Consignments Wanted. Immediate need for Game Worn Jerseys, Game Used Bats, Autographs, Memorabilia of all categories. Collections big and small. Please contact Troy R. Kinunen at (414) 828-9990 or email email@example.com
Babe Ruth will always remain the king of collectables. In the past several years, the finest of Babe Ruth game used bats have sold for $388,378 and $533,750. Make no mistake, both were true hobby gems and posted unquestionable provenance.
In the world of game used bats, factory records, documented length, and documented weight are the corner stones of bat authentication. Although this lot is absent of side writing, vault marks, or an autograph, it does boast the basic building blocks of a quality game used Babe Ruth bat.
Examination of the center brand determines the bat was produced at the Louisville Slugger factory between the years of 1923-30. Branded into the barrel is the 2nd version of the George “Babe” facsimile signature. The model is consistent with the examples favored by Ruth during the era.
Measuring 35” and weighing 36 ounces in weight, this model is consistent with Babe Ruth H&B personal bat records for the era. Regarding length, during the years 1923-30, Ruth requested bats in the following lengths:
non specified, n/s
Other 35” Babe Ruth bats examined by MEARS from the 1921-30 era include:
MEARS #251872, 35”
MEARS #281872, 35”
Therefore, this bat falls within the documented length range of bats requested by Ruth during the 1923-30 era.
The records indicated that during the years of 1923-30, Ruth requested bats to weight 36 to 42 ounces. Records indicate that on 11 occasions Ruth requested bats to be sent weighing 36 or 38 ounces. This bat falls within the documented weight range for Ruth ordered bats from the era.
Bat exhibits heavy game use. In the area directly above the facsimile barrel signature, a 2” x 9” area shows signs of grain compression, ball, and deep stitch marks. Heavy game use bearing similar traits are found below the barrel in a lesser degree. Several cleat marks are scattered on the barrel. Several of the stitch marks are quite deep and penetrate into the wood grain. Deadwood, the positive game use trait of repeated contact between ball and bat, loosened the grain on both the front and reverse of the barrel. Signs are still visible in the area of the front of the bat.
For the sake of full disclosure, the bat has been professionally restored. The handle crack, tape, and checking have all underwent the highest level of professionally restoration with a successful attempt to bring the bat back to its near original condition. 1/3 of the knob was chipped and now is 100% intact. In addition to previously mentioned work, the finish was reviewed and appropriate care was taken when needed.
Even with conservation and restoration, the original game use is still visible upon inspection. As noted above, the ball, stitch, and cleat marks are still present in the area directly above the barrel stamping.
Aesthetically, the bat still displays in remarkable condition. The most important trait, the George “Babe” Ruth barrel stampings displays near mint as the factory applied it with conviction. Only the slight rising of the grain from the deadwood in that area keeps it from being classified as MINT. As luck would have it, this particular selection of ash illuminates a light golden hue, which when coupled the deep barrel stamping, allows for perfect contrast. The display ability of this example leaves nothing to be desired.
Final Grade (MEARS A7.5): A base grade of 5 points was assigned for bat matching factory records. 3 points were assigned for bat exhibiting heavy game use. Minus ½ point for deadwood that affects factory stampings. Note to restoration included.
During the past 5 years, this is only the second factory recorded Babe Ruth bat handled by MEARS Auctions. The last example was 1921-30 George “Babe” Ruth H&B Louisville Slugger Professional Model Game Used Bat – “The Looey-Ville Trade Bat, Ruth for a six pack” – (MEARS A7.5), which sold March 26th, 2011 for $28,353.
With its mid 1920s dating, factory recorded length, weight, and model, and display ability, collectors will be proud to add this bat to their collection.
LOA Troy R. Kinunen / MEARS Auctions
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