Summer Premium Card and Memorabilia Auction Closing August 7 & 9

Lot #667: 1973-75 Johnny Bench Game Used Hillerich & Bradsby B278 Model Bat - Big Red Machine Era (PSA/DNA GU 9.5 & Resolution)


No one revolutionized the way the position of catcher was played more than Johnny Bench. His deft handling of pitchers helped lead the Cincinnati Reds to back-to-back World Championships and numerous National League West titles. This stunning Hillerich & Bradsby B278 bat dates to the very height of the Big Red Machines dominance of the NL, 1973-1975. This bat displays outstanding game use and has a crack in the upper handle. There are ball marks, red and green bat rack streaks, cleat imprints and checking or grain swelling from repeated ball contact present on the barrel. The handle has a heavy coating of pine tar and the bat’s model number “B278” is stamped on the knob. Bench’s number “5” is also handwritten on the knob and top barrel in red marker.

According to the game experts at PSA/DNA, who have provided an LOA for this bat, the labeling period was determined by the center brand with the version of “Powerized” to the right of the center brand on this bat and the model number stamped on the knob. PSA/DNA refers to Vince Malta’s book “A Complete Reference Guide Louisville Slugger Professional Player Bats” and this bat displays a C-20 center brand that was on Hillerich & Bradsby bats from 1969-1979 with the P-20 variation of “Powerized” appearing from 1973 to present day. The model numbers were moved from the knob to the face of the barrel starting in 1976, so given a Louisville Slugger professional model bat with a C-20 center brand, a P-21 “Powerized” and a BB/BS-7 barrel stamp, this bat was made between 1973 and 1975. This bat comes with a LOA from PSA/DNA (1B09241) for the game use and has been given a very high grade of GU 9.5. Additionally, there is a LOA from Resolution Photomatching (426822), who have provided a possible photo match to an image from June of 1974.

Final Bid (Includes Buyers Premium):$13,200
Minimum Bid:$1,000
Number of Bids:35