Summer Premium Live and Catalog Auction

Lot #1: Outstanding 1966 Willie Mays Game Used and Vintage Signed Hillerich and Bradsby S2 Model Bat (PSA/DNA GU 9.5 & JSA)


      By 1966 Willie Mays had established himself as the best ballplayer in the game. The first man to be called a "5-Tool Player", Mays could hit for average, hit for power, run the bases, throw and field. The year before he won his second MVP award, his 52 home runs that summer pushing his career total past the 500 mark. For seven consecutive seasons Mays batted in 100 or more runs and had taken the NL's home run crown for two seasons in a row. As a reward for his MVP season, the Giants made Mays the highest paid player in the game with a $130,000 contract for 1966. He was worth every penny as he hit .288 with 37 homers and for the eighth year in a row batted in over 100 runs. This is one of the bats Mays used during that summer of '66.

      As you'd expect from the club used by the best player in the game, this Hillerich & Bradsby S2 model bat shows tremendous game use. The bat's barrel is covered with ball marks and stitch impressions. There is a small amount of checking evident from repeated ball contact. It's exciting to think about the pitchers who could have left their marks on this bat - Spahn, Koufax, Drysdale, Gibson… A little bit of Candlestick Park clings to the bat's barrel in the form of green bat rack paint streaks. A moderate coat of pine tar extends from the handle to just past the "Powerized" brand, a distinctive trait of Willie Mays bats. The barrel carries "MAYS" in block letters along with marks imbedded into the wood from knocking the turf from his cleats. His immortal number "24" is hand written on the knob end. The original owner has traced over the "24" after he obtained it in 1966 and added the initials "W.M.".Beneath Willie's "24" the model number "S2" is stamped into the knob. The center brand easily dates this bat to the 1966 season as this particular brand was used by the manufacturer for that season only, and the bat's spec's of 34.75"/34oz perfectly match orders placed by him in June and early July of 1966.

      Pushing this bat into the top tier of baseball artifacts is the presence of Mays' signature on the back barrel. Signed in red marker "Best Wishes Willie Mays", this is a classic Mays signature dating from the very height of his playing career. An inscription written by the regional owner: "San Francisco Giants 1966" has been removed from the back barrel. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more desirable Willie Mays game used bat than this signed beauty from the very pinnacle of his Hall of Fame career. Game used bat expert John Taube of PSA/DNA graded it GU 9.5 (81395876).

Final Bid (Includes Buyers Premium):$12,000
Minimum Bid:$3,500
Number of Bids:15