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    "A ball bat is a wonderous weapon."

    1923-25 Ty Cobb Game Used Bat, MEARS A9.5, PSA/DNA GU 8.5. Loved by few, feared by most, but respected by all, Tyrus Raymond Cobb was the Machiavellian ideal of the early game, forging his inaugural Cooperstown bronze in the twin fires of natural ability and gritted-teeth determination. Though Cobb's staggering career hits tally of 4,191 was ultimately eclipsed by perhaps the only other player in history to measure up to Cobb's steep standard for resolve, many batting records remain in the Georgia Peach's sole possession to this day, most notably the .366 career batting average that is as safe as any in baseball.

    As the primary tool of his athletic immortality, the Ty Cobb game used bat rates among the most significant and desirable in the sports collectible realm. Needless to say, the lack of sentimentality for game used material during the first quarter of twentieth century baseball meant that few such bats ever made the transition from gear to souvenir. The subsequent passing of decades then served to whittle the supply even further, to a narrow point upon which this example survives as one of approximately two dozen known. In that population, the presented signature model Hillerich & Bradsby enjoys a high-ranking position for its "excellent use," as characterized by expert John Taube, and for particular traits that match known Cobb exemplars.

    Though (properly) no model number appears on the bat, Taube notes that the knob, handle and barrel dimensions perfectly match the C28 that was Cobb's preferred format. Length and weight, at thirty-four and a half inches and thirty-five ounces, are likewise correct for Cobb specs.

    Taube goes on to state, in his detailed letter of examination, "A notable Ty Cobb characteristic is small cleat gouges on the upper barrel. Cleat marks, though few, can be seen on the upper barrel of the subject bat. We have mentioned the presence of green bat tray marks on the right and back barrel. Bat trays were used by Major League teams prior to bat racks in the dugout. The trays were laid in front of the dugout and the players would pull their bats from the tray. The color green was a popular color throughout the Major Leagues and was also used by the Detroit Tigers."

    Cobb was entering the last quarter of his twenty-four season career when he balanced this lumber in his wide-handed grip, but the notion that he was a diminished athlete would be as offensive to the historical data as it would have been to Cobb himself. Over the three-season period matching the production era of this bat, Cobb expanded his hit record by 557, inclusive of 160 extra-base knocks, for batting and slugging averages of .349 and .495 respectively. Considering the heavy use and the sturdy girth of the unbroken handle that made protracted use possible, one could reasonably attribute a healthy percentage of those statistics to this model.

    The bat originally entered the collecting hobby in 2007 when it was consigned to auction by the son of a woman who had received the bat as a young girl directly from Cobb at a Detroit Tigers game in the early 1920's. A signed letter of provenance from the son is included. LOA from MEARS, A9.5. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 8.5.

    1923-25 Ty Cobb Game Used Bat, MEARS A9.5, PSA/DNA GU 8.5.

    *A donation of $100 to the American Red Cross is required to attend the Live auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2013
    23rd-24th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,711

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

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