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1949 Pee Wee Reese Pro-Model Bat - Highest-Graded Example (Ex-Rizzuto Personal Collection)
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $2,938
This Pee Wee Reese H&B signature model "M117" bat dates from the 1943-1949 labeling period; however, factory records can precisely date its year of manufacture to 1949. Graded A9.5 by MEARS; one of only five Pee Wee Reese pro-model bats listed in the MEARS census, with none graded higher. The precise dating of this bat is all the more desirable as the Dodgers were NL champions in 1949. Adding to the appeal of the bat is its unique provenance. This bat originates from the personal collection of fellow Hall of Fame shortstop Phil Rizzuto and was purchased in 2006 at the highly publicized auction of Rizzuto's collection. Ideally, a color copy of a photograph picturing Rizzuto holding this very bat accompanies the piece. The bat is not cracked and displays significant use along its entire length including both ball and stitch marks, green rack marks, and very slight deadwood on the front and back of the barrel. Factory records show that Reese first ordered model "M117" bats in 1949, thus conclusively dating the bat to that year. Reese batted .279 with 16 home runs, 73 RBI, and a league-leading 132 runs in 1949, leading the Dodgers to their second pennant in three years. A ten-time All-Star, Reese was the acknowledged leader of the Dodgers during the team's "golden age" in Brooklyn and he appeared in seven World Series during his sixteen-year career. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984. Length: 34.125 inches. Weight: 30.2 ounces. Graded A9.5 by MEARS (5 point base grade, plus 3 points for use, 1 point for the Rizzuto provenance, and a half point for the pinpointed factory records). 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 $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000. SOLD FOR $2,938
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