Babe Ruth 100th Anniversary Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/12/2014
There are a few seasons in baseball history that just stand out as being special - 1927 with its Murderer's Row, 1951 with Branca and Thomson, 1975's Big Red Machine and the Fisk homer and of course 1941: the summer of Ted Williams' .406 and Joe DiMaggio's streak. This stunning Joe DiMaggio bat was used by the Yankee Clipper during that unforgettable season.

Joe went into the 1941 season riding high - his .352 average was tops in AL for the second year in a row and his $32,000 salary made him one of the highest paid sports stars in the world. Kids all over the country tried in vain to copy his sweet, graceful swing, something that just came naturally to him. As if the previous seasons weren't enough, DiMaggio's play in 1941 surpassed anything anyone predicted. On May 15th he singled in a game against Chicago and continued to hit. 5 consecutive games, then 10, then 15 - the whole country followed as his streak continued into June. 20, 30 then 40 games! As June turned into July it looked like DiMaggio would hit forever. When he finally went hitless in a game on July 17th, he had hit safely in 56 consecutive games. Along with Johnny Vander Meer's back-to-back no-hitters, DiMaggio's 56 game streak is considered unbreakable. But that's not the end of DiMaggio's 1941 season. After that hitless game in Cleveland, the Yankee Clipper hit safely in another 16 consecutive games! By the end of the season his average landed at .357 with 30 home runs and his 125 RBI led the league. It was a tribute to his talent and complete dominance of the game that he was chosen over Ted Williams and his .406 average as the American League's Most Valuable Player.

DiMaggio and the Yankees finished the season a distant 17 games ahead of second place Boston and swept into the World Series. Brooklyn never had a chance as the Yankees polished the Bums off in 5 games, putting the crown on top of DiMaggio's greatest season. This is one of the bats he used during that year! There are a few things that help us date this bat to that historic 1941 season. The Hillerich & Bradsby bat features its weight "35 1/2" stamped into its knob end. DiMaggio's factory records note that this was done on only the bats ordered between 1939 and 1942. The Hillerich & Bradsby center brand is the type used on bats produced during 1941. But the bat can be conclusively narrowed down to its use late in the 1941 season by what's NOT there: originally this bat was signed by 16 members of the New York Yankees. When the bat was examined by JSA a few players' signatures were deemed to be clubhouse so the former owner had them professionally removed. However, one of the signatures found to be authentic by JSA was that of Charlie Silvestri. Since he was with the White Sox in 1940 and joined the Army after the 1941 World Series, PSA has dated this bat to his only season spent with the Yankees - 1941.

It's a magnificent example of Hillerich & Bradsby engineering. The bat is 36 inches in length and 35.6 ounces in weight. The standard finish that coats the ash bat has warmed with age giving it an almost golden glow. The stampings are dark and strong, contrasting nicely with the finish. Being game used during DiMaggio's greatest season, it shows outstanding use. There was once a slight handle crack which has been subsequently repaired. Ball and stitch marks can be seen grouped on the left barrel, exactly where Joltin' Joe hit 'em. You can see green bat rack paint streaks on the barrel along with cleat imprints. DiMaggio was noted to have lightly sanded the handles of his game used bats and that characteristic can be seen on this outstanding example. One awesome and unique attribute this '41 bat has is DiMaggio's famed number "5" stamped into the knob end. No other DiMaggio bat has survived with this personalization on it. This unique aspect of the bat has led to some speculating that it was part of DiMaggio's bat order made especially from the 1941 World Series against Brooklyn. Any game used bat attributed to Joe DiMaggio is something special - that this bat can be definitively dated to 1941, than most special of seasons, makes it truly extraordinary. The bat is one of only 4 bats in the PSA database that can be placed to DiMaggio's 1941 record setting and MVP season. The bat comes a letter of Authenticity from PSA/DNA who have graded this bat a stunning GU 9.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $10,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $82,950.00
Number Bids: 26
Auction closed on Saturday, July 19, 2014.
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