Babe Ruth Auction To Benefit Babe Ruth Foundation Closing February 18
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/18/2017
Just as Babe Ruth began to fade, Lou Gehrig emerged as the American League’s premier home run hitter. The two tied for the home run crown in 1931 when they each had 46. Gehrig made baseball history the following season when he smashed four homers in a single game (it took a super-human leaping catch by Al Simmons to keep Lou from hitting five in the game!). Bat manufacturer Hillerich & Bradsby would have loved to claim Gehrig was swinging one of their Louisville Slugger’s during this period of his career, but Lou was using another brand while making history.
Gehrig, like many other stars like Ruth and Foxx, had made the switch to bats made by Hanna Manufacturing Company. The Athens, Georgia company had developed a finish called "Steel Tempered" that protected the wood from checking, the swelling and separation of the wood grain due to repeated ball contact. Hillerich & Bradsby eventually developed their own finish to curtail checking and Gehrig and the rest of the game’s biggest names switched back to Louisville Sluggers.
Unlike Hillerich & Bradsby, Hanna’s ordering records no longer exist. However, in authenticating this bat, PSA/DNA has referred to an existing side-written model 11 Hanna bat that Gehrig sent to the Louisville Slugger factory to copy. The bat shows outstanding use with a repaired handle crack. Many ball marks are visible on the right, left and back barrel and cleat marks are found on the right left and back barrel as well. The length “5” is stamped on the front barrel to the right of the model number. This is a superb gamer attributed to one of the game’s most beloved stars used during the prime of his career. The bat comes with a full LOA from PSA/DNA (1B11796) for the game use and has been graded a “GU 6”. 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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