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    Gift to Yankees bat boy documented in included book!

    1951 Joe DiMaggio All-Star Game Bat Used in 1951 World Series, PSA/DNA GU 10. There's only one undefeated champion in sports, and it's Father Time. That cruel taskmaster had already set his sights upon this Yankee icon as he entered the 1951 season fighting painful bone spurs in his feet and a creaky right shoulder that gave opposing baserunners the courage to test the center fielder in ways they had never dreamed in DiMaggio's prime. Though his numbers for the 1951 season were respectable for mere mortals, he'd finish the regular season sixty-two points below his career batting average. On December 11, 1951, just two months after his Yankees had claimed their third consecutive World Championship, DiMaggio addressed the press:

    "I feel that I have reached the stage where I can no longer produce for my ball club, my manager, my teammates and my fans the sort of baseball their loyalty to me deserves."

    And so ended the dazzling career of one of the greatest ballplayers who ever lived. Only a few weeks earlier, as DiMaggio returned to Yankee Stadium to clear out his locker for what would prove to be the last time, he had sought out his young friend Joe Carrieri to fulfill a promise he had made earlier in the season. In Carrieri's 2000 book, "Joe DiMaggio: The Promise," the former Yankee batboy poignantly describes that quiet afternoon in the Bronx.

    "DiMaggio called to me and said, 'Joe, aren't you forgetting something?' I looked surprised. DiMaggio continued, 'you remember you asked for a game bat. Well, I did not forget.' DiMaggio reached into his locker and handed me one of his bats. The bat was inscribed, "All Star Game - Joe DiMaggio - Detroit 151,' DiMaggio not only gave me one of his bats, but gave me an All Star Game bat. DiMaggio, indeed, had kept his promise."

    Now, certainly, any bat blessed by the touch of the Yankee Clipper carries enormous collecting intrigue, and special event bats amplify that intrigue exponentially, but this particular model carries a thrilling secret that places it into DiMaggio's hands for the very last moments of his illustrious career. After going hitless in the first three games of the 1951 World Series, he reached out to old friend Lefty O'Doul for advice. O'Doul asked what kind of bat DiMaggio was using, and he responded, "Thirty-four ounces. I used it yesterday for the first time. Before that 35 and earlier in the season 37." Here, taking DiMaggio's statement literally, Joe is telling us his first use of a 34-ounce bat in the 1951 season was during Game 3 of the World Series.

    Other than a World Series bat of that weight that was delivered to DiMaggio--a bat that PSA/DNA has evaluated and found to lack any game use at all--and three regular model bats delivered in June, the offered specimen is the only one of that weight issued in 1951. The fact that it remained in DiMaggio's locker at the end of the season strongly suggests World Series game use as described by DiMaggio to O'Doul.

    The signature model Hillerich & Bradsby D29L bears the period pencil handwritten "34" on the knob, consistent with the current weight of thirty-two ounces (32 oz.) resulting from the drying that affects all vintage bats. Length is DiMaggio's standard thirty-six inches (36"). The "JC" written in marker on the knob was written by bat boy Joe Carrieri.

    PSA/DNA bat expert John Taube attributes the outstanding game use--ball marks, stitch impressions, light pine tar and a repaired handle crack--to both pregame batting practice and World Series competition. DiMaggio would launch the final home run of his career in Game Four, and while we cannot definitively attribute that homer to this bat, available evidence would suggest this is the one. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 10.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2020
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,101

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