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1961-1963 Al Kaline Pro-Model Bat Signed by the 1963 Detroit Tigers!
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $2,014.50
Al Kaline Adirondack block-letter (last name only) model "225K" bat dating to the 1961-1963 manufacturing period. Fortunately, this bat can be pinpointed to the 1963 season by virtue of the fact that it has been signed in blue ink along the barrel by the following twenty-eight members of the 1963 Detroit Tigers: Kaline, Bunning, Herzog, Dressen (Mgr.), Brown, Mossi, Lolich, Freehan, Anderson, Swift (coach), Bruton, Mullin (coach), Cash, Regan, Roarke, Triandos, Faul, Lary, McAuliffe, Wert, Thomas, Overmire (coach), Phillips, Fox, Aguire, Colavito, Gladding, and G. Smith. Signatures range from "7" to "10," averaging "8/9," and are much stronger than normally found on bats (a bat surface is not generally conducive to ink). One of the reasons why the signatures took so well is because the bat's original finish was removed prior to its signing. It was then reapplied after the players inked their names. Unfortunately, the very process of removing and then re-adding the finish removed most normally found displays of use, such as ball marks, rack marks, pine tar, etc. The only remaining evidence of prior use is an approximate four-inch "H" crack in the handle that has been professionally repaired. That crack, together with Kaline's uniform number on the barrel, strongly suggest that this bat did, indeed, see game use by Kaline, but the subsequent barrel preparation makes it hard to determine the exact extent or nature of that use. Currently, the bat presents much as it did when it was shipped from the factory, with the exception of Kaline's number on the knob and the repaired crack (and the signatures, of course). It should be noted that this bat is stamped in white instead of black. Adirondack only used white stamping between the years 1961 and 1963, making them both rare and especially highly prized by collectors due to their naturally narrow dating range. Kaline batted .312 with 27 home runs and 101 RBI in 1963. He finished his career with a .297 lifetime average and is one of only twenty-eight players to have amassed 3,000 or more hits. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1980, his first year of eligibility. This is the first Al Kaline Adirondack white-stamped bat we have ever offered. The fact that it has his number on the knob, combined with the twenty-nine vintage blue-ink Tigers signatures on the barrel, almost certainly places it in the Tigers clubhouse at the time. Vintage team-signed bats are extremely rare, making this an exceptional piece for both game-used bat and autograph collectors. Length: 34.5 inches. Weight: 30.9 ounces. LOAs from John Taube and Vince Malta of PSA/DNA and from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000+. SOLD FOR $2,014.50
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