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    1970-71 Frank Robinson Game Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 8, from The Bill Fundaro Collection. Frank Robinson was the 'big dog' on the Orioles championship teams of 1966-71 which won four A.L. flags and two World Series titles. The only player to win the MVP award in both the A.L. and N.L., Robinson also claimed the elusive Triple Crown in 1966, along with the World Series MVP.

    Dating from the height of his glory years in Baltimore, this Hillerich & Bradsby model R161 bat (35" and 34.1 ounces) was gifted to Bill Fundaro in the early 1970's. The bat has a labeling period of 1970-71 and sports an 11" handle crack. A small hint of mold is visible on the left barrel. Ball marks and stitch impressions pepper the right, left and back barrel so we know this was in Robinson's arsenal for an extended period of time. Green, blue and red bat rack streaks join light pine tar on the handle. "R161" is revealed on the knob along with a faint "35" in reference to the bat's length. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 8. Letter of provenance from Bill Fundaro's daughter.

    More Information: The Bill Fundaro Collection

    They lovingly called him "Foul Ball Billy" during his fifty years of service to the Detroit Tigers franchise. The long-time usher got his start with the ballclub during the unforgettable season of 1968 that saw pitcher Denny McLain record what remains (likely for eternity) the last thirty-win season en route to World Championship glory. Fundaro's last season was 2019 and he passed away in October of last year after spending the 2020 season locked out of the gates of Major League Baseball by the global pandemic.

    Fundaro got his nickname from his primary role of retrieving balls off the screen behind the plate at Tiger Stadium and giving them to umpires or fans. In honor of his Golden Anniversary with the team, Fundaro threw out a first pitch in 2018, earning a loud ovation from the many fans who had come to know him like family.

    The ballplayers, both Tigers and visitors, likewise were drawn to Fundaro's unfailingly friendly demeanor, gifting him a wide array of game used bats and the like which appear upon the following pages. There's even a remarkable supply of material from beyond our national pastime, as Fundaro didn't rest during the baseball offseason, photographing Detroit Lions and Michigan Wolverines games and participating in a wide array of sports-related fundraising efforts. Heritage is please to present this remarkable evidence of a life well-lived, each item accompanied by a letter of provenance from Fundaro's daughter.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2021
    6th-8th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 44
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