Holiday Auction Closing December 7 ,2019
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In 1919 Babe Ruth straddled the line between being the best left-hander in the American League with being the newest power hitter in the game, leading the league with a then-record 29 homers. Boston was unsure of how to deal with this new species of ballplayer, as the game was transitioning from the pitching-centric Deadball period and entering the modern home run era. Boston solved their interesting dilemma by trading Ruth to the New York Yankees for an unheard of $100,000 and another $300,000 in the form of a loan.

Unlike Boston, the Yankees new exactly what to do with Ruth and promptly took away his toe plate and sent him out to right field as an everyday player. Ruth responded by setting home run records year after year and completely redefining the art of hitting. From 1918 to 1922, the seasons this bat can be dated to, Ruth hit 177 home runs, averaged .350, won three consecutive home run, RBI, on-base percentage, runs and slugging awards. Quite simply, when the Babe used this bat, there was no better player on earth than he. This 1918-1922 era Hillerich & Bradsby R2/40BR model bat exhibits excellent game use and has a handle crack. The handle has been repaired with nails and the front and back barrel also contains repair nails. Ball marks are found on the left and right barrel and cleat imprints are visible on all sides.

The right barrel has been planed to receive factory “side writing” instructions which reads “39 Geo. H. Ruth” in grease pencil. The “39” is believed to indicate the period weight of the bat. Today this bat weighs in at 38 ounces, the loss of one ounce being consistent with age. Ruth’s ordering records at the Louisville Slugger factory show that this bat’s length of 36 inched and 38 ounces corresponds to the 36”-39oz bats ordered by the slugger during the 1918 to 1922 seasons and the center brand label style further indicates this early time period. PSA/DNA has opined that the reason this is bat has a 40BR retail model center brand is quite simply an error at the factory and has provided other examples of this occurring in their extensive Letter of Authenticity that accompanies this bat. This bat is a stunning example of the tool with which Babe Ruth made himself into the greatest home run hitter of all-time. This bat comes with a LOA from PSA/DNA (1B10383) for the game use.

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