Historic, early lumber from Banks' MVP prime!1959-60 Ernie Banks Game Used & Signed Bat, PSA/DNA GU 10. Born the second of a dozen children to Eddie and Essie Banks in the segregated South, Banks attended high school less than a mile from the Heritage Auctions world headquarters in Dallas, where he lettered in basketball, football and track. He was coaxed into the sport of baseball by his father, who bought him his first glove for three dollars at a local shop and bribed his reluctant son to practice with nickels and dimes.
But by the time the young Texan had made his way to the Majors, debuting with the 1953 Chicago Cubs, Banks' affection for our national pastime was profound, and he'd quickly earn the nickname "Mr. Cub" for his infectious "Let's play two!" exuberance. Despite ownership of the career record for most games played without a postseason appearance (2,538), Banks never regretted his allegiance to the hapless Cubs and remains arguably the most beloved figure ever to call Wrigley home.
Most Banks lumber traded in the hobby today dates from the second half of his Hall of Fame career, and while any bat blessed by his touch carries enormous collecting appeal, this early model is a particularly significant representation. A small variation in the center branding of the signature model Hillerich & Bradsby S2 allows the experts at PSA/DNA to narrow production range to a two-season span of National League dominance.
In 1959, Banks earned the National League MVP Award with forty-five home runs and a league-leading 143 RBI's. The following season, his forty-one home runs paced all Senior Circuit sluggers. In both years, he'd frighten more opposing pitchers into intentional walks than any other Major League batter, single-handedly upending conventional wisdom regarding the power capabilities of middle infielders.
The game use here, characterized as "outstanding" in the glowing letter of examination, confirms that the offered bat was no wallflower, exhibiting multiple ball marks, stitch impressions and two colors of bat rack paint. Handle is uncracked, and a very faded number "14" appears in vintage marker on knob. Length is thirty-five inches (35"), weight thirty and a half ounces (30.5 oz.). Black sharpie signature on barrel is 9/10. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 10. Full LOA from PSA/DNA (autograph). Full LOA from SGC Authentic (autograph).
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