Goldin Elite Auction Closing August 22 10PM Est
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Even during the worst of times, and there were many of them during the 1950s and 1960s in Wrigley Field, Ernie Banks gave the Cubs faithful something to cheer about. From his debut in 1953, the Cubs shortstop’s sunny disposition and rosy outlook on life warmed the hearts of Chicago fans and his booming bat made it seem as if the elusive pennant was just a swing away.

Banks was the first player in National League history to win back-to-back MVP Awards in 1958-59 and led the league in homers in 1958 and 60. He made the All-Star team 14 times and finished his career with 512 home runs. In 1969 the Chicago Sun-Times asked fans to vote for the greatest Cub of all-time and Ernie Banks won, edging out such legends as Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, Hack Wilson and the immortal double-play combo of Tinkers to Evers to Chance. In the entire storied history of the ballclub, Ernie Banks is the only one man to be bestowed with the title “Mr. Cub.”

Banks used this bat during the 1965 season and has been attributed to Banks’ career home run 380, which was hit on May 1st in Houston. The 1965 season saw Banks hit 28 home runs, while driving in 106 and earning his ninth All-Star Game selection. This Hillerich & Bradsby M159 model bat has a slight crack in the handle, shows outstanding use. Numerous ball marks with stitch impressions can be found on the right, left and back barrel. The model number “M159” is stamped into the knob and the weight “30.4” is handwritten in pencil, while Mr. Cub’s iconic number “14” was handwritten in black marker and is also present on the knob. “ERNIE BANKS HIT 380TH CAREER HOME RUN WITH THIS BAT OFF KEN JOHNSON IN HOUSTON ON MAY 1, 1965” is written in large, bold black marker on the barrel. This bat comes with a letter of provenance from Kim Elston, who was one of the original bat boys for the newly named Houston Astros. Elston’s father Gene Elston, the 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame Ford C. Fricke Award winner, was the lead radio broadcaster for the Houston Colt .45’s/Astros from 1962 to 1986. Kim Elston states in his letter that he received this bat directly from Ernie Banks after he cracked the bat later in the game following his home run and that his father Gene added the inscription on the bat. The bat also comes with a LOA from PSA/DNA (1B18551) for the game use and has been graded a perfect GU 10.

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