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    1918-21 Babe Ruth Game Used Bat. When one comes across a piece such as this, one that carries such tremendous import within the hobby, and the history of baseball, the mind begins to wander through the possibilities. We consider the four-year span of this bat's production cycle, and realize that the most significant personnel change in the history of sports happened at the center of it. And so was this bat swung by Babe Ruth the Red Sox star, or Babe Ruth the Yankees star? These odds are fifty-fifty, a coin flip. But this much we can state definitively--it was swung by Babe Ruth the season's Home Run King. In each of the four years during which this Hillerich & Bradsby may have seen action, it was Ruth who stood atop the homer heap. Only in 1918 did he fail to double the silver medalist's total by a wide margin, usually approaching three times the total of the runner up. Top slugging percentage also went to the Babe each season from 1918 through 1921, paying further tribute to the power the kid from Baltimore could generate with this bat.

    Even a cursory inspection of the barrel of this special club will further validate this assessment, as it is coated with ball, stitch and cleat marks that are evident to the touch. Tremendous vintage punishment leaves us unable to lay down a dime upon its surface without intersection with an ancient scar of cleat or ball. Authenticator John Taube himself describes the use as "heavy" in his assessment of this important artifact, an adjective that is not bandied around lightly by the experts of the game used bat field. He also notes that this bat exhibits the "small version" of Ruth's facsimile signature on the barrel, the style used from the inception of his signature contract dated July 9, 1918 and continuing through the 1921 season. This, of course, allows definitive dating of the model. Taube also notes the well-defined lathe mark on the bottom of the knob, common for bats manufactured during the referenced labeling period. The tremendous size of the bat-thirty-six inches long and just over forty ounces in weight-is vintage Ruth and falls exactly in line with all exemplars of the Babe's Bunyan-esque gamers. In short, this is about as good as it gets for Ruth bats, and certainly as early as we'll ever find for authenticated Hillerich & Bradsbys. Taube concurs, assigning a grade of GU 7 for this elite piece. LOA from John Taube.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2006
    28th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,781

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