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    The only known gamer from the Hall of Fame shortstop!

    1910 Joe Tinker Game Used Vault Marked & Side Written Bat, PSA/DNA GU 10. If ownership of Tinker lumber has ever been a part of your collecting aspirations, bid now or forever hold your peace. The known population stands at one, the listed example being the sole survivor from a Hall of Fame career punctuated by the final two World Championships in Chicago Cubs franchise history. Though Tinker is best recalled for his slick fielding and his membership in the most famous double play triumvirate in the sport's history, he was quite adept at the plate as well, batting .350 for his career against the great Christy Mathewson who referred to Tinker in his 1912 book "Pitching in a Pinch" as, "the worst man I have to face in the National League."

    This solitary representation provides far more than its unique status to tempt the modern collector however, offering the most desirable form of provenance available in the form of factory side writing and vault marking that documents not only use by Tinker, but the assurance that this had been one of the Hall of Famer's favorites. For the uninitiated, we explain that ballplayers used to return their preferred bats to the Hillerich & Bradsby factory to become a template for duplication, where the returned bats were affixed with a handwritten identifier (sidewriting) and often a burned-in imprint (vault marking) for cataloging and storage. While the former has faded considerably over time, Tinker's surname is still legible on the barrel. Just below and to the right is a five-inch area that has been planed to accept the "Tinker" vault marking, which appears a second time on knob end.

    Though the sidewriting listing the date of return has faded beyond legibility, the "alligatored" finish of the bat provides a clue to the vintage, as the unusual coloration is the result of a fire that nearly destroyed the bat factory on December 13, 1910. The second floor was a total loss, but the first floor machinery and the bat storage area suffered only the smoke damage you see here. As this particular format of the dash-dot-dash "J.F. Hillerich & Son Co." center brand first appeared in 1910, expert John Taube was able to assign usage that that season, that of the final National League Championship on Tinker's resume. Bat is uncracked and exhibits game use. Length thirty-two and a half inches, weight thirty-two and a half ounces. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 10.

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

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2014
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,498

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    It goes without saying that after the auction when we had a chance to have dinner together and get to know each other it even made it a better experience for me. I look forward to getting more involved with Heritage in the Future.
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