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1960 Ted Williams Pro-Model Bat - Williams' Final Season!
Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $11,258
Ted Williams H&B signature-model ("W183") bat dating precisely from the 1960 season (as noted by John Taube of PSA/DNA in the accompanying LOA, the dating can be determined with certainty based upon the straight-line "Powerized" stamping). This extraordinary bat, which is new to the hobby, is accompanied by particularly outstanding provenance: Our consignor grew up in Boston, just blocks from Fenway Park, and personally received this bat as a gift from clubhouse personnel during one of his many frequent visits to Fenway Park as a child. It has been in his sole possession since that time. In addition to commemorating Ted Williams' final season in baseball, the bat is a picture-perfect Williams pro-model bat in all respects. The bat, which is not cracked, displays Williams' uniform number ("9") written in faded black marker on the knob. Heavy use is displayed along its entire length in the form of numerous ball marks and stitch impressions on the barrel, green bat rack marks, cleat marks, and, most significant, a moderate coat of a gripping substance on the handle. In the accompanying PSA/DNA LOA, John Taube identifies that gripping substance as one of the telltale traits found on pro-model bats used by Ted Williams:
The subject bat appears to have an even coat of gripping substance that extends from the knob to above the center brand. We have discussed this gripping substance with John Orlando Jr., former batboy of the Boston Red Sox. Orlando has indicated that the preferred substance of the 'Splendid Splinter' was a mixture of olive oil and rosin. He also said that Ted would have him wipe the handle clean if too much of the substance would build up.
The bat also has a small, approximate one-inch sliver of wood missing from the top portion of the front barrel and a few white/silver streaks (similar to rack marks) on the side of the barrel and upper handle. Williams finished his career in grand style in 1960. Bouncing back from his disappointing 1959 season, the only year in which he failed to hit over .300, Williams batted .316 with 29 home runs and 72 RBI in his final campaign. Numbered among those 29 home runs was his 500th, which he hit on June 17th in Chicago. At the time, Williams became only the fourth player in history to reach that important milestone, joining Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, and Mel Ott. While we will never know for certain, it seems reasonable, given the amount of use displayed here, that the offered bat was probably responsible for at least a few of those final 29 home runs, not to mention a bevy of other hits. This is an exemplary Ted Williams pro-model bat in all respects, particularly with regard to provenance and the fact that it can be pinpointed to his final season in baseball. Length: 35 inches. Weight: 32.7 ounces. LOA from John Taube and Vince Malta of PSA/DNA. Reserve $5,000. Estimate $10,000++. SOLD FOR $11,258
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