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    Rock-solid provenance from dead center of a brilliant career

    1915-16 Eddie Collins Game Used Sidewritten Bat, PSA/DNA GU 8.5. Statistically he's the greatest second baseman who ever played the game, a player who won games in every conceivable way--with his bat, with his glove, and with his speed on the basepaths. No man but Eddie Collins has ever stolen six bases in a single game, and the fleet-footed Hall of Famer did it twice in September 1912. His career tally for thefts remains in the Major League's top ten, while his 3,315 career base hits was just knocked from the top ten last year by Derek Jeter. He holds Major League records for career games (2,650), assists (7.630) and total chances (14,591) at second base, and is second only to Bid McPhee for putouts at 6,526. He helped to usher in big salaries in baseball as a member of the Athletics' famous $100,000 infield.

    The presented lumber dates to the period just after his sale by Connie Mack to the Chicago White Sox, where he would add his fourth of six World Championship titles in 1917. We arrive at the two-season span of potential action for this J.F. Hillerich & Son Co. dash-dot-dash model by the 1911-16 labeling period of the trademark and the faded but still very legible factory sidewriting that announces, "Edw. T. Coll Chicago White Sox." 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) for cataloging and storage. Thus sidewriting not only places the bat definitively in the subject's hands, but assures it was a favorite as well. While the sidewriting's date has faded beyond legibility, the identification of Collins' team affiliation assures use during the final two seasons of the bat's potential production range.

    Heavy use remains clearly evident, with multiple ball marks on the barrel and cleat marks on the handle added to improve Collins' grip, sealed beneath an ancient coating of pine tar. A crack at the handle ended the bat's term of service, inspiring the superstar second sacker to ship it back to Louisville for cloning. Length of thirty-four and a quarter inches and weight of thirty-five and a half ounces are both correct for Collins' preferred specifications. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 8.5.

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