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    Hall of Fame lumber from one of the greatest pinstriped editions

    1961 Yogi Berra Game Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 7. While the most instant association for the 1961 Yankees will always be the historic home run race between Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, often lost in the shuffle is the utter dominance of the team itself, whose 109 regular season victories is third in franchise history behind only the 1998 and 1927 editions. Yogi Berra, who rookied with the 1946 Yankees, was the team's elder statesman as he chased down his ninth of a record ten World Championship rings as a player, his transition from catcher to outfielder nearly complete.

    The physical toll of fifteen seasons behind home plate may have dulled Berra's world class defensive skills, requiring a passage of the torch to fellow Monument Park fixture Elston Howard, but number "8" could still swing a mean bat, and we proudly present one from that historic season here. The signature model Hillerich & Bradsby R43 can be assigned single-season designation by the unique physical attributes apparent.

    Expert John Taube's detailed letter explains that the unusual "across the grain" branding of the bat is a key Berra attribute, a feature that produced the most advantageous grain alignment to compliment his habit of turning the bat while at the plate. The thirty-six inch (36") length and thirty-two ounce (32 oz.) weight relate only to 1961 orders for Berra R43's.

    Game use is light but definite, with pine tar on the handle and repaired mounting holes on the barrel that suggest the bat may have had some special significance beyond its delectable vintage. Number "32" appears on the knob in black marker and, upon closer inspection, in pencil beneath it, a detail that matches the "mk.wt" notation in the factory ordering records requesting that the weight be marked on the knob in the Louisville factory. A blue sharpie autograph on the barrel (10/10) is a modern addition.

    The 1961 season would prove to be the thirteen and final consecutive campaign to find Berra's name on the top twenty-five list for American League MVP, as he'd never appear in 100 games in a season again. As a relic from what was arguably the last great season of Berra's career, and certainly one of the all-time greatest in Yankees history, this is one of the most impressive Berra gamers to reach the hobby's auction block in recent memory. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 7. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2015
    21st-22nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,299

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