SCP Auctions November 2010 Internet Auction
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
Dating from very early in Ty Cobb’s prolific career is this very attractive Spalding professional model bat. The date of this Cobb war club has been placed at 1908 because that's the only year Ty Cobb Autograph series bats appear in Spalding catalogs. Beginning in 1909, Cobb bats were absent from the Spalding catalog due to Cobb entering a contract with Hillerich & Bradsby. It is well known that Ty Cobb used Spalding bats early in his career. While Spalding was a documented supplier of professional model bats during the pre-1920 era, Spalding-manufactured bats were also made available to the general public. Those bats, however, were found with the Spalding logo stamped onto the barrel, and were issued in ‘even lengths,’ such as 32, 33, 34, and 35 inches, unlike the characteristics and dimension of this bat. This bat is 34.5 inches in length and weighs approximately 41 ounces. As with many turn-of-the-century ball players, factory records for Ty Cobb are limited, and exclusive to Louisville Slugger bats. No factory records are available for bats manufactured by Spalding, however a comparison with his subsequent Louisville Slugger records reveals that this bat exhibits all matching traits of H&B factory recorded Ty Cobb bats and represents the exact criteria preferred by Ty Cobb for his game used bats. The length is a perfectly accurate 34.5" as is the 41ounce weight. This bat is absent of the Spalding Factory Stamp found on store model bats, further indicating professional use. The hand turned ends show special care was taken for the preparation of this bat. The 1908 centerbrand label description, “ SPALDING / Tyrus R. Cobb / AUTOGRAPH “ is unique to Cobb’s Spalding bats. Other Spalding endorsees of the period were branded with Spalding’s Gold Medal branding. Photographic evidence of Cobb’s use of this style of bat is documented in period images clearly showing a small (Hornsby) knob and a rounded barrel. An examination of this significant Cobb gamer shows evidence of heavy use including ball marks, cleat marks, and dead wood from contact, however it remains uncracked with a fine patina. MEARS has graded the bat A6.5 due to a point off for some minor chipping on back of barrel and a .5 deduction for a “W” carved in knob. Given the early-career dating, and overall presentation quality, this is a fine representation of one of the most coveted sports memorabilia objects know – a bat wielded by the great Ty Cobb. Includes a comprehensive LOA from MEARS (A6.5).