Winter 2020 Catalog Auction Ending Feb 22
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/23/2020

During the Yankees “Murderer’s Row” era, when Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig hit a home run, the chances are they also scored Earle Combs. From 1924 through the early 1930s, The “Kentucky Colonel” was the Yankees valued leadoff hitter and centerfielder. On any other ballclub Combs would have been the star, but with dynamic home run heroes like Ruth and Gehrig in the lineup, the centerfielder’s batting exploits were often overshadowed. For instance, Combs hit a majestic .356 with 231 hits and 131 runs scored on the legendary 1927 Yankees team, but Ruth and Gehrig owned the sports pages that summer. However, manager Miller Huggins made sure to give Combs his due, telling a sportswriter, “If you had nine Combs' on your ball club, you could go to bed every night and sleep like a baby.” He led the league in triples three times and averaged .325 with over 200 hits every season he played ball.

Regarded as a gentleman in an era when most ballplayers were a rough and tough bunch, Combs was admired by both his peer and the baseball writers that wrote about them. Fred Lieb, the dean of 1920s baseball writers had this to say about the Yankees leadoff hitter: "If a vote were taken of the sportswriters as to who their favorite ballplayer on the Yankees would be, Combs would have been their choice." His career came to an abrupt end when he crashed into the outfield wall in St. Louis’ Sportsman’s Park, fracturing his skull, breaking his shoulder and tearing his knee. Combs spent two months in the hospital and came back to play one last season in 1935. Afterwards he became a coach for the Yankees and taught a young kid from California named Joe DiMaggio how to be a big-league centerfielder. Combs was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1970, where he humbly told reporters, “I thought the Hall of Fame was for superstars, not just average players like me.” However, a career average of .325 and 9 World Championships (3 as a player and 6 as a coach) is anything but average. This incredible, museum-worthy bat was used by the Kentucky Colonel during the finest seasons of his Hall of Fame career. After careful examination of the bat’s center brand and the absence of the “Powerized” stamping used on later bats, PSA/DNA has dated this bat to the 1928 to 1931 period. Combs’ ordering records in the Hillerich & Bradsby company archives show that this bat’s weight of 40.4 ounces and 34.75 length falls into the acceptable range to match bats ordered by the Yankees’ great during this period.

This is one of two known Earle Combs game used bats. Neither the Yankees nor the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown have an Earle Combs game used bat in their respective collections. The bat is un-cracked and displays outstanding game use. Many ball marks are found on the right, left and back barrel and cleat imprints are clustered on the left barrel. Two small knob chips have been professionally repaired and the initials “C.A.C.” that were carved post-Combs’ usage into the barrel have been restored. The ash has taken on a deep, golden brown hue over the years, making this a very attractive piece. Although Combs was one of the Yankees more popular players and had a lengthy and high-profile career, very few of his game used bats have survived. PSA/DNA, one of the most knowledgeable bat graders and experts in the hobby, have identified just two Earle Combs gamers, one in the Louisville Slugger archive and this one offered here. An historical game used bat from the Yankees greatest leadoff hitter, used during his best seasons. This bat comes with a LOA from PSA/DNA (1B18184) for the game use.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $15,990.00
Number Bids: 18
Auction closed on Sunday, February 23, 2020.
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