Pair of Frank Thomas pro-model bats, each dating from the most productive period of his illustrious career, one of which is currently the highest-graded example listed in the MEARS database. 1) 1991-1992 Louisville Slugger Block-Letter (last name only) Model "C243" Bat.
Graded A9 by MEARS. Although this bat dates from the 1991-1997 manufacturing period, it can be more narrowly dated by an examination of H&B's shipping documents. Records show that between the years 1991 and 1997 Thomas only ordered "C243" model bats (matching this bat's specifications) between January 4, 1991 and April 9, 1992. Records also indicate that a total of 204 model "C243" bats were ordered by Thomas during that period. It should be noted that there were eleven additional Frank Thomas model "C243" bats ordered between July 3, 1991 and December 14, 1992 by Baseball Promotions. However, as MEARS states in its accompanying LOA, "based on the extremely limited amount of Baseball Promotions bats ordered compared to the ones ordered by Thomas and the Thomas player characteristics [displayed on the offered bat] it is very unlikely that this is one of the 11 bats ordered by Baseball promotions." The bat displays heavy use along its entire length, including ball marks, deeply embedded stitch marks, rack and cleat marks, pine tar (concentrated near the center brand), and a large twelve-inch crack in the handle. Thomas' uniform number ("35") is written on the knob in faded black marker. Length: 34 inches. Weight: 30 ounces. Graded A9 by MEARS (base grade of 5, plus 3 points for use, 1 point for the uniform number on the knob, and 1 point for displaying known player characteristics, but minus 1 point for the handle crack). This is one of sixteen Frank Thomas pro-model bats listed in the MEARS database, with only one other graded at this level, and none graded higher. 2) 1996 Rawlings Block-Letter (full name) Model "576B" Signed Bat.
Graded A7.5 by MEARS. The bat displays heavy use, including ball marks (with ink transfers), deeply embedded stitch marks, rack and cleat marks, and deadwood on the back of the barrel (two layers of deadwood have lifted off the bat, but there is no significant loss of wood). Thomas has inscribed the bat in silver paint pen (grading "10") on the sweet spot, "Frank Thomas 35." Length: 34.5 inches. Weight: 31.75 ounces. Graded A7.5 by MEARS (base grade of 5, plus 3 points for use, but minus a half point for the deadwood on the back of the barrel). This is one of sixteen Frank Thomas pro-model bats listed in the MEARS database, with two graded at this level and ten graded higher. LOAs from Troy Kinunen/MEARS and James Spence/JSA. Total: 2 bats. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $588
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