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Brilliance in the shadow of Ruth, Gehrig and DiMaggio1928-30 Tony Lazzeri Game Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 7. Despite his victimization in what may be the most famous strikeout in Major League history, this soft-spoken native of the Cow Hollow district of San Francisco earned a reputation as one of the sport's great clutch hitters during his fourteen seasons of service to the professional game. His Murderer's Row membership could be calculated as both a blessing and a curse, as surely Lazzeri's Hall of Fame induction would not have seen its half century delay had his career been executed outside the shadow of legends from Ruth to Gehrig to DiMaggio. In 1927, the wiry second baseman's eighteen home runs was best in the Majors but for his iconic teammates at first base and right field.
So while the first great Italian-American baseball star may have suffered by comparison during his playing days, the modern collecting hobby can enjoy the clarity of hindsight responsible for his long overdue 1991 Cooperstown induction. Long a position for nimble singles hitters, the second sack was transformed by Golden Age greats like Lazzeri and Rogers Hornsby, paving the way for modern stars like Ryne Sandberg, Roberto Alomar and current Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano. So those with an eye to the sport's evolution should pay close attention to this signature model Hillerich & Bradsby, tipping the scales at a Ruthian forty and a half ounces.
Expert John Taube heaps praise upon the thirty-five inches of ash, noting "evidence of excellent use with a crack on the handle and back barrel that have been professionally repaired, and slight checking from repeated ball contact on the left barrel." He also draws our attention to a scattering of cleat marks inflicted as Lazzeri knocked dirt off the soles of his shoes in the batter's box.
Considerably more rare than the lumber of any other field player enshrined in Monument Park, this Lazzeri representation is an opportunity to be taken seriously. The chance to own another could be years away, if not an eternity. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 7.
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2017 June 29 Premium Sportscard Catalog Auction - Dallas