Rare Billy Herman H&B signature model bat (predating model numbers) dating from the 1933-1934 labeling period. According to the accompanying PSA/DNA LOA, this is one of only four Billy Herman game bats certified by the company (as of February 19, 2015). It is also only the second example we have ever offered. Ideally, this bat can be definitively dated to the years 1933 to 1934 based upon the unique center-brand stamping. As such, it was used by Herman during either his second or third full season in the majors. The bat displays heavy use, including an approximate seven-inch "H" crack in the handle (repaired with sixteen vintage nails), checking (grain separation) on the reverse of the barrel, and cleat marks. Most important, the bat displays evidence of former tape rings on the handle, which is a documented characteristic of Herman game bats (supported by period photographs). Herman batted .279 with 0 home runs and 44 RBI in 1933 with the Cubs. The following year he hit .303 with 3 home runs and 42 RBI, while making his first of an eventual ten All-Star Game appearances. During his playing career (1931-1947) Herman was considered the finest second baseman in the National League; Leo Durocher once remarked that he was "universally accepted as the classic number-two hitter. . . . an absolute master at hitting behind the runner." Herman played with both the Cubs and Dodgers between the years 1934-1943, batting over .300 in six of those ten seasons. He also led the League in fielding percentage at his position on three separate occasions. Herman finished his career with a .304 average and 2,345 hits. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1975. Length: 33 inches. Weight: 35.1 ounces. LOA from John Taube of PSA/DNA. Reserve $500. Estimate (open).
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