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1950-1960 Ted Williams Pro-Model Team-Index Bat
Starting Bid - $500.00 , Sold For - $1,762.50
Ted Williams H&B signature model "O1" team-index bat dating from the 1950 to 1960 manufacturing period. The bat displays heavy use along its entire length, including ball marks, deeply embedded stitch marks (on both sides of the barrel), cleat marks and a significant 16-inch "H" crack in the handle. H&B shipping records show that this model was ordered by the Boston Red Sox team. In the 1950s the Red Sox would often order bats for the players for team use, with specifications based on past models personally ordered by players. Players also special ordered bats direct from H&B. Ted Williams personally special ordered the O1 models until 1947. The Red Sox ordered O1 Ted Williams model bats as part of their larger order placed for the team throughout the 1950s. This is one of those bats. Some collectors make a distinction in value between team-ordered bats and special player-ordered bats, but this practice has evolved from the early 1950s to modern times as the norm. Today all player bats are ordered by the team as opposed to personally by the player. While it is true that a bat which shipping records show was personally ordered by Ted Williams and shipped to him can with relative certainty be placed into his hands, it is also true that the Red Sox team ordered many bats for use by Williams, and this is one of those bats. Williams’ game-use of team-ordered bats is actually well documented. According to interviews with Ted Williams, late in the season or in the second game of a double-header he would often use a 34-inch bat instead of his standard 35-inch bat. H&B factory shipping records do not show any 34-inch bats special ordered directly by Ted Williams; all of the 34-inch Ted Williams bats were team-ordered by the Red Sox. This bat measures 34 inches in length and weighs 31 ounces. The fact that this bat was ordered by the team, and not Williams himself, in no way precludes the possibility that he used it. In the case of this bat, one might even argue that it was probable. Williams himself also specifically references in his popular book The Science of Hitting that he used 34-inch bats during his career. One of the reasons team-index bats sell for such a significant discount is that in the past some auctions have sold these bats without making this distinction and disclosure, leaving buyers feeling cheated when selling these bats years later. A strong case can be made that these bats, at price levels more modest than that of examples that can be shown by factory records to have been personally ordered by the player, represent one of the best values in all of bat collecting. Graded A6.5 by MEARS (base grade of 5, plus 3 points for use,with 1 point subtracted for the non-recorded length and another half point subtracted for the crack). LOA from Dave Bushing & Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000. SOLD FOR $1,762.50
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