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    The most unavoidable bat in the game?

    1925-26 Joe Sewell Game Used Ty Cobb Bat, PSA/DNA GU 10. We all know about Cy Young's 511 victories, and Joe DiMaggio's fifty-six game hitting streak, Nolan Ryan's seven no-hitters. They are numbers so staggeringly impressive and improbable that we trust their immortality with the same assurance as the expectation of a morning sunrise. But another stunning career feat is far less widely known, but no less dazzling, and it belongs to the man from whose arsenal the offered relic derives.

    Debuting with the World Champion 1920 Cleveland Indians just a month after Ray Chapman's fatal beaning, Joe Sewell would labor fourteen seasons in the American League (1920-30 Cleveland, 1931-33 New York), making 8,333 plate appearances and recording 2,226 hits, of which 553 were for extra bases, assuring he was no sissy slap-hitter. And yet Joe Sewell was retired on strikes only 114 times during his career, a tally matched or exceeded by sixty-nine Major Leaguers during the 2015 season alone.

    In Sewell's 1990 obituary, the New York Times wrote of his uncanny ability to lay lumber to horsehide as they enhanced the legend that "he used only one bat during his entire major league career. It was a 35-inch, 40-ounce Ty Cobb model Louisville Slugger he kept in condition by seasoning it with chewing tobacco and stroking it with a Coke bottle."

    While the Hillerich & Bradsby ordering records belie that claim, Sewell bats do remain exceedingly scarce, with only three residing within the PSA/DNA database. This one was sold by Sewell shortly before his passing, adorned with no fewer than three autographs (silver on front barrel, black on front and back) prior to the sale. The experts at PSA were able to assign this thirty-four and a half inch (34.5") example, weighing just over thirty-nine and a half ounces (39.6 oz.) to a May 18, 1926 order for an "Old Ty Cobb model," since renamed "C28."

    The experts assign "heavy" use to the bat, noting a wide array of ball marks on the right barrel. The handle holds nearly a foot of spiral grip tape, matching period photography of Sewell at the ready. In every regard, from the player provenance to the game use to the multiple autographs, this is a relic that earns its perfect rating. The best example known of one of the hobby's toughest Hall of Fame bats. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 10. Full LOA from PSA/DNA.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    27th-28th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,255

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