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    The only photo matched Wagner bat on the planet!

    1912 Honus Wagner Game Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 10--Photo Matched! Born and raised a few dozen miles from the ballparks where he would earn his Cooperstown immortality, Honus Wagner would wear the uniform of the Pittsburgh Pirates for over a half century, the first eighteen as one of the greatest players of the Dead Ball Era. His sturdy frame, German ancestry and hometown hero status might evoke comparisons to fellow Hall of Fame legend Lou Gehrig, but Wagner drew his own contrast to baseball's "luckiest man," proclaiming, "I don't make speeches. I just let my bat speak for me in the summertime."

    There is no surviving Wagner bat that speaks more loudly today than the offered specimen, one of only six in the PSA/DNA database and the only example bearing the ironclad provenance of a photo match. It's an absolutely massive war club, carrying more than three pounds (51.4 oz.) of weight in its thirty-five inches (35") of length, the perfect tool for an era of wide-handed grips and slap-and-sprint tactics. It would be difficult to imagine a relic that more perfectly evokes that chapter of baseball history that Babe Ruth and the live ball would slam shut.

    While one of the many hallmarks of Wagner's enormous baseball significance is his status as the first player to be issued signature model bats by the Hillerich family (later Hillerich & Bradsby, then Louisville Slugger), it was not uncommon in these days to tinker with locally made bats, and this historic specimen falls under that description. The identity of the artisan is lost to history, the only markings on the bat being a branded "P.T.S. Wagner 1912" on the barrel and "F.M.M. B. P.T.S." on the barrel end.

    With only these markings, and a letter of provenance from the grandson of a Pittsburgh police officer to whom Wagner personally gifted this bat, definitive attribution to Wagner would be considerably more difficult to confirm than for those few surviving models matching Wagner's orders from the Hillerich factory, but an included photograph of Wagner with this bat in his hands provides a certitude that even those standard-issue models lack. This is the only photo matched Honus Wagner bat that exists, therefore arguably the most desirable as well.

    The grain patterning of the subject bat is precise in every detail to the marvelous image of Wagner, the undulating lines providing the equivalent of a fingerprint in its singular uniqueness. The uniform that Wagner wears in the image further validates the vintage stamped on the bat, as the "Pirates" text that runs the vertical length of the jersey's button path is a single-season style sported only in 1912.

    Wagner would narrowly lose the National League election for Most Valuable Player to Larry Doyle of the New York Giants at the close of the 1912 season, his second-place finish the result of a stat sheet featuring a .324 batting average with sixty-two extra-base hits and 101 runs batted in. The massive game use apparent in the punished grain of the subject bat suggests this relic figured heavily into that impressive production, with a multitude of ball marks, light checking, a chipped knob, and a single nail in the barrel end. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 10, with photo match. Letter of provenance from grandson of Wagner's friend.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2021
    27th-28th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 30
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,671

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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