Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    1908-10 "Wee Willie" Keeler Game Used Bat. Second behind only the great Cap Anson in career hits at the time of his 1910 retirement with 2,932, Keeler earned his posthumous Hall of Fame plaque by staying true to his simple batting philosophy, "Hit 'em where they ain't." One of the shortest inhabitants of Cooperstown, Keeler utilized what is documented as Major League history's shortest bat, just a half inch over the required minimum of thirty inches. But what the presented "Spalding Gold Medal William Keeler Autograph" model lumber lacks in size, it more than makes up for in historical and collecting appeal.

    The man who scored the first run in New York Yankees history as a member of the 1903 Highlanders, Keeler joined Ty Cobb in 1908 in signing contracts with Spalding to produce autograph model bats for their use, and for retail sales. It is important to note, however, that several significant attributes differentiate this professional model from those commercially available.

    1) Spalding catalogs from the period indicate availability of the Keeler model bat in lengths of thirty-two to thirty-five inches. No half-inch models were sold, and none shorter than thirty-two inches. It should also be noted that 30.5 inches is the size in Hillerich & Bradsby ordering records for Keeler.

    2) All known retail model Spalding bats from this period featured logo stamping on the knob end. The presented example features lathe marks indicative of hand rasping of the knob and barrel end, a procedure intended to reach a player's intended bat weight (thirty-seven and a half ounces in this case).

    3) The high quality of the ash utilized in the construction of the bat is far more typical of professional than retail quality.

    The many thousands of collectors with a concentration in Yankees memorabilia could be forgiven for considering the arrival of the Babe as the team's genesis, but this is the lumber of the franchise's first great star. And unlike Keeler himself, that's no small thing. LOA from MEARS, Authentic.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    25th-27th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 948

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item
    Coming soon:

    Jewelry & Timepieces
    Opens about 10/23/2020

    Nature & Science
    Opens about 10/20/2020

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/21/2020

    Manuscripts
    Opens about 10/23/2020

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 10/22/2020

    Fine & Rare Wine
    Opens about 10/23/2020

    Entertainment
    Opens about 10/26/2020

    Silver
    Opens about 10/27/2020

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/28/2020

    Fine Art
    Opens about 10/29/2020

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/30/2020

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 10/30/2020

    Ethnographic Art
    Opens about 10/30/2020

    Space
    Opens about 11/02/2020

    Movie Posters
    Opens about 10/30/2020

    US Coins
    Opens about 10/22/2020

    Photography
    Opens about 11/06/2020

    World & Ancient Coins
    Opens about 10/25/2020

    Currency
    Opens about 11/02/2020

    Fine Art
    Opens about 11/10/2020

    Fine Art
    Opens about 11/11/2020

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 11/04/2020

    Fine Art
    Opens about 11/12/2020

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 11/13/2020

    Fine Art
    Opens about 11/13/2020

    Fine Art
    Opens about 11/13/2020

    Luxury Accessories
    Opens about 11/16/2020

    Arms & Armor
    Opens about 11/17/2020

    Entertainment
    Opens about 11/17/2020

    World & Ancient Coins
    Opens about 11/08/2020

    US Coins
    Opens about 11/07/2020

    Jewelry & Timepieces
    Opens about 11/13/2020

    Jewelry & Timepieces
    Opens about 11/09/2020

    Photography
    Opens about 11/26/2020

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 11/12/2020

    Sports Collectibles
    Opens about 11/19/2020

    Decorative Art
    Opens about 11/20/2020

    Comics & Comic Art
    Opens about 11/23/2020

    Jewelry & Timepieces
    Opens about 11/25/2020

    US Coins
    Opens about 11/16/2020

    Rare Books
    Opens about 11/25/2020

    Fine Art
    Opens about 11/25/2020

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976

    Learn about consigning with us

    I'm a relatively new client at Heritage, and Calvin Arnold, Director and Sports Card expert, has helped make me a Big fan in just a few months.
    Chuck L.,
    Encino, CA
    View More Testimonials

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search