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Outstanding 1937-1941 Hank Greenberg Pro-Model Bat (MEARS A8)
Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $10,575
This extremely rare and desirable Hank Greenberg H&B signature model bat (predating model numbers) dates from the 1934-1944 labeling era; however, based upon H&B factory records it can be more narrowly and precisely dated to the five-year period 1937-1941, a time in which Greenberg was the game's premier slugger. This is an extraordinary bat from one of the game's greatest legends. Greenberg bats are far rarer than those of other great home-run hitting stars of his stature from the era such as Ruth and Foxx. The bat is not cracked and displays heavy use along its entire length, including ball marks and deeply embedded stitch marks on both sides of the barrel. All of the manufacturer's stampings are deep and well defined, particularly Greenberg's facsimile signature. The bat measures 34.625 inches in length and weighs 34 ounces. H&B factory records indicate that between the years 1934 and 1944 Greenberg routinely ordered 35-inch bats, weighing between 34 and 36 ounces, only during the five-year period 1937-1941. "Hammerin'" Hank Greenberg was one of the most feared sluggers of his day, leading the American League in home runs on four separate occasions. In 1938 (a year of possible use for this very bat) he seriously challenged Ruth's single-season home run record, only to fall short by two, with 58. The previous year he drove in 183 runs, the second-best mark in American League history and third best all-time behind Gehrig (184) and Hack Wilson (190). In his six full seasons from 1934 through 1940 (he was hurt in 1936 and lost nearly five full seasons due to military service from 1941 to 1945) Greenberg averaged 39 home runs and 150 RBI. To put his RBI numbers in proper perspective, whereas Greenberg averaged 150 RBI a season over that period, other prominent Hall of Fame sluggers such as Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron never even once recorded 150 RBI in a single season. Graded A8 by MEARS (base grade of 5, plus 3 points for use). As previously noted, Greenberg bats are far rarer than those of other great home-run hitting stars of his era. The MEARS population report records over eighty Ruth bats, for example. This is only the second Greenberg example we have ever offered. It is also one of only eight Hank Greenberg pro-model bats listed in the MEARS census; two others are graded at this level, and three are graded higher (all of the higher-graded examples are sidewritten bats). This bat has been consigned to this auction directly from the personal collection/inventory of world-renowned bat and jersey authenticator Troy Kinunen. LOA from Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $4,000/$8,000. SOLD FOR $10,575
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