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1958 Whitey Ford Signed Pro-Model All-Star Game Bat (Ex-Ford Collection)
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $3,819
Extremely rare H&B block-letter model "U1" bat specially produced and issued to New York Yankees Hall of Fame pitcher Whitey Ford for use in the 1958 All-Star Game held at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. Graded A10 by MEARS. All-Star bats, like World Series bats, are favorites with collectors because each is specifically made for use in a special game(s), and because each can be dated to a very specific year. This particular bat is further distinguished by the fact that it originates directly from Whitey Ford. It was sold by Whitey Ford in 2008 at a special, highly publicized live auction featuring Ford's personal collection that was held in conjunction with the Major League All-Star Game. Pro-model bats produced for pitchers are, understandably, quite rare, and this example is no exception. The offered bat is one of just six Whitey Ford pro-model bats listed in the MEARS census, and one of only three graded A10. The bat is stamped "All Star Game" and "Baltimore 1958" in block letters above and below (respectively) Ford's name (last name only) on the barrel. Although Ford was selected to the 1958 American League All-Star Team, he did not appear in the game. Since the bat displays moderate use in the form of ball marks, rack marks, and cleat marks, it must be assumed that any and all use occurred after the All-Star Game. Ford has signed the bat in blue Sharpie (grading "10") directly below the barrel stamping. Ford was in the midst of another stellar season at the midway point of the 1958 season and he eventually finished the year with a 14-7 record and League-leading 2.01 ERA. Length: 35 inches. Weight: 36.1 ounces. Graded A10 by MEARS (5 point base grade, plus 2 points for use and 3 points for its All-Star Game provenance). This bat has been consigned to this auction directly from the personal collection/inventory of world-renowned bat and jersey authenticator Troy Kinunen. LOAs from Troy Kinunen/MEARS and James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000+. SOLD FOR $3,819
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