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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/30/2016
Ty Cobb signed his first Louisville Slugger contract on October 13, 1908. At the time, Cobb was in his third year in the Majors and had already established himself as a star. His bat had helped lead the Detroit Tigers to their very first pennant and it was only natural that the premier bat manufacturer in the country would seek out his endorsement. From the center brand stamp the bat experts at MEARS have deduced that this bat dates from the 1908-1910 period – the very moment Ty Cobb was forging his reputation as the game’s best hitter. It’s interesting to note that Cobb, always a savvy investor (his stock in an upstart beverage company called “Coca-Cola” made him a very rich man…) exchanged the customary $75 endorsement check for a bin of specially constructed bats. Cobb was always perfecting his craft and smartly knew that by experimenting with different woods, sizes and weights he’d be able to expand his earning way beyond a $75 check. Since this is the days before the stamped “signature model” bats, J.L. Hillerich and Son created a beautiful illustrated decal featuring Ty Cobb that was applied to the barrel. This bat’s 38-ounce weight and 34 5/8” length corresponds with bats Cobb ordered during this period of his career as does the beautiful flame burned finish. Cobb’s dedication to his craft is evident in his instructions for the manufacture of his bats, right down to the type of wood he preferred: “and try to find wood with whirly knots in it”. The reverse of this bat displays just that type of wood as he preferred. The heavy game use has been determined by MEARS to be consistent with other Ty Cobb examples. Spiral tape has been applied on the handle extending 11 ½” from the knob. The cleat mark found on the barrel end is present on other Cobb game used examples. The knob of this bat has been marked with “Taft’s” in script and the initials “WE” scratched in the wood, the significance of which has been lost to time. The knob shows no trace of inch marks, which would identify this bat as a retail model. Also retail models were not available in ½” increments such as this bat. The bat is un-cracked and there are some areas of dead wood on the barrel end. The decal, applied on the barrel where Cobb was most likely to connect, has been worn off with time, though its remains are still clearly visible on the barrel. Collectors may find Cobb game used bats on the market from time to time – his career lasted for more than 20 years – but to come across one that dates from his formative and most productive years is quite a find. That it is one of the pre-Louisville Slugger “decal bats” is almost unheard of. This Cooperstown-worthy bat has been thoroughly examined by the experts at MEARS and their Letter of Authenticity has graded this Cobb gamer a hearty A8.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $10,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $14,640.00
Estimate: $25,000+
Number Bids: 4
Auction closed on Sunday, May 8, 2016.
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