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    Acquired from a Yankee Stadium grounds crew worker in 1996

    1996 Derek Jeter Game Used & Vintage-Signed Bat, PSA/DNA GU 9. For most lovers of baseball history, the affection is rooted in the belief that there was a purity to the early game that has been since been corrupted. We view the sport's childhood much like our own--uncomplicated, magical in its innocence, free of the guile and the compromise that tends to accompany progress. There were problems in the old days--serious ones solved only by brave men like Judge Landis and Jackie Robinson in their very different times--but we didn't yearn so desperately to kill our idols, and those old idols never seemed quite so ready to break our hearts either.

    For one thing, they were always there, from kindergarten through college graduation sometimes, through births and deaths, unbroken chains of years until they were as familiar as family. The weight of American principle that Curt Flood took to the fight for free agency left little doubt but that his cause was just, but then we fans had only ever seen the good in our team "belonging" to us. Just because Flood was right didn't stop it from hurting. The game was forever changed. And so our baseball families would gradually be replaced by strangers, who would soon vanish themselves if they got much better, or much worse. The days of Teddy Ballgame were over. No more Stan the Mans. No more Micks.

    It is safe to assume that, in Derek Jeter, we witnessed the end of that noble tradition, the last top ten finisher in any pedigree Major League statistic to wear a single uniform to record each digit in the tally. Here's where it all began, a block-lettered Louisville Slugger P72 that can be definitively linked to the 1996 Rookie of the Year campaign that began a two-decade (and counting) love affair between Derek Jeter and the city of New York.

    The Captain favored smaller bats in those early days, and this one tips the scales at thirty-one ounces (31 oz.), measuring thirty-three and a half inches (33.5") in length. It exhibits moderate game use with bold ball marks, stitch impressions, ink transfers and pine tar on the cracked and professionally-repaired handle.

    Our consignor purchased the bat from a Yankee Stadium grounds crew member who acquired the bat directly from Jeter during the 1996 season. Strengthening the provenance of this key early relic is a 9/10 silver sharpie signature in Jeter's rookie style, complete with an ultra-rare "#2" notation. It's certainly the best Jeter bat we've had the good fortune to present since his 1996 World Series model commanded $155,350 in our February 2014 Platinum Night event. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 9. Letter of provenance from consignor. Full LOA from PSA/DNA (autograph). Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2017
    25th-26th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,459

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