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    1951 Roy Campanella World Series Bat, Game Used. One of the most intriguing post-war bats to be laid upon the auction block in recent years, this odd relic owes its unusual appearance to Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'round the World," which, in an instant, assured its obsolescence. As any baseball historian worth his salt is well aware, the National League pennant chase ended in a three-game playoff between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants, a hastily orchestrated affair that would come to its earthshaking conclusion less than twenty-four hours before the start of the 1951 World Series with Thomson's historic walk-off blast.

    With no time to await the conclusion of the NL Playoff series, the batsmiths at Hillerich & Bradsby had done the only thing they could do--they hedged their bets and made up World Series bats for each team. While the Giants models were cheerfully delivered in time for Game One of the Series, those crafted for the devastated Dodgers were seemingly lost to history.

    Or, at least, all but this one. This remarkable lumber seems to prove the maxim, "waste not, want not," as the Hall of Fame catcher sought to exorcise those eleventh hour demons of the 1951 season by using the very bat he was denied for the Fall Classic. The mysterious markings above the "Campanella, Brooklyn Dodgers" stamping on the barrel make it one of the most desirable Campy bats ever to reach the auction block. Look closely and you'll see that, beneath a random factory stamping of nonsensical lettering, the words "World Series 1951" are clearly legible.

    Bat expert John Taube strongly asserts in his letter of opinion that "the bat is authentic, and was game used by Campanella during the referenced labeling period. The bat exhibits heavy use and possesses identifiable player use characteristics." He references ball, stitch and cleat marks on the barrel, and a cracked handle which was reinforced with tape, later removed. Green and red bat rack streaks appear on the barrel as well. The G80 model matches factory records for Campy, as do the length and weight of thirty-five and a half inches and thirty-four ounces respectively. Graded GU7.

    This bat was displayed at the 2008 National Sports Collectors Convention, where it was among the main topics of conversation for visitors to the Heritage booth. We expect it will have the same effect in the winning bidder's trophy room as well. LOA from Taube & Malta. Guide Value or Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2008
    17th-18th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 978

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
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