Summer Premium Live and Catalog Auction

Lot #2: 1914-1919 Johnny Evers Game Used Draper & Maynard Professional Model Bat (MEARS A7)


      Forever linked to his famed double-play partners of Joe Tinker and Frank Chance, second baseman Johnny Evers was the spark plug of the Cubs’ championship teams of the early 1900's. Throughout his career Evers was regarded as possessing the sharpest mind in the game, winning as many ballgames with his head as he did with his bat or glove. After establishing himself as a star with the Cubs, in 1914 Evers went to the Boston Braves in one of the game's first "blockbuster" trades. His leadership and prodigious talent inspired the Braves to move from last place in July all the way to their first pennant in a mere 10 weeks. Evers then hit a resounding .438 in the World Series as the Braves humiliated Connie Mack's Athletics in a four-game sweep. Evers' 1914 season would be remembered as one of the finest of his Hall of Fame career. His flawless fielding led all National League second basemen and he was awarded the coveted Chalmers Award, baseball's Most Valuable Player Award at that time.

     This stunning bat was used by Johnny Evers during this most triumphant period of his career. The bat is a Draper & Maynard Model 10 bat with Johnny Evers' stamped signature on its barrel. The bat measures 32.5" in length. Johnny Evers game used bats are extremely rare, but existing examples referenced by the bat experts at MEARS show that the Hall of Famer preferred his bats 32.35 to 32.6875" in length. The bat weights in at 37.625 ounces and this also falls within the weights of the referenced Evers examples. The bat's barrel end exhibits a "squared, slightly rounded end" as Evers specified in his Hillerich & Bradsby ordering records. Both ends of the bat show that it was rasped by hand to achieve a specific weight as requested by the player. The retail Number 10 model bat produced by D&M came in 33"-36" models. This would explain the hand rasped ends of this bat in order to match Evers' desired weight.

      The bat's date can be approximated in several ways. The Draper & Maynard dog logo on the center brand has been documented to have been used on circa 1914-1917 store model bats found in company catalogs. Evers became an endorser of Draper & Maynard products beginning in 1917 when he was a member of the Boston Braves. D&M was based nearby in Plymouth, NH and the company's 1917 catalog appears to be the first mention in print of Evers’ endorsement of the Number 10 bat, which is the same model as this bat. MEARS have determined that the wear on the bats barrel corresponds to a left-handed batter, which Evers was. The presence of Evers stamped signature on the barrel also differentiates this bat from the retail models, which did not have this stamping.

      The bat shows heavy game use and has a one-inch crack in its handle. The wood on the barrel shows checking from age and cleat marks are clearly visible. A 12-inch spiral of dark adhesive tape wraps around the handle from the knob towards the center brand. The knob has a one-inch chip taken out of it and there are a few stray white spots of paint on its barrel. The knob end and barrel end show discoloration and abrasions as is expected from contact with the ground and storage. None of this distracts from the deep and clear stamping of the center brand and facsimile signature on the barrel. An incredibly rare game used bat from of one of the game's greatest Deadball Era stars and Hall of Famer. This bat comes with a Letter of Authenticity from MEARS who have graded this Hall of Fame-worthy bat an A7.

Final Bid (Includes Buyers Premium):$7,350
Minimum Bid:$2,500
Number of Bids:14