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    An exceedingly rare autographed gamer from the Sultan of Swat

    1931 Babe Ruth Game Used & Signed Bat, PSA/DNA GU 9. A dozen times during the Babe's storied career did he find himself atop the American League home run ladder, and the 1931 season would prove to be his final appearance upon that highest rung. It was a position he shared with the man who followed him in the Yankee batting line-up, Hall of Fame first baseman Lou Gehrig, further establishing the Bronx as the world capital of the long ball. A visit to Sportsman's Park on August 21st of this year served up a major Ruth milestone, as the thirty-six year old slugger took St. Louis Browns right-hander George Blaeholder deep to record the 600th home run of his career. Ruth would pay a young boy ten dollars for the return of that ball, which cleared the stadium wall and dented a car parked on the street outside.

    Considering the "evidence of outstanding use" apparent on the presented lumber, as characterized by leading bat expert John Taube, it's a veritable certainty that a quantity of the Babe's forty-six homers was launched from the surface of the signature model Hillerich & Bradsby. Taube references ball marks and blue ink transfers on the left barrel, properly positioned for Ruth's left-handed swing with the label facing downward, a habit documented in multiple period images.

    The handle is uncracked, likely due to the removal of the bat from Ruth's arsenal to be presented as a gift to a close family friend named Matty Martin. A number of signed photographs have appeared in the hobby personalized from Ruth to Ms. Martin, and we include a photocopy of one such image picturing the young lady with the Babe and his wife. A similar inscription appears on the back barrel of the bat, the bold black fountain pen ink applied to a lightly sanded area to improve ink adhesion. It reads, "To my friend Matty Martin From Babe Ruth." A coating of some sort that was applied to the writing for preservation purposes has toned unevenly, but has otherwise served its intended cause admirably. Close inspection finds the faint remnants of an earlier attempt at signing directly above the inscription, and that failure was clearly the reason for the subsequent sanding and sealing for the successful secondary attempt.

    The bat measures thirty-five inches in length and tips the scales at just over thirty-five ounces, a reduction in weight from the Babe's gargantuan earlier models requested from Louisville Slugger as the passage of time imperceptibly slowed his bat speed. The specs perfectly match Ruth's ordering records for this single-year labeling style.

    While any bat attributed to the greatest name in the history of our National Pastime is rightly considered an American treasure, the precise assignation of vintage made possible by the unique Hillerich & Bradsby trademark format and the ironclad provenance supplied by the Babe's inscription sets this model apart from the rest. One could safely count this among the top ten examples known to the hobby today. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 9. Full LOA from PSA/DNA (autograph). Full LOA from James Spence Authentication (autograph).

    1931 Babe Ruth Game Used & Signed Bat, PSA/DNA GU 9.

    *A donation of $100 to the American Red Cross is required to attend the Live auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2013
    23rd-24th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,053

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