Winter 2020 Catalog Auction Ending Feb 22
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Hall of Famer Ted Williams was simply the greatest hitter who ever lived. Having lost three-plus seasons in his prime due to his military service in World War II and Korea, Williams still hit 521 home runs and finished his career with a tremendous .344 average – including the last player to hit .400 in a season with his historic .406 average in 1941. Williams often didn’t let his guard down and had an animosity built up towards the press and some of the Boston faithful who gave him schtick during his early days. So much so, even in his last at-bat, when he ended his career in 1960 at age 41 in storybook fashion by launching his 521st and final home run, Williams did not tip his cap or acknowledge the crowd, despite pleas from the Fenway faithful.

The Midsummer Classic was often a time when Williams wouldn’t be so curmudgeon and in his final All-Star Game appearance at Yankee Stadium was evident when a memorable photo of a grinning Ted Williams was comparing his bat with that of fellow American League All-Star and future AL MVP and Home Run King Roger Maris. The two sluggers are standing on the first base side of the batting cage holding their bats out and grinning ear-to-ear as they face each other, both in their home whites.

Offered here is the very Hillerich & Bradsby W166 Ted Williams model issued to Williams for what would be two pinch-hit appearances, one each for the first 1960 All-Star Game in Kansas City on July 11 and the second game in New York City two days later on July 13. In the New York game, Williams would single his lone plate appearance, recording the final All-Star Game hit of his career – a seventh inning single off of St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher Larry Jackson. In Williams’ 19 All-Star Game appearances, he combined for a .304 average, four home runs and 12 RBI.

As with most All-Star bats, this offered stick displays light but discernible and excellent game use. There are several ball marks and ball stitch impressions that are visible on the left and right barrel. There are green bat rack marks on the top front barrel and small cleat imprints can be seen on the right and left barrel. The handle has a light coating of a gripping substance which has been removed. Ted’s bat model number “W166” has been stamped on the knob and there is a small eye hook in the knob placed there by the Williams’ family for display.

The bat is un-cracked and the handle exhibits scraping consistent with Williams' practice of removing his customary blend of olive oil and rosin (rather than the traditional pine tar) and when the adhesive grew too thick for his liking, ex-Red Sox bat boy John Orlando, Jr. was often tasked with removing the substance, often using a butter knife in its eradication. The bat is 35 inches long and weighs 31.5 ounces, which perfectly match Williams’ ordering standards and to complete this historic gamer, Williams has signed his name in bold blue marker on the barrel. This bat comes with a LOA from PSA/DNA (1B06190), who have graded this bat its highest grade of GU 10. Please note that the PSA/DNA LOA references a letter of provenance from Williams’ daughter Claudia, however, that letter is not included with this bat. The above-referenced picture of Ted Williams and Roger Maris is included with this bat and there is an additional LOA from PSA/DNA (AD02624) for the signature.

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