Summer Premium Card and Memorabilia Auction Closing August 7 & 9

Lot #3021: 1923 Sam Rice Game Used Hillerich & Bradsby Pre Model Bat (PSA/DNA GU 9 & MEARS A9)


Sam Rice is one of those rare Hall of Famers who are all but forgotten today. It's not a reflection on his career stats - it's because Sam Rice's team is no more. The outfielder spent 19 of his 20 big league seasons with the Washington Senators. From 1915 to 1933 Rice was one of the most consistent hitters in the American League. When he managed to get on base, which was quite often, Rice was particularly effective. His deft base running could break a game wide open. His quickness was particularly effective in the outfield, most famously for a catch he made in the 1925 World Series when he snagged a fly ball and tumbled into the stands. The out was one of the most controversial calls in Series history, only fueled by Rice’s refusal to say either way if he made the catch. When he passed away in 1974, he left a letter which when opened revealed the answer - he did make the catch!

In 1923, Rice continued to put up great numbers, as he led the American League in triples with 18 and maintained a solid .316 batting average with 20 stolen bases and 75 RBI. This offered Hillerich & Bradsby Pre Model bat dates to Rice’s 1923 season. This bat displays outstanding game use and has a crack on the handle. There are ball marks on the left and back barrel, while the finish on the front barrel has darkened due to heat exposure. The handle has a gripping substance and the right barrel has vintage grease pencil writing that reads “Sam Rice 7-24-23 Washington BC”. Additional writing on the handle includes “Be Sure to Make Knob Little Larger”. According the experts at PSA/DNA, factory side writing was common from the teens to the early 1940’s as players in need of bats of the same model would send their preferred model back to the factory to request models of the same type. The factory would then plane and inscribe the bat with the length, weight, player’s name, date received and team affiliation. The writing on this bat confirms that it was returned by Rice himself to Louisville Slugger and serves as impeccable provenance. This information has been referenced on Rice’s Professional Bat Ordering Record (PBOR) which is on file at Louisville Slugger Inc. and includes the handle notation requesting a larger knob. Additionally, there are remnants of the original shipping label, which was applied to the bat when Rice returned it, that can still be seen on the left barrel. This bat comes with a LOA from PSA/DNA (1B00031) and has been given a very high grade of GU 9, plus a LOA from MEARS (309440) and has been graded an A9.

Final Bid (Includes Buyers Premium):$8,400
Minimum Bid:$1,000
Number of Bids:18