Jackie Robinson 70th anniversary auction to benefit JRF ending April 29
Roy Campanella was already a star in the Negro Leagues when he was called up to the Dodgers in 1948. A decade in the Negro League had taught Campanella how to adroitly handle a pitching staff and he quickly became Brooklyn’s main backstop. His big bat and calming influence behind the plate got Brooklyn to the World Series in 1949. By 1951 Campy was not only one of the team’s most beloved and respected players, but also its biggest offensive threat. Campy hit a tremendous .325 with 33 home runs and drove in 108 runs as the Dodgers and Giants battled for the pennant. This explosive output coupled with his leadership on the field earned Campy the first of his three Most Valuable Player Awards.
The next year, 1952, the Dodgers succeeded in winning the pennant, Campanella hitting 22 homers and just missing the 100 RBI mark. This Hillerich & Bradsby bat was made for, and used by, the great catcher during those two memorable summers, later immortalized in Roger Kahn’s bestseller “The Boys of Summer”. Campy’s Hillerich & Bradsby G80 model bat shows heavy use with a professionally repaired handle crack. Slight checking from repeated ball contact is visible on the back barrel. Many ball marks with stitch impressions can be seen on the barrel along with green bat rack paint streaks, no doubt picked up in such storied venues as Crosley Field, Sportsman’s Park and Ebbets Field. A light coat of pine tar still coats the handle and the model number “G80” is stamped into the knob end. “CAMPANELLA” in block letters is stamped into the bat’s barrel and the end shows great scuffing from contact with the ground. The bats ash wood has aged to a very attractive dark, golden brown. PSA/DNA has determined this to be a 1951-1952 model by the combination of the 1950-1960 era center brand with the placement of the P9 “Powerized” logo variation which was used in 1951-1952. This is a tremendous piece of game used history, swung by Brooklyn’s greatest catcher during the first of his two MVP seasons. This historic bat comes with a Letter of Authenticity from PSA/DNA (1B05223) who have graded this bat an almost perfect GU 9.
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