October Legends
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/2/2013
“The Duke of Tralee” began his Hall of Fame career in 1897 and over the span of 18 seasons totally changed the way the position of catcher was played. When the fiery backstop took the field in 1907 wearing protective shin guards he modified from cricket equipment, incensed fans rioted, causing the game to be forfeited. Despite a steady stream of ridicule by the press and fans alike, Bresnahan’s innovative shin guards were quickly adapted by both leagues. After a savage beaning that same year, the inventive catcher wiled away the time in his hospital bed drawing up the plans for a batting helmet, though it took almost 40 years to become reality. An especially fast ball player, Bresnahan often batted leadoff and his lifetime average of .279 was high in an era when catchers weren’t known for their hitting. Both John McGraw and Branch Rickey called him the best catcher they’d ever managed. This Spalding Gold Medal Autograph bat was game used by the Hall of Famer during the 1908-1910 seasons in which he played for both the New York Giants and St. Louis Cardinals. The thick-handled 32 3/4” long, 40oz Spalding bat differs from Bresnahan’s store model in that it lacks the company logo which stamped into the knob. Close examination shows lathe marks from the process of customizing the bat to Bresnahan’s weight specifications. Heavy game use is evident throughout this impressive bat. Particularly deep seam imprints can be seen on the barrel end as well as a deep slash mark. The bat has taken on a warm hue over time and Spalding’s factory markings and Bresnahan’s facsimile signature are deep and clear. It’s very rare that game used dead ball era bats come to auction and this is one of the finest we’ve seen. That it is attributed to a Hall of Fame catcher and baseball innovator like Bresnahan is extraordinary. Letter of Authenticity from MEARS who have graded this bat A7.5.
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $1,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $7,938.45
Number Bids: 14
Auction closed on Saturday, November 2, 2013.
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