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1927-1928 Lloyd Waner Side-Written Pro Model Bat
Starting Bid - $2,000.00, Sold For - $4,406.25
Offered is both an unusual and rare Lloyd Waner pro model bat dating from his earliest days in the Major Leagues. The bat bears no center brand or player’s name; however, it is accompanied by impeccable provenance in the form of side writing, H&B vault marks, and a letter of authenticity from John A. Hillerich IV, President and CEO of the Hillerich & Bradsby Co. The side writing, which reads “Lloyd Waner 4-4-28,” is written on the barrel in the company’s customary grease pencil. Side writing was a standard practice at the H&B factory. When a player wanted to order a new shipment of bats, he would send the company an example to be used as a template. When the returned bat was received at the H&B factory, it would immediately be marked in grease pencil, making note of the player who returned it and the date it was received. In that regard side writing is universally recognized as the equivalent of a letter of authenticity from the player himself: it places the bat directly in the hands of the player who returned it. The fact that this bat bears no center brand or name indicates that it was probably one of a few blank sample bats sent to Waner for testing in the spring of 1928. Obviously, this is the bat he preferred and the one that future orders would be modeled after. That fact is further evidenced by the company’s vault mark, “W42,” stamped on both the end of the barrel and knob. "Vault marks" are the company inventory numbers for bats so that they could be easily referenced for future orders. The bat is not cracked and displays a medium amount of use including light ball marks and a slight chip in the knob. This bat originates directly from the archives of the Hillerich & Bradsby Co. and, as noted earlier, is accompanied by an LOA from John A. Hillerich attesting to its provenance. Lloyd Waner pro model bats are exceedingly rare and it is believed that the offered bat represents one of fewer than six known examples. Lloyd Waner began his career in 1927 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and for the next decade he and his older brother, Paul, reigned as two of the top hitters in the game. Lloyd Waner retired in 1945, finishing his career with a lifetime average of .316. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1967. Length: 34.25 inches. Weight: 38 ounces. Graded A8 by MEARS (base grade of 5, with 2 points added for use, 2 points added for provenance, and one point deducted for lack of a center brand). LOA from Dave Bushing & Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $4,000/$6,000. SOLD FOR $4,406.25
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