Willie Mays H&B block-letter (last name only) model "W173" bat dating from the 1959-1960 manufacturing period. (The narrow dating period appears to be due to the combined styles of the center brand and "Powerized" stampings.) Graded GU 9 by PSA/DNA. The bat, which is not cracked, displays excellent use, including several ball marks and stitch impressions on all sides of the barrel and green bat-rack marks on the left barrel and handle. Mays has signed the bat in faded blue ball point pen (grading "1" on the "sweet spot" of the barrel. It should be noted that Mays never had an endorsement contract with H&B, therefore all of his Louisville Slugger pro-model bats are block-lettered. Mays batted .313 with 34 home runs and 104 RBI in 1959. He followed that up with another banner season in 1960, finishing the year with 29 home runs, 103 RBI, and a .319 batting average. 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. This is both an outstanding and early Willie Mays pro-model bat dating from the height of his legendary career. Length: 35 inches. Weight: 33 ounces. LOA from John Taube of PSA/DNA and full LOA from James Spence/JSA. Pre certified by Steve Grad and Brian Sobrero/Beckett Authentication. Opening Bid $2,500. Estimate $10,000+.
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