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    Joltin' Joe makes a really big entrance...

    1936-37 Joe DiMaggio Rookie-Era Game Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 9. It was President Theodore Roosevelt who famously advised, "Speak softly, and carry a big stick," but the sentiment seems equally appropriate for Joe DiMaggio, a man who showed all the emotion of an Easter Island monument throughout his decade and a half in pinstripes, but its precise opposite in the grace and agility he displayed both in the field and at the plate. In the eighty years since he first stepped to a Major League plate, there hasn't been a batter who has showcased a prettier swing (or a prettier wife, for that matter), and few have been quite so effective with a Louisville Slugger either.

    Thus any lumber consecrated by the grip of the legendary Yankee Clipper is considered one of elite significance. Here, however, we present an example that stands taller than just about any other, both literally and figuratively. At an astounding thirty-eight inches (38") in length and forty-four ounces (44.1 oz.) in weight, it's a monster that would give even Babe Ruth the shivers. A "World-Telegram" newspaper article penned in March of 1936, at young DiMaggio's very first spring training, marvels at the former San Francisco Seal's massive war club, writing, "DiMaggio swings a bat which weighs forty ounces and is thirty-eight inches long. It may develop that Joe will have to cut down both on the size and weight of the bludgeon. He may not be able to bring the bat around fast enough against the type of fast-ball pitching he will see from Lefty Grove, Schoolboy Rowe, Mel Harder, Tommy Bridges and a few other lads in the American League."

    Those words would prove prophetic, as the young outfielder would quickly scale down to a format much more consistent with other Big Leaguers' of the day. DiMaggio's documented ordering records find thirty-six inchers (36") his most favored style, with thirty-five inches (35") the only recorded variation. The experts at PSA/DNA suggest that the absence of a thirty-eight inch (38") order in factory records is consistent with the manner of special request that such an unusual specimen would require.

    Game use is characterized as "outstanding" in the lengthy, detailed letter of examination, noting ball marks and stitch impressions consistent with Joltin' Joe's label-up, right-handed swing. Blue rack streaks are apparent, and a a light coating of pine tar and two tape rings appear at the lightly-sanded and uncracked handle. The rings and the sanding have been documented in period photography and other known DiMaggio exemplars respectively. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 9.

    Guide Value or Estimate: $400,000 - up.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2017
    10th Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 935

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