2019 Summer Premium Live and Catalog Auction Lots 1-82 Close Aug 1- 83-end close 8/10
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Absentee portion of this auction is open for bidding.
The live portion of this session will begin Thursday, August 1, 2019 at 8:00 PM EDT.

Today Ted Williams is known by the title he began his career in pursuit of: "The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived.” This well-earned title was earned by Ted over a two-decade career twice interrupted by wartime service in the Marine Corps during World War II and Korea. Along the way Williams won six batting crowns, four home run titles, a pair of Triple Crowns, was voted the AL’s MVP twice and his career on-base percentage of .482 has never been bested. But before all of that, Ted Williams was that skinny kid from the West Coast trying to break into the majors with nothing more than raw talent and an intense belief in his ability to be the best there ever was.

The Red Sox were so enamored with the rookie that they traded away a .340 hitter to make room for him in the outfield. Not since Joe DiMaggio had there been a rookie upon who so much expectation was placed. And as would be his hallmark throughout his career, Ted Williams rose to the occasion, hitting .327 with 31 home runs and his 145 RBIs made him the first rookie in history to lead the league in that category. Back in 1939 there was no “Rookie of the Year,” but the great Babe Ruth gave that title to the Red Sox slugger to which Williams replied it was, “good enough for me.” This bat was there at the beginning of the legend of Ted Williams.

This Hillerich & Bradsby pro model bat was used by Williams during the 1939 to 1942 period, a time in which he quickly established himself as the game’s premier hitter by winning two batting titles, a pair of home run crowns and the first of his two Triple Crowns. He also set the baseball world on fire when he hit .406 in 1941, becoming the last player in history to reach that rarified mark. The bat experts at MEARS are able to date this gamer to Williams’ 1939 to 1942 seasons by a combination of clues found on the bat. The first two are the bat’s weight and length. Every good baseball fan knows of Ted’s exacting specifications for the bats he used, and the 35-inch length and 32-ounce weight of this model matches the specs found on his factory order records from the 1939 to 1942 period. The center brand style is the one which Hillerich & Bradsby used from 1934 to 1944, but since Williams first signature model bat was made in 1939 and he entered the Marines after the 1942 season, the dates of 1939-42 are applied. The bat’s handle has been scored to enhance the grip; a trait found on Williams gamers from this period. As one would expect on the bat used by “The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived,” there is heavy use found on the barrel. Ball marks with stitch impressions can be seen along with bat rack paint streaks. Though the handle has been cracked and repaired, there is no dead wood found on the barrel. The knob has illegible markings in faded black ink which MEARS has been unable to identify, though they do not appear to be a uniform number. This is a truly museum-worthy bat, a piece of baseball history that was present in Ted Williams’ hands as he was forging the career that would make him one of the game’s immortals. The bat comes with a LOA from MEARS (315561) for the game use and has been graded a solid A8.

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