October Legends
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/2/2013
To many, the bat is the most basic of all baseball equipment. While the game evolved and changed through the decades, the baseball bat has remained the one constant, unchanged by progress - or has it? Behind the scenes, bat manufacturers, especially Hillerich & Bradsby, have from time to time tried to improve upon the ballplayer’s primary tool. Take this Jackie Robinson H&B R17 for example. In the early 1960’s the factory decided to experiment on ways of combating the “checking” or grain swelling, that occurs on every baseball bat after repeated contact. In 1961 the factory produced a number of “spline” bats which were made with a panel of hickory wood inset into the back of the bat’s ash wood barrel. H&B manufactured a small batch of these in different weights using existing specs for Major League players. Eddie Mathews, Mickey Mantle and Jackie Robinson bat models were selected for the experiment and were distributed to players during spring training for testing. When these bats show up, they often show great use but it is undocumented whether or not they were used in actual league games. The bat is uncracked and shows good game use with ball marks and stitch impressions. The Jackie Robinson facsimile signature and Hillerich & Bradsby stamping are deep and clean. Interestingly, while Mantle and Mathews examples dating from the mid-1960’s have “Powerized” replaced by “SPLINE”, this Robinson model retains the standard markings. Pine tar is lightly coated on the handle and it has the model number “R17” stamped into the knob end. Though this Robinson Model bat was produced a few years after he retired, it is a great example of how manufacturers continued to made improvements and experiment with the games most basic equipment. Letter of Authenticity from PSA/DNA.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $300.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $387.75
Number Bids: 2
Auction closed on Saturday, November 2, 2013.
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