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    Description

    Rookie lumber from the man who would be King!

    1915 Babe Ruth Game Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 9--The Earliest Known Ruth Gamer! How does one measure supremacy? For many years, when it came to Babe Ruth, the answer was as simple as an examination of his stat line. It's been said that records are made to be broken, but Ruth positively shattered them, dismissing the standards of incremental advancement for a paradigm shift that serves as the clearest evidence of the sport's transition from Dead Ball Era to Live. Some records have fallen, occasionally with help from medical science, but any argument that Ruth was not the most dominant athlete in sports history is doomed to burial beneath a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

    So in a hobby that values achievement most highly, and rookie vintage next, this is an artifact that stands among the most significant ever to appear upon the auction block. The experts at PSA/DNA have attributed this remarkable tool of the baseball trade to the first fifty games of Babe Ruth's peerless career, to a season in which he launched the first four home runs of his Major League service, with 710 to come. It is entirely possibly that the first, if not all four, were propelled from its battle-scarred barrel.

    The bat emerges from a Dead Ball Era when Albert Spalding's eponymous sporting goods company was the primary supplier of bats to Major League players, just as the Hillerich family was beginning to gain the upper hand. But Ruth's name never appears in Spalding retail catalogs, assuring that the "Babe Ruth" branding on the barrel could only have been instituted for the man himself.

    The unusually light weight for Ruth--thirty-seven and a half ounces (37.5 oz.) is another clue that leads the experts at PSA/DNA to their assignment of a 1915 vintage, as the superstar pitcher would turn to much heavier models by 1916 as his offensive prowess began to assert itself--the earliest documented Hillerich & Bradsby model, weighing forty-four ounces (44 oz.), is sidewritten to July of 1916. The length of this example is thirty-five and a quarter inches (35.25").

    Heavy game use is evident throughout, furthering strengthening the narrative that this may well have been Ruth's only 1915 gamer, with ball marks, cleat divots and a repaired handle crack and chip to the knob, where a "Spalding" logo is imprinted.

    The PSA/DNA letter notes two prior sales of this bat--in the early 1990's and in April 2006. In each of these sales, a reference was made to a letter of provenance that stated that the bat was presented by Ruth to a Chicago sportswriter, who in turn gave the bat to a close friend. That letter, sadly, has been lost.

    The 1915 Boston Red Sox season in which this bat saw action would provide the Babe with his first taste of World Championship glory as well as his first Fall Classic experience, a single pinch hit appearance. Again, this bat may well have been the Babe's companion that day. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 9.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2017
    10th Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,644

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