Summer Premium Live and Catalog Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/27/2017

     Holding a bat like this is like touching history - in fact, you are doing just that. This Hillerich & Bradsby bat is a direct link to the greatest ballplayer of all time: Babe Ruth. And what's more, this bat was swung by the Bambino during the most productive period of his career, 1923-1930. It was in 1923 that the forgotten kid from St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys in Baltimore emerged as the most popular figure in the country. That summer Ruth hit a career high .393, and his 41 homers helped the Yankees not only clinch the pennant by 17 games, but also win their very first World Championship. Ruth also led the league in doubles and set a new MLB record by reaching base an incredible 379 times. He ended the year by being named the AL's Most Valuable Player.

     The following season Ruth win the batting crown with a .378 average as well as home runs, runs, walks, on base percentage, slugging, and strike outs. And so it went for the remainder of the 1920's as the name Ruth and baseball became almost synonymous in the public's eye. In retrospect, Ruth and his legacy has taken on an almost mythical, Paul Bunyanesque quality, and it is easy to overlook how tremendous an output Ruth turned out during this period, Indeed, his 1923-1930 stat lines almost look like fiction. During those eight seasons Ruth AVERAGED 48 home runs a year. Many teams at the time were fortunate if their entire club collectively hit that many in a season. And the Babe wasn't all home runs either, during that same time period he hit for a .354 average, and swiped 65 bases, including 10 at the age of 35 in 1930. No player, before or since, has so completely dominated the game in so many categories like Babe Ruth did in the 1923-1930 period - and this bat dates right to that exact period of Ruth's career.

     The bat displays Ruthian use throughout - the barrel retains many ball marks and stitch impressions, along with cleat imprints and abrasions from storage and contact with the ground. The coloration of the wood carries a dark caramel color, giving this already historically important bat a very visually attractive appearance as well. The barrel and center brand stamping retains its blackened coloration which contrasts nicely with the warm ash wood. The bat has been professionally restored in the in the area of the barrel and handle where a crack and dead wood has been restored. This restoration has no way obscured the original game use. Ruth's cleat imprints and ball marks are clearly visible. Like most ball players, Ruth ordered bats of varying weights and lengths over his career. Fortunately for collectors, Hillerich & Bradsby retained the copious files that recorded every ball player's bat order dating to the early years of the 20th century. From these records, MEARS has determined that during the 1923-1930 period, Ruth placed several orders for bats that match the 35 inch, 38 oz specs on this bat. Based on the center brand, the bat's use can be narrowed to the 1923-1925 period as the center brands were much different from 1925-1928 on Ruth models. A stunning game used bat used by the greatest slugger of all-time, during the finest seasons of his career. This bat comes with an LOA from MEARS (325354) for the game use and has graded this bat an A7.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $15,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $37,200.00
Estimate: $35,000+
Number Bids: 11
Auction closed on Sunday, August 6, 2017.
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