Bushing Mail Bag

Q. My father has three old Louisville Bats and is attempting to find out their age. Here is what is printed on the barrel of each.

J F Hillerich&Sons Co Professional League NO. 18

Louisville Slugger 40 DB Hillerich&Bradsby Co

Louisville Slugger 125 SP H&B Co official slow pitch softball

Could you please advise the age of each of these models?

A. The J.F.Hillerich bat was made from 1911-15, the H&B Diamond Ball (DB) and the slow pitch bats are newer, probably 1940-50’s, not listed in any of the early catalogs.

Q. Hi Dave, I got your name from the Louisville Slugger Museum website and was hoping you could help me. My name is Ken Warren and I recently received a Louisville Slugger in the shape of a Billy club. I have been unable to find any information on it. It measures 23″ long, appears to be made of hickory? the stamped oval reads: LOUISVILLE SLUGGER, …-, Hillerich & Bradsby Co., Trademark, LOUISVILLE, KY. My questions are is this a Billy club or a salmon priest (fish knocker) or?, What type of wood is it made from?, What do the three dots and dash mean?, How old is it?, Are they still available?, Would you have an approximate value. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much, Ken Warren.

A. It is indeed a Billy club and they are not rare. They were made and offered by the company in the 1930-40’s. They have one in their museum. No real collector value.

Q. David, I have a Dave Winfield Yankees Era, uncracked bat, with moderate to heavy game use and no deadwood. Proper # on the knob. In your honest opinion about what is this bat worth? My sincere thanks, and its a Cooper bat.

A. Not rare but it is the best era you could own of a Winfield but a Cooper bat is not worth anywhere near what someone would pay for a like era Louisville Slugger. Should sell in the $750 range.

Q. Dave, Here’s the story: This bat supposedly originated with Hank Aaron. It found its way to Richmond back in the early 1970s (1971 or 1972-ish). The best guess is a Player brought it back from spring training — if it turns out to be Authentic. Anyway, one of the batboys ended up with it and has had it All these years. It came up in conversation and I’m just curious if it is indeed what he claims it to be? The bat is cracked and has “44” on The knob. There’s no evidence of pine tar on the handle.

A. I need to know details as to the length, markings, etc. to determine era, use and value.

Q. Here’s the question:
Is it possible that this is a gamer or at least a game-issue bat?
My reader checked everything he could and can’t find much on this model
Number. However your guide does indicate that Aaron used 229A Adirondack bats, but it doesn’t what years.

A. The 229 A models are found on the 1971-76 era bats. Value with good use would be in the $4-5000 range.

Q. I was referred to you by Steven at Keyman Collectibles. He said you may be able to help date a baseball bat. A few days ago, I saw a 35 “Louisville Slugger for sale. It was a Professional Joe DiMaggio Model. The number inside the oval, right near the bottom, just above Louisville, KY was 150. On the barrel is “It’s a Louisville”. Can you help date and possibly price this bat (looks in great condition, no cracks or chips)?

A. This is a lower price model in which the name will appear in block letters instead of the signature style found on higher price models. Joe DiMaggio was added to the Louisville Slugger line in his rookie season (1936) in the major leagues, a very rare occurrence to find a store model bat found for sale in his rookie season. Value for a mint example would be in the $100 range.

Q. Hope all is well. I am trying to date a wire photo. It shows Joe Jackson wearing an American flag patch on his uniform. I cannot confirm the precise year. What year would that have been?

A. The White Sox wore the American Flag Patch on their uniforms in 1917-18 in support of the troops during WW1.

Q. Hello Dave,
I had a question that I asked my friend Mike Hoevet and he gave me some answers, but said I should ask you about post career bat values especially for the DiMaggio bat that I have. Here is a portion of my email:
I have a question about some bats that I picked up at a local flea market. I picked up 4 Louisville Slugger bats (Ed Matthews, Mickey Mantle, Joe Di Maggio, and MAYS (I’m assuming Willie)). All are branded with the signatures and not foil stamped. The MAYS is the only one that isn’t script. The model numbers on the knobs are:
DiMaggio D29, MAYS F4, Mantle K55, and Matthews S2.
The lengths are:
DiMaggio: 34 1/2″
MAYS: 32 1/2″
Mantle: 33 1/2″
Matthews: 33 1/2″
I recently read a post Mike did about the registered trade mark. And the 3 have the “R” following the slugger’s R. The MAYS has the REG US PAT OFF under the center label. Any idea on value? I probably won’t sell, but was very curious on history.
All are in great shape, but have a college name branded on them. 3 say Whittier college and the other say Univ of Redlands (my alma mater). I’m assuming these were from those particular colleges to use.

