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    The most important bat in the hobby?

    1985 Pete Rose Record-Breaking 4,192nd Career Hit Game Used & Signed Bat, PSA/DNA GU 10.

    "Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? One should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved."

    This excerpt from Niccol├▓ Machiavelli's canonical Sixteenth Century volume The Prince serves as its most potent distillation, and every pantheon figure of American sports can be charted somewhere on that X/Y axis of love and fear. In one cluster you'd locate Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Lou Gehrig. In another, you'd find Ty Cobb, Ted Williams and this man, one of the most complicated figures in 150 years of the professional game.

    A ship of single-minded determination rarely sails upon calm seas, and, as "Shoeless Joe" Jackson approaches the centennial of his banishment from baseball, there is little indication that Pete Rose won't suffer a similar term of exile to baseball's Elba. Ousted from the organized game due to gambling, Rose spends most days autographing memorabilia in a Las Vegas casino, his enduring addiction to the thrill of illicit competition that had been his downfall leaving little opportunity for Big League brass to consider Rose a changed man.

    But could any man without that compulsive competitive drive ever stand a chance of claiming baseball's greatest individual record? The answer is certainly no.

    So whether or not Pete Rose ever finds the forgiveness he craves is somewhat beside the point, though there is no question that any and all Rose memorabilia--and particular elite pieces such as this--will see a significant value jolt if it happens. We must instead view Rose in his own, singular context, as the only man since Ty Cobb with the specific talent and psychological profile required to claw his way to the top of baseball's Everest.

    Presented is the flag post he drove into the ground at that airless height, arguably the most historically significant bat ever swung in a Major League park.

    The glossy black Mizuno lumber was crafted specifically for its world-beating task, the "PR 4192" model number reflecting the man and the goal. The thirty-four inch (34"), thirty-one and a half ounce (31.5 oz.) lumber exhibits moderate game use, suggesting that some portion of Rose's last hits as number two likewise appear upon its resume. The lightly-sanded barrel and ringed grip tape format perfectly match up to video and photography from the September 11, 1985 contest at Riverfront Stadium, where Rose laced a hanging slider from San Diego Padres right-hander into left-center to begin a seven-minute ovation.

    Rose himself adorns the barrel with the historic attribution, writing, "Hit 4192, 9-11-85, Pete Rose" in 9/10 silver sharpie. Further documentation is supplied in the form of a signed letter from Rose (copy--original went with the hit baseball) and a signed letter from the man who purchased both items from Rose (also a copy, for same reason). We also have a photograph of the bat on display at the Reds Museum.

    One can only hope that the winning bidder will see fit to loan this most historic relic to a public institution where it can continue to amaze and inspire, but clearly there is no such guarantee. Could this be the very last time the baseball world will lay its eyes upon the bat that broke the sport's most significant record? LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 10. Letter of provenance from Pete Rose (copy). Letter of provenance from original purchaser of bat (copy). Full LOA from PSA/DNA (autograph).

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2019
    23rd-24th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,853

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

    Sold on Feb 23, 2019 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
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