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Lot # 1468 (of 1807)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1908-1925 Tinker-Evers-Chance Pro-Model Bat Collection: Assembled "Set" of Three Bats!

Starting Bid - $5,000.00, Sold For - $20,145.00

In 1910 the Chicago Cubs double-play trio of "Tinker to Evers to Chance" was immortalized in newspaper columnist Franklin Adams' now-famous poem, Baseball's Sad Lexicon, which began with the line "These are the saddest of possible words: Tinker to Evers to Chance." Fittingly, all three players were inducted into the Hall of Fame together in 1946. Offered here is a collection of pro-model bats that represent each member of that historic "trio of bear cubs." Ideally, each bat is accompanied by an individual LOA from PSA/DNA. It should be noted that, given the extreme rarity of each bat, it took our consignor many years to put this collection together and it is for that reason that they are being offered here as a single lot. 1) 1923-1925 Frank Schulte Pro-Model Bat (Factory Side Written: Joe Tinker). Graded GU 6 by PSA/DNA. The Frank Schulte H&B block-letter bat (last name only) dates to the 1923-1925 manufacturing period, a time that predates model numbers on bats. The bat displays heavy use throughout, including checking (grain separation) that has been repaired by numerous small nails along the entire barrel, ball marks, and a large thirteen-inch crack in the handle. The letter "X" is carved in the knob. This bat was returned to the factory by Joe Tinker as noted by the clear and legible side writing present on the barrel that reads "Joe Tinker 2-22-23/Orlando FL BC." Remnants of the original shipping label are also evident on the barrel. Side writing is of great significance to collectors as it places a bat directly into the hands of the player so named. When players returned bats to the factory (to be used as templates for future orders), identifying notations, including the player's name and date received, would be written in grease pencil on the side of the bat by an H&B employee and stored in the vaults for future reference. In that regard, side writing on bats is recognized by the most sophisticated collectors as being the equivalent of having a letter of authenticity directly from the player himself. It should be noted that Joe Tinker returned this bat to the factory seven years after he retired from the Major Leagues. Tinker was president and owner of the Orlando Gulls of the Florida State League in 1923. He and Schulte were longtime teammates on the Cubs, which would account for his having this particular bat. Joe Tinker pro-model bats dating to his active playing career are exceedingly rare (only one 1910-era Joe Tinker model H&B sidewritten game-used bat graded GU 10 by PSA/DNA is known, which sold at auction for $59,135 in 2012), making this bat the next-best alternative for collectors attempting to assemble an advanced Hall of Fame bat collection or a Tinker-Evers-Chance bat trio. Length: 35 inches. Weight: 33 ounces. 2) 1908-1911 Johnny Evers Pro-Model Bat. Graded GU 7 by PSA/DNA. This Johnny Evers Spalding "Gold Medal Autograph" signature-model bat (predating model numbers) dates to the 1908-1911 manufacturing period. The bat is not cracked and displays evidence of excellent use, including ball marks and cleat marks. The knob had a piece missing that was later professionally restored and the bat has been refinished. Evers was a member of the Cubs between the years 1908 and 1911, and he helped lead the club to two pennants and one World Championship during that span. Johnny Evers pro-model bats are exceedingly rare, with few examples known. To the best of our knowledge there may be as few (or fewer) than five Evers pro-model bats known (that total takes into consideration both H&B and Spalding examples). Length: 32 inches. Weight: 37.6 ounces. 3) 1908-1911 Frank Chance Pro-Model Bat. Graded GU 7 by PSA/DNA. This Frank Chance Spalding "Gold Medal Autograph" signature-model bat (predating model numbers) dates to the 1908-1911 manufacturing period. The bat is not cracked and displays evidence of excellent use, including checking (grain separation), many ball marks, and what appear to be cleat marks. The top barrel has been trimmed and there is a small chip in the knob. Lathe marks are also visible on the knob. As PSA/DNA notes in its accompanying letter, the presence of lathe marks indicates that this bat was hand-turned: "Spalding retail bats have finished knobs that were imprinted with the Spalding Baseball trademark. The absence of the trademark and appearance of the lathe mark indicates this bat as being Spalding professional model." Chance was player manager of the Cubs between the years 1908-1911 and he helped lead the Cubs to two pennants and one World Championship during that span. Like those of both Tinker and Evers, Frank Chance pro-model bats are exceedingly rare, with few examples known. We have only seen two other Spalding Frank Chance pro-model bats and we cannot recall have ever seen a Frank Chance H&B pro-model bat. Length: 34 inches. Weight: 41.5 ounces. Total: 3 bats. Each bat is accompanied by an individual LOA from John Taube and Vince Malta of PSA/DNA. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open).
SOLD FOR $20,145.00


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