A rare symbol of excellence: The Silver Bat1970 Rico Carty National League Batting Championship Award. Jackie Robinson claimed the first, when the iconic Hillerich & Bradsby Company launched the tradition in 1949, creating a sterling-plated replica of the gamer that earned each player's distinction as owner of the League's highest batting average. The list of past recipients reads like a Cooperstown role call: Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Stan Musial, Roberto Clemente, Mickey Mantle and Rod Carew. But few of these men have ever claimed this gleaming symbol of excellence as convincingly as the Atlanta Braves left fielder Carty did in 1970, outpacing runner-up Joe Torre by a gaping forty-one point margin.
Presented is Carty's prize for the remarkable accomplishment, identical to the model he wielded to such great effect but for the sterling-plated construction and the addition of engraved text at mid-barrel that reads, "Batting Champion 1970, National League, B.A. .366." The bat weighs just over fifty-four ounces (54 oz.) and measures thirty-four inches (34") in length. Only the lightest signs of handling and storage wear are apparent, but the relic displays at an effective NRMT level.
Carty would earn his sole All-Star Game nod this year, and finish tenth in Most valuable player voting. Hampered by nagging injuries throughout his career, Carty never again would flirt with the upper reaches of Major League achievement, but his influence is still felt as one of the early stars of Dominican descent.
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