1932 Joe Stripp Pro-Model Bat Autographed by 148 National League Players
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $2,014.50
Joe Stripp H&B pro-model bat (predating model numbers), dating precisely from 1932, signed by approximately 148 National League players, including twenty-three different Hall of Famers. This is the most extraordinary signed bat we have ever encountered. Every 1932 National League team is represented on this bat with the exception of Philadelphia. Our consignor purchased this bat at a small auction a number of years ago and, unfortunately, it came with no provenance. The fact that it is a Joe Stripp pro-model bat suggests that it was Stripp who acquired the signatures, but that is only speculation. The three things we do know for certain are as follows: 1) It is a 1932 bat (that was the only year in which the stamping "Powerized and Bone Rubbed" appeared on H&B bats); 2) It was signed late in the season, as it features the signature of Ducky Medwick (signed "Mickey Medwick"), who made his Major League debut at the age of twenty on September 2, 1932; 3) It was signed in 1932, as a few of the signers either switched teams or were no longer in the league in 1933. Each team has signed in unison, with a five of the team names (Pittsburgh, New York, Brooklyn, St. Louis, and Chicago) specifically written on the bat, underneath which the respective players have signed. Stripp was a member of Brooklyn in 1932 and it is interesting to note that his signature does not appear in the row with his teammates, but on the handle, again suggesting that he obtained the signatures himself. As pointed out to us by James Spence, in addition to the Hall of Famers represented here, the bat also includes the rare signatures of Wally Roettger and Mickey Finn. Roettger committed suicide in 1951 while Finn, who was an alternate on the U. S. Olympic bobsled team in 1932, died in 1933 after having surgery on an ulcer.
Because the barrel of a bat is not the most conducive surface for autographs, it should come as no surprise that the signatures, scripted in blue and black fountain pen, vary greatly in both execution and strength. While the overwhelming majority are legible, they range in grade from "1" to "9," averaging "5." Given the number of signatures on the bat and the fact that some are extremely faint (therefore illegible), we may have missed one or two and the count of 148 is approximate. The signatures that we can discern, grouped by team, are noted here in our listing. Chicago: twenty-two signatures, including Hartnett, Jurges, English, Cuyler, Moore, Stephenson, Helmsley, Gudat, Demaree, Taylor, Warneke, Bush, Root, Malone, Grimes, Tinning, Herrman, May, and O'Leary (coach). Pittsburgh: twenty-one signatures, including Gibson (Mgr.), Suhr, Piet, Vaughan, Traynor, P. Waner, L. Waner, Barbee, Thevenow, Padden, Groskloss, Brubaker, Swift, Meine, Harris, Chagnon, Crandall (coach), and Corriden (coach). Brooklyn: twenty-five signatures, including Cuccinello, Wright, Stripp, Wilson, Taylor, O'Doul, Lopez, Frederick, Slade, Finn, Sukeforth, Picinich, Rosenfeld, Clark, Mungo, Thurston, Vance, Quinn, Pipgras, and Stengel (coach). Boston: twenty signatures, including Maranville, Urbanski, McKechnie (Mgr.), Knothe, Schulmerich, Berger, Spohrer, Moore, Leach, Clark, Jordan, Ford, Schulte, Brandt, Cantwell, Frankhouse, Seibold, Gowdy (coach), and Lewis (coach). New York: twenty-two signatures, including Terry, Critz, Vergez, Ott, Lindstrom, Moore, Hogan, English, O'Farrell, Hubbell, Fitzsimmons, Luque, Mooney, Gibson, and Mitchell. St. Louis: twenty-two signatures, including Collins, Martin, Mancuso, Frisch, Wilson, Bottomley, Blades, Medwick, DeLance, Derringer, Carleton, Stout, Haines, Winford, Street (Mgr.), and Wares (coach). Cincinnati: seventeen signatures, including Hendrick, Grantham, Durocher, Gilbert, Herman, Crabtree, Roettger, Lombardi, High, Lucas, Manion, Howley (Mgr.), Carroll, Frey, and Ogden. The bat, which measures 35 inches in length and weighs 33.2 ounces, displays a small, repaired crack in the handle and has been coated with a layer of clear shellac. In Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,014.50