So, are these store model bats? Any ideas on the value? Any information that you could provide would for me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time…Ricky Anderson

A. The Mays is a 1950-64 label period (could be narrowed down with pics) while the others are all post 1965. They are not store bats per say as they could not be purchased by the public and they are patterned after game model bats and are specially made for the collegian market. As to value, they might sell in the $100 range each if nice.

Q. Dave, I got your name off the Louisville Slugger museum website. Back in 1968 I pulled an old baseball bat from a pile of wood my grandmother was going to use for her wood burning stove. It was an old Louisville Slugger and the name on the bat didn’t ring any bells with the players I knew of. I used the bat a couple of times and then just put it away. To make along story short I got on the Internet and found out the ball player on the bat was inducted into the hall of fame in 1968. His name was Hazen Shirley Cuyler and played in the 1920’s and 30’s. Based on the seal the bat dates between 1916 to 1929 You can still read Cuyler’s entire name and the bat was bone rubbed. Any idea on what it’s worth?

A. He was indeed a great ballplayer for both the Cubs and Pirates and your bat does date to the 1920’s as he came up in 1921 and he got a signature contract in 1921and the bats got the “Powerized” slogan adopted in 1931 so that places your bat from 1924-29. If it is a model 125 and does not have any inch marks on the knob, then it is a pro model and value would depend on length, condition (use) and markings. A game bat would sell in the $2500-4500 range. If it has inch marks or is a model 40, then the value would be in the $200 range.

Q. I found your email address on the Louisville Slugger Museum website. I received a bat from my father back in the late 1960’s. It is a Louisville Slugger, 125, Hillerich & Bradsby Co., Made in U.S.A., Louisville, KY., Reg. U.S. Pat. Off. , Genuine George “Babe” Ruth Louisville Slugger. It Is a 34 inch bat. On the end of the bat handle it says R43. The bat was kept in storage and is in very good condition. Can you direct me to a person that can possibly identify the bat’s value?
Please email any further questions. Jon/Paul K

A. They didn’t start putting model numbers on bats until 1943-45 and Ruth’s last season was 1935 as a player and 1938 as a manager. The Reg US Pat Off. Under the circle did not start until 1950 thru 1964. As such, your pro stock bat would only be valued in the $3-400 range.

Q. Wanted to know if you could help me out. I was reading the web page
of Hillerich & Bradsby Co. they mention in the article that maybe you could help. I came across a Hillerich & Bradsby Co. “King Of The Field” bat. It is 33” long and weighs a hefty 37ozs. There are no cracks and the knob has no chips. What year would it be and any price it would be worth. I see it does not have the standard Hillerich & Bradsby Co logo.
Thank you for your time.

A. These were quality flame burned bats offered from the 1920-30’s, the early models having a colorful decal and then simply burned in. Mint decal bats sell in the $4-500 while the printed ones are in the $100-200 range.

Q. I have a 1957 Louisville Slugger Bat from the Milwaukee Braves World Championship; this bat is black with gold facsimile signatures of all the players. Some of the more popular names on the bat include: Henry Aaron, Ed Mathews, Del Crandall, Al Schoendienst, John Logan, Lew Burdette and Warren Spahn. I acquired it 25 years ago. It has been protected in a bat case and has never been exposed to sunlight. I would say it is in excellent to mint condition. I have attached some pictures. I am trying to get an idea of what it is worth. I would appreciate any info you can give me on this bat. Thank You, Greg

A. The practice of Louisville offering specially stamped bats to the winners of both leagues in 1935 (they made one for the 1934 Tigers but not the Cardinals and the early bats were brown until late 1930’s) They were given to players, staff, and writers and were made in the 200-300 range as to production. A mint 1957, the first year the Milwaukee Braves won a National League Championship. Minty value would be in the $4-500 range.

Q. Hi My name is Dawn Vollbrecht and I have a bat from 1974 when Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run to break Babe Ruth’s record. The bat was a promotional bat on display at the store where my father worked. He won the drawing and received it and gave it to me. It has a metal plate on it with Hank Aaron’s signature engraved and was supposed to be sent in to have the 715 and the date engraved on it too, but my father never did that. I was too young at the time to know to do it. Is this bat worth anything?

