Winter 2020 Catalog Auction Ending Feb 22
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There’s no better-known poem in sports than Franklin Pierce Adams’ "Baseball's Sad Lexicon,” better known as "Tinker to Evers to Chance." This infield trio led the Chicago Cubs to four National League pennants and a pair of World Championships from 1906 to 1910. Frank Chance, the Cubs first baseman, had begun playing for the team before the turn of the century when the club was known as the “Orphans.” From 1905 to 1912 Chance was Chicago’s skipper as well, showing his versatility as both a ballplayer and a leader.

Chance moved on to the Yankees as a player/manager in 1913, but age and injuries limited his playing time. After 1914 he moved to the Pacific Coast League where he managed the Los Angeles Angels to a pennant in 1916. Chance returned the majors in 1923 as manager of the Boston Red Sox and had signed on as skipper of the Chicago White Sox for the following season when he was stricken with influenza. Complications set in and the final component of "Baseball's Sad Lexicon” passed away on September 15, 1924. This stately Spalding bat is attributed to Frank Chance’s final season with the Cubs and subsequent years as a major and minor league player/manager.

The 1912-1925 era Spalding Autograph Model bat is un-cracked and displays excellent use. Ball marks are found on the right, left and back barrel and slight checking from repeated ball contact is present on the back barrel. Scuffs and abrasion from contact with the ground and other equipment can be seen throughout and there are some white streaks or marks scattered from the barrel to the knob. The Spalding logo stamped into the knob end is still sharp as is the barrel stamping. The wood has taken on a deep sepia brown hue with time, giving the Chance gamer tremendous eye appeal. This bat’s characteristics and factory label stamping dates this bat to the 1912-1925 period. In addition to supplying their “Autograph Model” bats to the named major league players, Spalding made these models available to other professional players as well as through their catalogs. Thus, PSA/DNA cannot confirm game use by Frank Chance, but they can definitively state that the bat’s weight (41.6 oz) and length (35”) are consistent with the bats known to have been ordered and game used by Chance. It hardly needs to be stated that game used bats from any of the famed “Tinkers to Evers to Chance trio of Hall of Fame legends are hard to come by, and this Frank Chance Spalding model is one of the finer examples in the hobby to today. This bat comes with a LOA from PSA/DNA (1B18353) for the game use and has been graded a solid GU 6.

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