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1986-1989 Paul O'Neill Pro-Model Rookie Era Bat
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $593
Paul O'Neill Louisville Slugger signature-model "M110" bat dating from the 1986-1989 manufacturing period. Graded a perfect A10 by MEARS. The bat displays heavy use along its entire length, including numerous deeply embedded ball and stitch marks, rack marks, a copious amount of pine tar, and an approximate six-inch "H" crack in the handle. The handle also displays a wrap of vintage tape, in O'Neill's characteristic crisscross pattern, beginning at the knob and extending sixteen inches up the handle. Ideally, O'Neill's uniform number ("21") is written in vintage black marker on both the knob and the top end of the barrel. All of the center brand and barrel stampings are exceptionally deep and well defined. Paul O'Neill made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 1985, appearing in five games after joining the team in September; however, it wasn't until 1987 that he began playing regularly. In 1988 O'Neill became the club's everyday right fielder, finishing the season with a .252 average, 16 home runs, and 73 RBI. Although he was considered a solid player, O'Neill never batted over .300 in a season before being traded to the New York Yankees in 1993. In nine seasons in 45tripes, O'Neill batted over .300 on six separate occasions, including a league-leading .359 in 1994. During his tenure with the Yankees, O'Neill helped lead the club to five pennants and four World Championships. He is also one of only seven New York Yankees players to win a batting title. O'Neill retired in 2001 with a .288 lifetime average, 281 home runs, and 1,269 RBI. This not only an extremely early O'Neill bat, dating from his first two full seasons in the majors, but an exceptional example as well, displaying tremendous evidence of O'Neill's vaunted hitting prowess. Length: 34 inches. Weight: 31 ounces. LOA from Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$800. SOLD FOR $593
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