While recently asked to evaluate a game used bat of a former New York Yankee who lead the team with a .455 batting average during the World Series, MEARS uncovered the players dark and troubled past.
According to our research, former Yankee outfielder Jake Powell, in a 1938 radio interview, made a racially offensive remark, which caused uproar. As part of his penance, Powell went to Harlem by himself after dark, walked into bar after bar, announced who he was, and bought everyone a drink. Ten years later, he was arrested in Washington, D.C., for passing bad checks. As officers watched in shock, Powell pulled out a gun in the middle of the police station and shot himself to death. (information taken from “The Game That Was: The George Brace Baseball Photo Collection”)
During the label period of 1934-44, Jake Powell played for the Senators (1934-36), Yankees (1936-40), and the Senators again (1943-45). During the examined label period of 1934-44, this bat was available for Jake Powell to use for three World Series appearances:
1936 New York Yankees World Series (he batted .455!)
1937 New York Yankees World Series
1938 Chicago Cubs World Series
For the PCL collectors, Jake Powell finished his career with the 1940 San Francisco Seals. With no distinguishing manufacture markings, this bat may have been available for Powell’s rookie season with the Senators, his two World Series appearances and 5 regular seasons with the Yankees, his 1940 PCL tenure, or his final comeback with the Senators in 1943-45. Bats dating from any of these seasons are quite rare and this is the first Jake Powell bat authenticated by MEARS.
The bat can be found in the MEARS For Sale section, https://www.mearsonline.com/loa/bats/?id=307832