1961-1963 Willie Mays Pro-Model Bat

Sold For: $5,288

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1358

Item Year: 1961

Category: Game-Used Bats

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This spectacular white-letter Adirondack signature-model "M63" bat, with a very rare and significant provenance, dates to the 1961-1963 manufacturing period, one of the most prolific periods in Willie Mays' legendary career. The bat displays significant use including heavy ball marks, cleat and rack marks, and moderate deadwood on the reverse of the barrel. Mays' uniform number ("24") is written on the knob in vintage black marker. This bat originates from the 2003 sale of a very well documented collection of game-used bats that was formerly owned by a gentleman who was a former Major League batboy (1961-1962). It is accompanied not only by a copy of a 2003 Sports Collector's Digest article, in which this bat is specifically mentioned, but also by a copy of a letter from the batboy in which he discusses the provenance of the collection as a whole. Mays was at the top of his game during the three-year span 1961-1963. The legendary outfielder batted over .300 in each of those seasons while totaling 127 home runs, including a league-high forty-nine in 1962. That same year marked his career-high total for RBI (141). (Note: though the bat is from the 1961-1963 labeling period, it dates only from either 1961 or 1962, as these are the years that the original owner worked as batboy and obtained the bat.) Mays, who is currently one of only four players to have amassed over 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, is generally considered the greatest all-around center fielder in history. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1979, his first year of eligibility. Length: 34. 87 inches. Weight: 34 ounces. Graded A8.5 by MEARS (5 points base grade, plus 3 points added for use, 1 point added for provenance and one-half point deducted for the deadwood). This is one of only fifteen Willie Mays 1960s Adirondack bats listed in the MEARS census and it is currently the second highest graded example within that subgroup (the highest is graded A9). LOA from Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$4,000++. SOLD FOR $5,288

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