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1941 - 1943 Stan Musial Signed Rookie-Era Pro Model Bat
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $1,856.00
This H&B signature model bat (predating model numbers) ranks among the earliest Stan Musial pro model bats in existence and dates from one of his first three seasons in the Majors. Additionally, it comes with the added provenance of having originated directly from the estate of Harry Evans, one of baseball's legendary early collectors. The bat dates from the 1934-44 labeling period and features the rare "small style" facsimile signature of Musial stamped on the barrel. The bat is not cracked and exhibits no use. The fact that the bat bears no model number on the knob confirms its date of manufacture was prior to 1944. By the end of 1944 H&B had begun the practice of stamping model numbers onto all of their pro model game bats, a tradition which continues to this day. Therefore, this bat can be precisely dated to one of Musial's first three Major League seasons (1941-43). Musial broke into the Majors in 1941, appearing in twelve games with the Cardinals. The following spring he cracked the starting lineup and finished his rookie year with a .315 average, 10 home runs and 72 RBI. In 1943 he established himself as one of the top hitters in the game, winning the first of his eventual seven batting titles with a league leading mark of .357. Accordingly, bats matching the specifications of this particular Musial example are documented in the factory shipping records from 1941-43. The last shipment of 35-inch bats bearing no model number was sent to Musial on June 10, 1943. The lack of any apparent use on the bat was obviously not a concern to Harry Evans. In fact, it was exactly what he demanded. Evans endeavored to create truly distinctive and lasting display pieces for his collection by decorating each item by hand. This bat proved no exception and the reverse of the barrel reveals his unique adornment. There, in painstakingly precise black ink lettering, Evans has commemorated the remarkable 1948 season of "Stan the Man." Musial's complete offensive statistics for the year are displayed in a 10-inch long format. Lettered above the stat line is the header "1948-Batting Champion-1948," with the notations "National" and "League" printed, respectively, above and below. Beneath the line of statistics he has added the team name: "St. Louis Cardinals." Accentuating its attractive presentation is the fact that Evans later had Musial sign the bat above the team name. Musial's signature has been scripted in vintage black ink ("6"). Few players in the game have ever equaled Musial's skill at the plate. A seven-time National League batting champion, he ranks in the top five of all in a number of important offensive categories including runs, hits, doubles, total bases and runs batted in. He retired in 1963 with a career average of .331 and the reputation as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. Rookie-era Musial bats are extremely rare, with this offered bat also having the distinction of once residing in one of the most prestigious and legendary early baseball collections. There is a small mounting hole on the top of the barrel relating to its long ago display by Evans; otherwise the bat is in pristine condition. Length: 35 inches. Weight: 35 ounces. Graded A5 by MEARS (base grade due to no use). LOAs from Dave Bushing & Troy Kinunen/MEARS and James Spence/JSA and Steve Grad, Mike Gutierrez & Zach Rullo/PSA DNA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$4,000. SOLD FOR $1,856.00
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