Babe Ruth Auction To Benefit Babe Ruth Foundation Closing February 18
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/18/2017
If one thinks of Babe Ruth, the image of a well-used Louisville Slugger bat comes to mind almost immediately. From 1914 to 1935, Ruth used this simple, yet perfectly engineered implement to set and break home run and slugging records at will. There’s an often-quoted fact about the Babe that through repeated use has lost its profoundness over time, but it bears a retelling: after Ruth hit his 139th career homer on July 18, 1921, every home run he hit afterwards was the new record. Think of that – Babe Ruth broke his own record 575 more times before he retired in 1935. There has never been a player whose talent was so far above his contemporaries as Babe Ruth. This exquisite bat embodies that era when Ruth was shattering records with almost every swing. The game used bat experts at PSA/DNA have determined that based on the specifications and center brand stamping this Babe Ruth gamer dates to the 1923 to 1925 period. During that three year period, the Babe hit a total of 112 home runs - twice leading the league in that category, won a batting crown, a World Championship and was voted the Most Valuable Player in the American League. These were the years that solidified the Babe’s reputation as the greatest player who had ever swung a bat – and this was all before his historic 60 home run season of 1927 or the “called shot” of the 1932 World Series.
The bat presented here is a Hillerich & Bradsby Babe Ruth Professional Model Bat. The bat measures 35 inches in length and weighs in at a Ruthian 37.7 ounces. As stated above, the center brand style indicated a manufacturing date of 1923 to 1925. The stamping of “125” in the center brand indicate the bat was produced specifically for the player’s professional use – store model bats available to the public were stamped with a “40” and the player’s initials, for example “40BR” for a Ruth store model bat. The center brand and Ruth’s facsimile signature have slight branding flaws, as the stamping was applied unevenly at the Louisville factory, making the “12” of the “125” in the center brand and the middle of Ruth’s signature shallower than the rest of the stamping. By viewing the detailed photos, you can see that these imperfections do not in any way take away from the majesty of this Babe Ruth bat.
Just as you want to see on one of the Babe’s game used bats, the right and left barrel exhibits ball marks from a few Ruthian cuts. A few vintage flaws have been professionally restored on this bat. These include a handle crack, two small chips in the knob and slight checking on the barrel from repeated ball contact. The ash wood has taken on a warm, golden brown tone with age, enhancing the visual impact of this piece. An incredible part of baseball history, used by the game’s greatest slugger at a time when every swing was a potentially new world record. This bat comes with a full LOA from PSA/DNA (E36771), who have graded this bat a GU 5 and a LOA from Mears, who graded this bat an A6. Goldin Auctions will be donating 5% of the winning bid price of this lot and all lots in this auction to the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum.
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