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    1916-18 Napoleon Lajoie Game Used Bat. This member of Cooperstown's second induction class remains one of Cleveland's most beloved baseball figures, so popular in his day that the ballclub was nicknamed the "Naps" in his honor, only taking on its current "Indians" designation upon his departure in 1915. This remarkable "dash-dot-dash" Hillerich & Bradsby dates from the seasons just after Lajoie set sail from Cleveland, possibly during his final stint in the Majors with Connie Mack's Athletics, or with Toronto or Indianapolis of the International League and American Association respectively. Top marks are earned both for adherence to established factory records and game use, with only a lack of direct provenance precluding a perfect 10 of 10 base grade. Authenticator Dave Bushing notes "perfect" markings, and points out that the length and weight of thirty-three inches and thirty-five ounces perfectly match Lajoie's preferred specifications. Heavy ball marks and swollen grain suggest a long and active life in the hands of the man who battled Ty Cobb to a tie for the prize of a Chalmers automobile in the famous 1910 Batting Championship. A handle crack is further evidence of this strong use, with Bushing deducting a point for fifteen inches of handle tape that keeps the bat solid. A one-inch chip from the reverse of the barrel cost another half point for the final grade of A6.5. One could count on a single hand the appearances of Lajoie game used lumber upon the auction block over the past decade, so elite bat collectors must consider this opportunity a rare and special one indeed. Who knows when the next offering will come along? LOA from Dave Bushing.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    27th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,682

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