1946-1948 Joe DiMaggio Pro Model Bat with Outstanding Provenance!
Starting Bid - $5,000.00, Sold For - $16,590.00
Joe DiMaggio H&B signature-model "D29L" bat dating from the 1946-1948 manufacturing period. This bat has the unique and very special provenance of originating from the collection of Carl Dephillipo, who was one of the hobby's earliest and most prominent collectors of game-used memorabilia. During the 1940s through the 1970s Dephillipo amassed what was probably the largest Joe DiMaggio collection in private hands at the time, with nearly everything he owned having been obtained directly from DiMaggio. Dephillipo's friendship with the famed "Yankee Clipper" was so well known, and his DiMaggio collection so vast, that Dephillipo was given the nickname "DiMag,"by his friends and family. Our consignor, whose father was a friend of Dephillipo, received this bat directly from Dephillipo in 1960, when he was eight years old and hospitalized. Dephillipo made a special trip to the hospital to see him, at which time he presented him with the offered bat as a gift. In an accompanying copy of a newspaper article (circa 1970) profiling Dephillipo and his amazing collection, the gift of this very bat is actually documented: "Dephillipo's wife, Ann, seems to accept her husband's passion with benignity. 'There's no room for me on those shelves,' she said. Soon there won't be room for anything else, either. He has given away many of this trinkets, including a Joe DiMaggio bat, which Dephillipo presented to a crippled youngster in Pittsburgh." As noted by our consignor, he was in the hospital at the time, but he was not actually crippled ("a gift to a crippled boy made for a better story in the papers," he said). The article further notes that in addition to Dephillipo's many friendships with ballplayers, including Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford, he also landed a part-time job working in the visitors' clubhouse at Yankee Stadium, where he then had access to every American League player. The story closes by making reference to his nickname, "Few players know him by his real name, but almost everyone knows him by 'DiMag.'" This bat has remained in our consignor's possession for over fifty years, since the day he received it as a gift in 1960 and has never before been offered for sale, either publicly or privately.
The bat is not cracked and displays light use throughout. A few ball marks and ball-stitch impressions are visible on the left barrel. Blue and green bat-rack marks can be seen on the front, top back barrel, and handle. Also visible are several depressions and bruises on the back barrel. There is a light coat of pine tar on the upper handle. All of the manufacturing stampings are deep and well defined. 1946 marked DiMaggio's return to the Major Leagues following his three years of military service and he picked up right where he left off. In his first season back with the "Bronx Bombers" he batted .290 with 25 home runs and 95 RBI. The following season DiMaggio won his third and final MVP Award by virtue of his .315 average, 20 home runs, and 97 RBI, numbers which also helped lead the Yankees to their first World Championship in four years. In 1948 he enjoyed one of his finest all-around seasons as he led the League in both home runs (39) and RBI (155), while finishing the season with a .320 batting average. This bat's extraordinary provenance (Dephillipo almost certainly obtained it directly from DiMaggio and its presentation to our consignor is documented in a period newspaper article, a copy of which we have posted online), combined with its narrow three-year span of use during the late 1940s, makes it a most exceptional Joe DiMaggio bat in all respects and one of the finest examples we have ever offered. LOA from John Taube and Vince Malta of PSA/DNA. Reserve $5,000. Estimate $10,000++. SOLD FOR $16,590.00