SCP Auctions April 2011 Internet Auction
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS BAT HAS BEEN AUTHENTICATED AND GRADED BY MEARS A9.5 AND PSA/DNA GU9.5.
The offered bat, dubbed “The Lake Oscawana Cobb Bat” is among the elite Ty Cobb game bats known in the marketplace, and believed by third party experts to be the only know Cobb gamer to bear his non-personalized dated inscription. It has descended in the family of the gentleman to whom Cobb gifted it to personally some 85 years ago. Rarely handled, and wonderfully preserved, the family heirloom was unknown to the collecting community until earlier this year.
The remarkable quality of the bat is only matched by its exceptional provenance. Box scores reveal that during the dates of August 6th - August 8th, 1925, the Detroit American League baseball club was in New York City playing a 4 game series versus Babe Ruth and the Yankees. After concluding the series with a double-header on August 8th, the Tigers and Cobb jumped a train and headed northeast to Boston for three game series with the Red Sox beginning on August 10th. Although the travel time between Boston and New York was but a few hours, during this August eastward swing, an extra travel day was allotted for some unknown reason. While on route to Boston, the team stopped at the train station in the small town of Oscawana Corners. Best described as a hamlet just a few minutes south of Lake Oscawana, this is where the team unloaded and made a short trip to the Lake.
Although the day’s activities were not recorded, it is known that a local banker named Al Johnson provided some hospitality to the famous visitors, to a degree that made quite a favorable impression on Ty Cobb. Cobb rewarded Mr. Johnson's hospitality with the gift of one of his favored bats. Prior to presenting the bat, Cobb added his autograph and a very special inscription commemorating his experience, “Ty Cobb, Lake Oscawana, August 9th, 1925”. His period black fountain ink notation on the upper area of the barrel endures at the 8/10 level.
That cherished gift is offered here. Manufactured by Hillerich & Bradsby, the 34.5 inch, 37.9 ounce bat features labeling indicative of the 1923-1925 period and is identified as a model C28. Clearly a favored weapon of Ty Cobb, the bat shows evidence of heavy use with a handle crack that has been professionally repaired. Checking (grain swelling) from repeated ball contact, that has been repaired with seven nails, is visible on the back barrel. Many ball marks are visible on the left and back barrel. In addition to the signature that difinitively places the bat in Cobb’s hands, bat displays several classic player characteristics that are well documented for Cobb. Characteristics include well defined cleat impressions on the barrel, a dark residue resembling tobacco juice the presence or remains of handle tape and handle scoring. These characteristics can be seen on some of the finest documented Cobb bats known and have been noted in the 1994 book "Ty Cobb, His Tumultuous Life and Times" written by Richard Bak. 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 extremely high grades (A9 and GU9.5 respectively) from these independent firms, MEARS concludes its letter by describing it as "the finest example extant." Includes LOAs from MEARS (A9.5) and PSA/DNA (GU9.5). Additional full LOA from JSA (auto.).