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    Description

    1976 Carl Yastrzemski Game Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 9 from The Bill Fundaro Collection. The heart and soul of the reigning American League Champs put up great numbers in 1976, driving in 102 runs on the strength of twenty-one homers and a .790 OPS. The offered signature model Hillerich & Bradsby P89 exhibits outstanding use from that campaign, as well as the bicentennial Liberty Bell stamping on the barrel that every bat collector loves. Length is thirty-six inches (36"), weight thirty-three ounces (32.7 oz.). Ball marks and cleat marks speckle the barrel, while pine tar appears on the lightly cracked handle. Number "8" is applied to knob in vintage marker. The bat originally derives from the personal collection of long-time Detroit Tigers usher Bill "Foul Ball Billy" Fundaro, who worked at the team's home park for more than a half century beginning during the World Championship season of 1968. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 9. 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: 26
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 351

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