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Prior to the 1953 season, Campy used a G80 model. As many players often do, Roy Campanella switched and the C188 model was debuted on July 13th, 1953. The switching of model had an immediate and lasting impact, as Campy hit a career high 147 RBI’s, 41 HR’s and his second highest careerbatting average at .312.
While swinging this G188 model, Roy Campanella was awarded his 2nd MVP award. The C188 model stayed his favorite and during the years he swung it, 1953-57. Campy was a 4 time all-star (1953, 1954, 1955, 1956). The Brooklyn Dodgers went onto to win the 1955 World Series, bring the Championship back to Brooklyn It would be there last before leaving for California. He was awarded his third and final MVP award during the 1955 season.
The G188 model stayed with Campy, and he ordered it during his final 1957 season. It was not the last model he used, as he did experiment with a S2 which he requested on August 6th, 1957. It is documented that his trusty G188 was with him during his final season.
Based on an examination of the bat, the label, model, length, and weight, it can be verified that this bat was available for Campy to use for any or all of the following: 4 all-star games, 2 MVP seasons (1953 & 1955), 1955 World Series, and his final season before his automobile accident, 1957.
During January of 1958, an automobile accident left Roy Campanella paralyzed and his career and legacy was frozen in time. He was only 35 years old when he played his final game on September 29, 1957. This model bat would have been available for that game.
Manufacturer: Hillerich & Bradsby
Model C188: When examining Roy Campanella’s personal H&B bat records, it is verified that he ordered the C188 starting on July 13th, 1953 and continued through April 23rd, 1957. Numerous ordered were placed specifically in 1955 & 1956. C188 is factory stamped on the knob and was a standard practice by the H&B company during the era.
Length 35”: Bat measures 35” and is documented via Campanella’s personal bat records that he requested 35” bats during the 1953-57 era.
Weight 33.5 ounces: Currently weighing 33.5 ounces, this bat is consistent with bats ordered by Campy that would have weighed between 33-35 ounces when it left the factory.
Wood: Bat is turned from professional grade ash.
Use: Uncracked. Bat has heavy game use both above and below the facsimile barrel signature. There is checking of the knob. Additionally, due to heavy use and stress on the grain, there are signs of checking on the front of the barrel, associated with heavy use caused from repeated contact of bat to ball. Ball marks and stitch marks can be seen on the right, left, and bottom of barrel. Cleat marks are also found on the barrel. Pinetar, a trait of Campanella, can be found via light trace on the lower handle.
Restoration: The reverse barrel of the bat has undergone some restoration and is noted for accuracy and does not affect the final grade of the bat.
Final Grade MEARS A8. A base grade of 5 points was assigned for bat matching factory H&B records. 3 points were assigned for bat having heavy game use, grain checking, ball/stitch marks.
Note: An additional full LOA by PSA/DNA accompanies this letter. Authenticator John Taube assigned this bat a grade of PSA/DNA GU7.5.