Jackie Robinson 70th anniversary auction to benefit JRF ending April 29
Although he’ll forever be known by his nickname of “Pee Wee”, the Dodger captain’s given name was Harold, often shortened to “Hal”. “Pee Wee” was a childhood nickname that derived from his being the marble champion of Louisville, Kentucky: he used a type of marble called a “peewee” as his shooter. The name stuck despite his 5’-10” height, but it took him about a decade of big league seasons before he could bring himself to order his bats with his nickname stamped on the barrel. Up until the early 1950’s Reese had his barely emblazoned with “Hal” Reese”, just as this 1949 gamer demonstrates.
1949 was a significant year in both Reese and the Dodgers story. For the second time in three years, Brooklyn fought their way to the pennant, in the process emerging as the team that would dominate the National League for the next decade. Reese, who began with the Dodgers back in 1939, was by now the club’s respected captain, and it was his presence that helped ease Jackie Robinson and the other black player’s into the fabric of the Dodgers clubhouse.
It was the 1949 season in which the famed “Boys of Summer” team can trace its origin, and this bat was there, right in the thick of it. The bat’s center brand dates the bat to the 1948-1949 years and the length of 34.5” narrows it down to 1949, the only year Reese ordered M117 bats in this weight. The Hillerich & Bradsby M117 model bat shows excellent use with a professionally repaired handle crack. Many ball marks are visible on the barrel along with cleat imprints, and the ash has aged to a rich golden brown patina. The model number “M117” has been stamped into knob end. A tremendous bat swung by the captain of baseball’s most mythical team - the Brooklyn Dodgers. The bat comes with a full LOA from PSA/DNA (1B12541) for the game use, who have graded this bat a “GU 8.5”.
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