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    1897 Adrian "Cap" Anson Final Game Used Bat, PSA GU 10. Ironclad provenance and extraordinary historical relevance join forces here to provide this auction with perhaps its most impressive and important offering, the bat used by baseball's first great star to conclude his Hall of Fame career. For over a century the bat resided in the Anson family, attained in 2006 from Cap's great-grandson who described the enormous slab of lumber as "Cap Anson's prized last game bat from 1897, his final season in Major League Baseball." While this statement assures that the offered bat struck Cap's 3,435th and final career hit, a record which would stand until Honus Wagner's assumption of the crown in 1914, it is also entirely possible that this bat secured the pioneering slugger's role as founder of the 3,000 Hit Club.

    With over forty-seven ounces of weight packed into its thirty-six inches, this J.F. Hillerich & Son behemoth was built to last. While a nail and three ancient screws appear on the barrel, not the hint of a crack appears on the handle, nor could any dead ball possibly have inflicted such a wound. Make no mistake, these vintage repairs were undertaken to extend the useful life of the bat, not for post-career display, paying silent testament to extensive use almost assuredly spread over several seasons. This is not one of Anson's late career bats- it is his only late career bat. A cautiously applied intricate texture of 145 carved notches at the handle was rendered by Anson himself to improve grip, and numerous ball and cleat marks are present on the barrel. The first version of the Hillerich center brand properly indicates production between 1894 and 1897, and appears upside down here, only adding further intrigue to one of the great treasures of the bat collecting hobby.

    Almost never do verified game used bats of any 19th century player appear upon the auction circuit, and none from that microscopic supply could challenge the presented specimen in its significance. Aged with the gorgeous polished patina of antique furniture, it likewise provides the visuals of a true royal scepter. For the cultured collector/historian, this offering presents an opportunity impossible to ignore. Included is a notarized letter of provenance from Anson's great-grandson. LOA from PSA/DNA, graded GU 10.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2010
    5th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 15,170

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