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    Acquired at team charity event on April 10, 1996!

    The Earliest Known Derek Jeter Game Used Bat with New York Yankees Documentation, PSA/DNA GU 10. Hobby history was made in the February 2014 Heritage Platinum Night auction when the bat used by Derek Jeter in the 1996 World Series saw the hammer fall at over $150,000, as strong an indication as any that the announcement of the superstar shortstop's impending retirement has set collectors to thinking where he falls in the Yankees all-time hierarchy. While, as a "modern" bat, the price tag seems particularly lofty, we can see the wisdom in the investment when we open our eyes to the undeniable truth that not every legend lives in the past.

    While there is always healthy debate when crafting a list of the greatest anything--capitals of the world, rock bands, fast food burgers--there are four Yankees who will inevitably appear on any historian's ranking of the top five: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. The thumb on that hand, in our estimation, belongs to the man who took some of the very first hacks of his Rookie of the Year season with the block-lettered Louisville Slugger P72 presented here, a remarkable relic that stands as the earliest Derek Jeter gamer with New York Yankees documentation.

    This documentation relates to "The 1996 New York Yankees Homecoming Dinner," opening with a letter reading, "Dear Ticket Holder: We are pleased that you will be attending the Yankee Homecoming Dinner on Wednesday, April 10, 1996. Your tickets for the evening, as well as, tickets for the Opening Day game on Tuesday, April 9th are enclosed." Also within this file folder of paperwork is the announcement of a silent auction for various experiences such as flying with the Yankees to a road game, serving as batboy and, finally, "Game Used Equipment."

    The final entry in the paperwork is a golden "Certificate of Authenticity," stating, "This product is hereby confirmed as an authentic article having formerly belonged to the New York Yankees team and actually used at Yankee Stadium: Derek Jeter Autographed Game Used Bat."

    The language of this certificate would suggest use at Jeter's first Opening Day in the Bronx, but the game use, characterized by expert John Taube as "excellent," would strongly suggest this was the bat used by Jeter throughout the first five road games of his Rookie of the Year season prior to that first home game as well. Ball marks with ink transfers and stitch impressions appear throughout the barrel, with cleat marks and pine tar likewise in residence. A very slight handle crack is apparent upon close inspection and a small chip in the knob has been repaired. A rookie-format gold paint pen signature adorns the barrel, matching the utensil used to autograph the provided photograph of Jeter batting at Yankee Stadium Opening Day on April 9th. A large ball mark on the bat in the photo corresponds to one on the listed lumber, but the detail is not clear enough to declare a definitive photo match.

    Little could the winning bidder at that April 1996 banquet have known that this lanky rookie would become the first man in history to record his 3,000th hit in a Yankees uniform, or that he would become the longest-serving Yankee in history, or that he would precipitate an era of dominance in the Bronx unseen since Mickey Mantle. But while the significance of Derek Jeter was unknown when this bat first entered the collecting hobby, we can now identify this relic as one of the most significant game used bats to reach the auction block in quite some time. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 10. Full LOA from PSA/DNA (autograph). Full LOA from James Spence Authentication (autograph). New York Yankees team documentation as noted.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Jul-Aug, 2014
    31st-1st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,863

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold on Jul 31, 2014 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
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