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Lot # 1446 (of 1673)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1921-1931 Babe Ruth H&B 250 Pro-Model Bat

Starting Bid - $2,500.00 , Sold For - $2,937.50

This extremely rare H&B "250" Babe Ruth pro-model bat dates from the 1921-1931 manufacturing period. The signature model bat is nearly identical to other Ruth pro-model bats from the era except for the fact that the number "250" is stamped in the center brand as opposed to the more traditional "125" model number. "250" bats were crafted of the highest-quality wood and although not often seen today, they are documented both in the company's retail catalogs and player shipping records. The offered example differs from the standard "250" retail model in a number of important ways. The first is the fact that the knob is hand turned and displays no stampings. Store model bats, which were mass produced, normally feature inch marks on the knob. Secondly, the wood of this bat is of much higher quality than that of a store-model bat, even a "250" model. The dark furniture-quality finish gives this bat a rare and particularly striking presence; it is the only Ruth 250 model we (or MEARS) has ever seen of this style. Lastly, this bat is heavier than normally issued for retail sale. This particular bat measures 33.75 inches in length and weighs 38 ounces. As MEARS notes in its accompanying LOA, this bat is somewhat shorter than normal for Ruth bats; however, Ruth is on record as stating that during his playing career he used 36-inch, 35-inch, and "sometimes shorter" bats. All of the bat's other specifications, most important its weight, are consistent with other Babe Ruth pro-model bats from the era. The bat displays significant use including a 9-inch crack in the handle that has been professionally restored. H&B factory records document at least one shipment of "250" model bats to Ruth, with that order received on 8/23/20. Although this bat could not have originated from that order (the order was for 46 ounce bats; also the manufacturing period doesn't correspond to this bat), it does show that Ruth, on at least one occasion, specifically ordered "250" bats. It is also important to note that while no records document Ruth ordering 34-inch bats, many of his order entries list only the weight and the notation "NS" (meaning length not specified ). Except for the length, and the fact that there are no documented factory records for "250" Ruth bats during the 1921-1931 manufacturing period, this bat is consistent with the specifications of other Ruth "125" bats from the era and represents a much more affordable alternative to higher-graded examples. Graded A6 by MEARS (5 point base graded, plus 3 points for use and 1 point for the consistent weight, but minus 3 points for the lack of post-1921 documented factory records). As a point of disclosure, this bat was originally submitted for grading prior to the handle crack having been repaired, at which time it lost an additional 1.5 points for the crack and received a final grade of A4.5. After the crack was repaired it was resubmitted and graded A6 (MEARS does not subtract points for professional restoration). LOA from Dave Bushing & Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000+. SOLD FOR $2,937.50

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