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Mid-1930s Lou Gehrig Batrite (Hanna Mfg. Co.) Pro Model Bat
Starting Bid - $2,000.00, Sold For - $4,060.00
Extremely rare Batrite (Hanna Manufacturing, Athens, GA) professional model TA 11 5 bat features the name "Gehrig" stamped on the barrel in block letters. The center brand bears the actual company name ("Batrite") as opposed to a "bat" logo. That particular center brand is rarer than "bat" logo Hanna bats and important in terms of dating this bat. The "bat" logo (consisting of an outline of a bat with wings outstretched) was only used through the late 1920s to approximately 1931 before being replaced by the company name. Thus this bat was most likely manufactured sometime between the years 1931 and 1935. The "TA" marking on the barrel stands for "Treated Ash" and denotes this bat status as the company's top-of-the-line professional model. The numerals "11 5" represent both the model number and the length of the bat. The model number for this bat is "11" and the "5" indicates that it is 35 inches in length. Batrite produced two separate professional model Gehrig bats over the years, with the model number "11" referred to as the old model (meaning first model produced) and "77" the new model (meaning second model produced). The patent date, "July 15 1930," appears on the knob. The bat is not cracked and displays heavy use including two areas of slight grain separation along the back of the barrel. All of the manufacturer's stampings are deep and distinct. Use of Hanna Batrite bats by Gehrig is very well documented. An undated photo of Gehrig in the Yankee dugout during a home game (presumably regular season) shows Gehrig with a Batrite in hand and many more scattered in front of the Yankee dugout. In addition, Gehrig testified in court during the Louisville Slugger versus Hanna Batrite trial regarding his use of Batrites during "approximately" two seasons of his Major League career (apparently referring to 1929, 1930, and possibly part of 1931). Excerpt from the 1933 Transcript from Hillerich & Bradsby vs. Hanna Manufacturing Company trial [testimony of Lou Gehrig]: "...I spoke of having used Louisville Slugger bats practically all the time throughout my professional career with the exception of approximately two years. During those two years approximately I used a Batrite and Spalding. The Batrite bats were purchased from Hanna Manufacturing Company, Athens, Georgia. Two or three Batrite and Spalding bats were sent to me on trial, and I finally placed my orders with the Hanna Manufacturing Company, I used the Batrite bats I obtained from Hanna Manufacturing Company a good majority of both years I used those bats. Naturally, I found them satisfactory. I used them because they had peculiarities of treatment or finish which seemed advantageous to my mind. I haven't any idea what the treatment was. It stopped checking, which is the loosening of the grain of bats which makes it impossible to use them further...When the Hanna Manufacturing Company made those bats for me and put my name on them it was my understanding that they were going to use my name only on bats for my own personal use, and I did not give them permission to use my name on bats for sale to the general public..." Because Hanna Batrite Gehrig pro model bats were theoretically available for sale to the public, bat collectors have traditionally valued them far less than traditional H&B Gehrig models. The recent sale at auction of a side-written Gehrig Batrite bat at over $50,000 suggests that a Batrite Gehrig pro model bat such as this represents an outstanding value and a relatively affordable alternative to an H&B model which would sell for many tens of thousands of dollars. Length: 35 inches. Weight: 35 ounces. Graded A5 by MEARS (base grade of 5, with the addition of 3 points for use and a deduction of 3 points for its post-1930 production date). LOA from Dave Bushing & Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $4,000/$6,000. SOLD FOR $4,060.00
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