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Lot
81207

1953 Jackie Robinson Game Used Bat....

2010 November Dallas Signature Sports Collectibles Auction #7028

 
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Auction Ended On: Nov 5, 2010
Item Activity: 8 Internet/mail/phone bidders Number of Bidders
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Location: Heritage Auctions
3500 Maple Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219
Description:
1953 Jackie Robinson Game Used Bat. Though the luckless Bums would once again fall to the New York Yankees in the World Series of 1953, that edition of the Brooklyn Dodgers is often identified as Ebbets' finest, and with good reason. To this day, even inclusive of the modern expansion to 162 regular season games, the 1953 Dodgers' mark of 105 victories stands as the greatest in franchise history, and their 955 runs scored the best since the start of the twentieth century. It was a season of transition for the club's most recognizable star, who for the first time in his career would patrol the outfield grass of National League parks, returning to the infield clay only in a utility role. But if this reassignment of the thirty-four year old legend indicated a perceived dulling of Robinson's defensive skills, one need only check the numbers to see that Jackie's offensive abilities were as sharp as ever. His tally of ninety-five runs batted in for the 1953 season was second only to his 1949 MVP campaign, and his .329 batting average was eighth best in the Senior Circuit rankings that year.

Presented is an extraordinarily rare signature model Hillerich & Bradsby O16 utilized by Robinson during that dominant season in Flatbush. It's never been entirely clear why Jackie's bats are so much more scarce than his contemporary Hall of Famers', but it's worthy of note that they surface on the major auction block at an average of less than once a year. And this is one of the finest of that tiny supply.

Factory ordering records allow the experts at PSA/DNA to peg this lumber definitively to the 1953 season, as it was the only year Robinson requested the O16 model. Its length of thirty-four and a half inches and weight of thirty-two and a half ounces perfectly match factory specs, and a faded vintage number "42" handwritten on the knob further assures its brush with greatness. Though it was far more than a simple "brush." Expert John Taube characterizes the use as "heavy," noting multiple ball marks and stitch impressions on the barrel, and a handle crack secured with heavy tape. The initials "CEG" on the knob are dismissed by Taube as "unrelated to Robinson or the Dodger team, and placed on the knob by a subsequent owner."

This bat is not for the collector who needs any closing argument to explain its importance--it demands a curator who understands what an essential role Robinson played not just in the success of those 1940's and 1950's Brooklyn Dodgers teams, but in the advancement of that thoroughly American philosophy that all men are created equal. Graded PSA GU 8. LOA from PSA/DNA.

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Service and Handling Description: Bats, Clubs, Sticks, Swords, Rifles, etc. (view shipping information)

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