 time period, further whittled down to 1921-22 when taking the weight into consideration (records show that Cobb bats from 1919-1920 weighted between 37 and 38 ounces while subsequent Cobb bats carried higher weights). Tape residue can be seen on the handle with evidence that Cobb removed the tape and continued to use the bat. Given its extensive game-used and limited number of Cobb orders for bats during the 1921-22 time period, PSA/DNA has concluded that regardless of which year this bat was ordered, it was in fact used during the 1922 season, making it the first known example of a Ty Cobb bat used during a season in which he surpassed the .400 plateau. Issued before model numbers were displayed (this is a C28 model), the bat is uncracked with many ball and cleat marks on all sides of the barrel with, as previously mentioned, approximately 11 inches of a shadow where it was taped on the handle and then removed. Telltale signs of Cobb use include a darker shade to the barrel (a result of Cobb's habit of spitting tobacco juice on it), as well as cleat marks and pine tar on the handle that appeared after the tape was removed, proving again that Cobb removed the tape but continued to use the bat. Cobb was known to use both taped and untaped bats, so it is reasonable to assume that if Cobb liked a particular war club but didn't approve of the grip, he'd make modifications with tape and pine tar, as is the case here. The pine tar has a gap of several inches, a result of Cobb's famous open grip. With all of these characteristics displayed, PSA/DNA has given the bat the ultimate rating of GU 10. A phenomenal specimen and perhaps the finest game-used Ty Cobb known to exist! Full LOA from John Taube - PSA/DNA.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $75,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $198,613.20
Number Bids: 20
Auction closed on Friday, January 24, 2020.
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