Ted Williams H&B signature-model ("W183") bat dating precisely from the 1960 season. Graded GU9.5 by PSA/DNA. As noted by John Taube of PSA/DNA in the accompanying LOA, the dating of this bat can be determined with certainty based upon the straight-line "Powerized" stamping. 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.
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. This is an exemplary Ted Williams pro-model bat in all respects, made all the more desirable for the fact that it can be pinpointed to his final season in baseball. Length: 35 inches. Weight: 32.7 ounces. LOA from John Taube of PSA/DNA. Reserve $10,000. Estimate (open).
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