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Lot # 1411 (of 1411)   < Previous Lot |

1920s Honus Wagner Zinn Beck Pro Model Coaches Bat

Starting Bid - $2,500.00, Sold For - $3,190.00

Please Note: This Honus Wagner Pro Model bat came in so late that it does not appear in the printed catalog. It appears only on the internet, at the request of the consignor.

"You gotta be a man to play baseball for a living, but you gotta have a lot of little boy in you, too." That quote, while attributed to Roy Campanella, could easily have been uttered by Honus Wagner many years earlier. The famed "Flying Dutchman's" love of baseball was as legendary as his skill on the diamond; therefore, it was no surprise that following his official Major League retirement in 1917 he continued to play ball on the semipro circuit throughout the 1920s. He also served as an informal Pirates coach throughout the 1920s before rejoining the team as an official coach in 1933. Offered here is a rare 1920s Zinn Beck professional model bat specially produced for Wagner during his post Major League career. Its unique provenance is displayed upon the end of the barrel, which is stamped "Hans Wagner Model" in block letters. The centerboard displays both the company name ("Zinn Beck Bat Co.") and the model, "100 Diamond Ace." The bat features a hand-turned knob (indicative of pro model bats) and displays heavy use throughout including cleat marks, deadwood on the reverse of the barrel, and an approximate 7-inch crack in the handle. Remnants of vintage black tape also remain affixed along the handle. The pro model status of this bat is confirmed by a number of important characteristics. The "100 Diamond Ace" centerboard dates from the 1920s and is one of the two centerboards (the other is "Extra Special") found on all other side-written Zinn Beck model bats housed in the H&B vaults (returned to the company by professional players as templates for future bats). Equally important is the fact that the bat features a hand-turned knob as opposed to the Zinn Beck company stamping that is normally found on store-model bats. Lastly, the use of Wagner's full name, and its placement on the end of the barrel rather than under the centerboard further confirms its having been made specifically for Honus Wagner. At a length of 33 inches, the offered bat measures slightly shorter than other known Wagner pro model bats (between 34 and 36 inches); however, that minor anomaly may simply reflect Wagner's deference to his advancing years. As most collectors are well aware, Honus Wagner game bats dating from his Major League career are virtually nonexistent (less than a handful are known); therefore, this particular bat represents the next best alternative to its much rarer (and expensive) cousin. Length: 33 inches. Weight: 36 ounces. Graded A7 by Mears (base grade of 5, with 3 points added for use and 1 point deducted for its length.) LOA from Dave Bushing & Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $3,190.00


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