Scooter claims his sole American League MVP Award!1950 Phil Rizzuto Game Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 8. "I'll never forget September 6th, 1950," Rizzuto told a Sport Magazine reporter in a 1961 interview. "I got a letter threatening me, Hank Bauer, Yogi Berra and Johnny Mize. It said if I showed up in uniform against the Red Sox I'd be shot. I turned the letter over to the FBI and told my manager Casey Stengel about it. You know what Casey did? He gave me a different uniform and gave mine to Billy Martin. Can you imagine that! Guess Casey thought it'd be better if Billy got shot."
The Ol' Perfesser knew what he was doing. While the rookie Martin was operating at a respectable if not eye-catching .250 clip in his debut, his star shortstop was having a season for the ages, Rizzuto's .324 batting average at the close of the regular season a full fifty points better than his career standard. Always counted among the slickest middle infielders in the game, Rizzuto was now winning games with his bat and earning credit from his teammates as the force behind the team's eventual 1950 World Championship realization. The sportwriters would agree, supplying him a landslide victory in American League MVP voting at the close of the season.
We should stipulate that expert John Taube finds two separate orders for Rizzuto's thirty-six inch signature model Hillerich & Bradsby H117, those bats weighing thirty-four ounces in 1950 and thirty-two in 1952. At a few grams short of thirty-three ounces, Taube is confident that the heft falls much more in line with the standard weight loss through drying of a thirty-four ounce bat, but acknowledges that he "cannot dismiss the possibility of a heavier bat in the 1952 thirty-two ounce order." Certainly the earlier date is much more probable, and Taube stresses that "Rizzuto game used bats are extremely rare. This is one of three bats in our PSA/DNA database, and we are aware of only two other bats."
The bat is uncracked and exhibits excellent use with professionally repaired grain checking at the barrel, with ball marks, stitch impressions and a light coating of pine tar at the handle. It's a stellar example from one of the most beloved Yankees of all and, in terms of bat availability, one of the rarest as well. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 8.
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