A. A promotion in which they gave away bats, pins, etc and it was hugely popular and they made and distributed a lot of these. Current value in mint condition is $100-150.

Q. Hi there! My name is Nate and have tried collecting game used bats for a few years now. I’m not too interested in the price of my bats, but mostly the origin of where they came from. I would like to know how many bats a player ordered for a particular model. Do you have any way to find that out? I tried to contact Louisville Slugger and they directed me to you. For example, I came across a Nelson Mathews bat a few months ago. Not a big name, but a neat bat at a great price nevertheless and was part of the Paul Hill collection at one time. Its model on the knob was K55. Then, I happen to come across yet another one just a few weeks ago. Looks exactly the same except this one has a model of M110. So I guess my question is….. could both of these bats be authentic? And if so, do you know how many bats were ordered for each model by him? These bats look awesome, one is cracked at the barrel, both have a little pine tar, green rack marks going down the bat and his #5 on each knob of both. One was actually signed at the end of the barrel for Paul Hill. Well, any info would help out a lot. Thanks, -Nate

A. Nelson had a six year major league career with the Cubs and Athletics (1960-65) but he only wore number 5 in 1964-65 with the A’s and he could have ordered and probably did order several different models as did most players but we do not have his records to double check but as to value, maybe $100-200 range.

Q. Hello…I have a Mickey Mantle bat dated between 1948-1963 #125 also, 33 oz ”powerized” could this have been used by Mickey ? Thanks Bill

A. He did use a model 125 bat but what is stamped on the knob (it must have a model number i.e. M110, K55, P102 etc.), what is the length, what is stamped on barrel and under center brand, without such information, I can’t tell if it was a game bat or a store model.

Q. I am trying to find out a little more about a bat found last week while helping my father sort through my mother’s things after her death. I did not know my mother ever played ball but my dad said she played in high school. (she was born in 1922 so her high school years would have been in the late 1930s) The bat is labeled as an Official-Indoor bat. It is knobbed, 34 inches long and 2 inches in diameter at the fat end. The label is (above an oval) Hillerich & Bradsby Co., (in an oval it says) Made in U.S.A., Indoor, No 54, (below the oval) Louisville, KY., (outside the oval just below the midpoint, between the the company name and city) a “?” mark on each side. Any information you can give me about the date of manufacture and use of this bat would be appreciated. Chris Taylor

A. This model is in many of the 1930-50’s bats and these never had a player endorsement and as such, have no real collector value at this time. On eBay, at best. $25

Q. Two years ago you helped me solve the mystery of my Roger Wattler bat, and I hope that you can come to my rescue again. I’ve read and re-read pages 20 and 21 of your Mastro book, but I remain puzzled by a bat that has come into my possession. I’ve pinpointed it as a 1931 Louisville Slugger, but the player name is that of Bill Moore. Problem: Moore was a light-hitting, little-used catcher for the 1926-27 Red Sox. Why would H&B be turning out a bat for him four years after he went into obscurity?
Characteristics of the bat:
* 33 3/4″ long.
* 1 1/8″ (medium-thick) handle.
* 1 3/4″ (small) knob.
* M (?) and 3 stamped at angles on end.
* Player stamp on barrel noticeably deeper than logo.
Obviously, it wasn’t game-used. But what would’ve been H&B’s reason for turning it out?
Now for the Roger Wattler bat puzzle. I finally located him in Fenton, MO, and he seemed very flattered that I had one of his bats. Seems that he played for the Mets’ club in the Midwest League in 1962-63 and received two-dozen bats from H&B each year. He broke many of the approximately 50 that were lathed, he estimated, and said that I probably owned one of the few that remain.
Hope I can do as interesting a provenance on my Bill Moore bat. Jerry Marshall, Marshall Antiques, Clayton, MO

A. There should be no model number stamped on knob so the “M” and 3 are confusing. If a store model, would have length stamped on knob. If it has a model number on knob, it was made after 1943. As for Bill Moore, there were two playing during that era, Bill H who you refer to as playing for the Red Sox, this would be Bill H. and the reason you have a post 1931 bat is that he played in both 1930 Nashville, 1931 Mobile. He was with Mobile from 1928-29 as well. The other Bill Moore is Bill C and he played from 1923-32 with all but one year (tigers 1925) in the minor leagues. In either case, the Bill H. would sell in the $2-300 range. The other Bill (Bill C) would probably sell in the $100-150 range. Both would be a post major league bat. It was quite common for H&B to make bats for minor league players, even signature models.