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1984 Louisville Slugger Pro Model Bat Used by Lou Piniella During His Final Major League At Bat
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $1,762.50
On June 16, 1984, at Yankee Stadium, Yankee fans bid a fond farewell to one of the team's most popular players of the past decade: "Sweet" Lou Piniella. Piniella, whose retirement was due in large part to a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder, went hitless in his five at bats that day; however, his third inning fielder's choice drove in the go-ahead run in the club's 8-3 win over Baltimore. In Piniella's final at bat the fans gave him a standing ovation, a fitting tribute to one of the club's most valued players over the previous eleven years. Afterwards, Piniella was quoted as saying, "The tribute the fans paid me, my God, I had goose bumps the whole game. I'll remember it the rest of my life." Offered here is the very bat used by Lou Piniella during his final plate appearance that day. Lou Piniella and Barry Halper were very close friends, so it was no surprise that Piniella later presented the bat to Barry for display in his collection. Piniella has personally attested to the bat's provenance by inscribing it in blue marker ("9") on the barrel: "To My Pal Barry - Used last at bat - June 16th Baltimore - Lou Piniella - Hit into double play." According to MEARS, this bat, a Louisville Slugger signature model "S2," is also further distinguished by the fact that it is the earliest documented example of a foil-stamped Louisville Slugger pro model bat. (Foil-stamped Louisville Sluggers were normally produced in 1985 and a portion of 1986.) The cupped-end bat, which measures 34.37 inches and weighs 31.6 ounces, displays heavy use, including ball marks, deeply embedded stitch marks, and rack marks. A slight amount of pine tar remains on the upper handle. Factory records indicate a shipment of twelve 34.5-inch, 32-ounce model "S2" bats to Piniella on 2/14/84. Graded a perfect A10 by MEARS (5 point base grade plus 3 points for use and another 2 points for the inscription). To date, this is the only Lou Piniella pro model bat ever graded by MEARS. From the Barry Halper Collection. LOAs from Dave Bushing & Troy Kinunen/MEARS and James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,762.50
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