1951-1952 Yogi Berra Signed Pro-Model Bat - Graded GU 10 by PSA/DNA - The Ultimate Berra Bat with Direct Player Provenance!
Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $23,700
Yogi Berra H&B signature-model "R43" bat dating from the 1951-1952 manufacturing period. Graded GU10 by PSA/DNA. Given the combination of its unique provenance, dating, and physical characteristics, we have little hesitation in declaring this one of the finest, if not the absolute finest, Yogi Berra pro-model bat extant. This bat originates directly from the personal collection of Charlie Silvera, who was Berra's teammate on the Yankees between the years 1948 and 1957. In his accompanying one-page, signed, notarized letter (dated 11/12/2004), Silvera attests to its game-used provenance. In part:
Starting in the late 1940s, I began collecting baseball memorabilia in the form of bats, balls, and uniforms from my Yankee teammates as well as other stars from around the league. These items have remained in my personal collection for better than fifty (50) years despite repeated attempts by collectors and auction houses to purchase them from me. I acquired this Yogi Berra game used bat directly from Yogi.
In addition to its impeccable provenance this bat can be reasonably attributed to Berra's 1951 MVP season. That attribution is predicated on the location of the "Powerized" stamping on the barrel. John Taube elaborates on the dating in the LOA from PSA/DNA that accompanies:
The location of 'Powerized' with respect to the center brand indicates we can attribute the bat to Berra's 1951 season. A review of our database, specifically 1952 All Star Game Bats that can be placed directly to the 1952 season, indicates 'Powerized' is much closer to the right edge of the center brand than bats manufactured in 1951. We again refer to our database, specifically 1951 All Star Game bats, and note the location of 'Powerized' on these bats matches the subject Larry Berra bat. 'Larry Berra,' the first version of Berra's endorsed signature, appeared on his bats through the 1952 season.
The bat, which is not cracked, displays ample evidence of Berra's performance at the plate in 1951, including slight grain checking (grain swelling) on the back of the barrel, numerous ball and stitch marks, cleat marks, and both blue and black bat-rack marks. Ideally, Berra later signed the bat in black marker (grading "10") on the sweet spot of the barrel, "Larry Yogi Berra." Berra batted .294 with 27 home runs and 88 RBI in 1951, numbers which not only earned him the MVP Award at season's end, but also helped lead the Yankees to their third consecutive World Championship. Berra bats dating from the 1950s are much rarer than those from the 1960s and have always been highly sought-after by collectors. This is an exceptionally early example, with a remarkable and ironclad provenance, autographed, and dating from one of Berra's most historically significant seasons. We don't think a Yogi Berra bat could get any better! Length: 35 inches. Weight: 32.5 ounces. LOAs from John Taube and Vince Malta of PSA/DNA and James Spence/JSA. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $23,700