January 2020 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/24/2020
If there was an institution of higher learning devoted solely to the history of baseball, New York Yankees legend Babe Ruth would be, just as he was in real life, in a class by himself. Any baseball historian, or professor of Babe Ruth 101 as it were, would have no trouble creating a curriculum of just perusing the Babe's career statistics to come up with all sorts of interesting angles that demonstrate how "The Bambino" not only conquered the sport; he redefined it. For example, had Ruth not missed a significant amount of time in the 1922 and 1925 seasons, he would have won the American League home run title 14 years in a row. And in the season that would have started the streak, he was primarily a pitcher. 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 winning bidder of this 1929-30 Babe Ruth game-used bat is about to have a really good year as well, adding one of the finest and most historically significant pieces of baseball history to what is no doubt a world-class collection. Ruth tinkered with various models and brands over the course of his 22-year career but did most of his damage with the lumber of an H&B Louisville Slugger like the one featured here, 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 away from him. Many other game-used Babe Ruth bats, including an example featured in the baseball Hall of Fame, display these same characteristics. Outstanding use is evident with a slight handle crack that was professionally repaired while 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. Just being in the presence of this incredible piece of history, it boggles the mind to think that on this very day 89 years ago, Babe Ruth probably had this same piece of lumber in his hands with 50,000 fans cheering him on to do what he accomplished 714 times in his illustrious career. How can it possibly get any better than this? Full LOA from Vinca 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.: $200,844.88
Number Bids: 19
Auction closed on Friday, January 24, 2020.
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