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Description1953 Roy Campanella Vault Marked Game Used Bat from MVP Season, PSA/DNA GU 9. Though the sturdy former Negro Leaguer claimed three National League MVP Awards during a five-season stretch of brilliance, his 1953 campaign is widely considered to be the finest of his Hall of Fame career. One need only consult the numbers to support the claim--his 142 runs batted in were both career and 1953 National League highs. His forty-one long balls and .611 slugging average were likewise personal bests, and behind the plate the star backstop coaxed his pitching staff to 105 victories, the highest tally in franchise history, inclusive of the the modern 162-games/season era.
Presented is a special artifact from that National League Championship season, arguably the finest example of Campanella game used lumber ever to make its way to the public auction block. Though its fine game use, featuring several ball marks, stitch impressions and cleat marks, enhances the claim, the main feather in its cap is the "C186" vault mark at the knob and barrel ends, ensuring that this specimen was a favorite of Campy's, personally returned to the Hillerich & Bradsby factory for duplication. As cultured bat collectors are aware, H&B factory vault marks (or side writing) are considered the ultimate in provenance, eliminating any question as to whether the lumber was used and favored by the slugger himself.
A review of the Louisville Slugger professional bat ordering records allows the experts to pinpoint the subject bat to an order of twelve shipped May 13, 1953, the knob style, length (35.5") and weight (35 ounces) perfectly matching the documented specs. In an interested footnote to Louisville Slugger history, the experts at PSA/DNA note that the "C186" stampings establish this as one of the very last bats to be vault marked before the practice was retired. The bat is uncracked, and some slight water damage to the lower handle has been professionally repaired. This is the only detraction in an otherwise unimprovable specimen, which garners a near perfect GU 9 rating from the hobby's most respected arbiters. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 9.
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2017 June 29 Premium Sportscard Catalog Auction - Dallas