SCP Auctions November 2010 Internet Auction
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
When he retired from the game of baseball in 1928 Ty Cobb held 90 major league records, most of these achieved with his bat. Most telling of his superiority is his .367 lifetime average. Accomplished over a 24-year career, it is a daunting mark that will likely never be approached. This bat was one of Cobb’s used during the height of his reign as baseball’s most feared and dominant competitor. A superior specimen in all respects, it has been documented by the most renowned independent bat experts as one of the finest examples among the scarce population of Cobb game bats known. The 34 1/2 in., 34.4-oz. H&B signature model bat is composed of white ash and features Cobb's facsimile signature stamped along the barrel. The most distinguishing feature of this particular Cobb bat, and the one that elevates it above nearly all other examples in terms of desirability, is the side writing on the barrel, which reads "Ty Cobb 5-5-24, Detroit B.B.C." That notation, written in grease pencil in what appears to be the familiar hand of longtime Hillerich & Bradsby employee Henry Morrow, is distinct and easily legible to the naked eye. This evidence of the bat having been returned to the H&B factory in 1924 coincides with the bats physical characteristics, which suggest a prolonged period of tough usage in the hands of Cobb. All of Cobb’s trademark customizations are apparent, including his unique wood treatment process. Cobb was known to "season" his bats with tobacco juice, a process by which Cobb would take a "wad of chew" and copiously apply the saliva/tobacco mix along the surface of the wood. This bat appears to have been treated in just that manner, as evidenced by the “dark substance” (as it is referred to in the accompanying PSA/DNA LOA) visible on the handle and barrel. An incredible number of ball marks and deeply embedded stitch marks appear throughout the barrel, as do approximately 100 cleat marks near the end of the barrel, born from the work of Cobb furiously pounding his spikes as he stared down his foe on the mound. Additional evidence of prolonged use can be inferred by the deadwood displayed on both the front and back of the barrel. In both instances, the deadwood was repaired by means of six tiny "bat boy" nails (three on the front and three on the back, a common practice at the time) in order to extend the life of the bat. It should be noted that the application of small nails was legal at the time, and players did use such bats in games. In their accompanying letter PSA/DNA states, "we have viewed period photography of players driving nails into their bats." Deadwood, which is a slight separation of the bat grain, is actually a positive trait in pro-model bats, as the phenomena is caused by repeated contact between bat and ball over a prolonged period of time. Two accompanying LOAs by MEARS and PSA/DNA deliver resounding praise for this bat and bolster our belief that it ranks among the finest examples known. In addition to recording the highest possible grade (A10 and GU10 respectively) from these independent firms, MEARS concludes its letter by writing "One of the finest Ty Cobb bats extant." and PSA/DNA states "The noted player characteristics and side writing, unquestionably confirm the game use of this bat by Ty Cobb during the referenced labeling period." Includes LOAs from MEARS (A10) and PSA/DNA (GU10).