Spring 2019 Premium Auction Closing May 11
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/12/2019

In the first two decades since the turn of the 20th Century, Napoleon Lajoie was among the greatest players to ever swing a bat. He won five batting titles, including four-straight from 1901 through 1904. His competition with Ty Cobb was the stuff of legend, with Cobb being a brash, aggressive character and Lajoie playing the part of his exact opposite - quiet and humble. Lajoie’s popularity and leadership ability made him the obvious choice to manage Cleveland and the team was called the “Naps” in his honor for the entire time he was their skipper.

By 1914 Lajoie reached a statistical plateau that only two players had surpassed up to that point – 3,000 career hits. On September 27, 1914, Lajoie became the third member of what would eventually be known as the 3,000 Hit Club. For many more years this exclusive club would only count Lajoie, Honus Wagner and Cap Anson as its sole members. For 1915, Lajoie joined Connie Mack’s Athletics, but despite Nap’s .280 average, nothing could rescue the A’s from recording one of the worst records in their history. Nap played one last season, 1916, before hanging up his spikes. When he walked away from the game, he held claim to the title of “best second baseman of all-time” and holder of the highest recorded single-season batting average - .426 – a mark unmatched to this very day.

This J.F. Hillerich bat was used by the great Lajoie sometime during the 1914 and 1915 seasons. The bat experts at MEARS have determined that the bat’s length of 34 inches and weight of 39oz are both acceptable and compare favorably to existing Lajoie bats from the 1915 era. The Louisville company patented their new “Kork” grip bats on September 15, 1914 and the style of center brand is that used up until the end of the 1915 season, thereby allowing MEARS to date the bat circa 1915. The bat displays heavy game use. The barrel is covered with ball marks and cleat imprints and the heavy ball contact has created some checking and dead wood on the barrel. There is some discoloration found on the barrel and on the handle where the “Kork” grip has been removed. Despite the heavy game use, the bat is un-cracked and the stampings are clear and legible. An excellent gamer attributed to one the greatest players to ever don a Cleveland jersey. This bat comes with an LOA from MEARS (315710) for the game use and has been graded an A6.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $3,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $13,200.00
Number Bids: 12
Auction closed on Sunday, May 12, 2019.
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