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1933-1934 Al Simmons Signed Pro-Model Bat - Only Known Autographed Example!
Starting Bid - $1,000.00 , Sold For - $12,925.00
Collectors have always considered the presence of a vintage signature on a pro-model bat extremely desirable because it undeniably places the bat in that particular player's hands during a narrowly defined period of his career. Offered here is one such rare example, dating from the early 1930s, that has not only been signed by the respective player, Hall of Fame outfielder Al Simmons, but by two of his teammates as well. The Al Simmons H&B signature model bat (predating model numbers) dates from the brief 1933-1934 manufacturing period and displays heavy use along its entire length. Ample evidence of its former utility is displayed in the form of deeply embedded stitch marks, ball marks, cleat marks, grain swelling, and moderate dead wood on the back of the barrel. One of the more interesting aspects of this bat is the absence of the word "Powerized" next to the center brand. "Powerized" bats underwent a special patented process to prevent checking, but Simmons apparently wasn't a fan of the treatment and stopped using "Powerized" bats during the 1930s. The top of the barrel has been slightly sawed down from its original 38-inch length (the bat now measures 37.625 inches) and is now flat as opposed to rounded (a common practice by players at the time). It appears that a piece of clear tape was once placed over Simmons' stamped facsimile signature on the barrel, as one can still see the light outline left by the adhesive residue. Ideally, the bat is signed in black fountain pen on the side of the barrel by Al Simmons (grading "4"), and two of his Chicago White Sox teammates, Jimmie Dykes ("7") and Mule Haas ("7"). Simmons, Dykes, and Haas were three of the mainstays on Connie Mack's fabled 1929-1931 Philadelphia A's dynasty. Unfortunately, as in times past, financial troubles forced Mack to sell most of his star players after the 1932 season. Simmons, Dykes, and Haas were sold, together, to the Chicago White Sox for $100,000. The trio immediately improved the fortunes of the club, as White Sox victories increased by nearly twenty games in 1933. Simmons led the club in batting average (.331), home runs (14), and RBI (119) that season and was selected as one of the starting outfielders in the inaugural All-Star Game held at Comiskey Park. He enjoyed another stellar year the following season, batting .344 with 18 home runs and 104 RBI. Simmons eventually retired in 1944 with a .334 career average, 307 home runs, and 1,827 RBI. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1953. Length: 37.625 inches. Weight: 35.7 ounces. Graded A8.5 by MEARS (5 point base grade, plus 3 points for use and 1 point for the vintage signature, but minus a half point for the sawed barrel end). This is one of only five Al Simmons H&B pro-model bats listed in the MEARS census and the only known autographed example. This bat has been consigned to this auction directly from the personal collection/inventory of world-renowned bat and jersey authenticators David Bushing and/or Troy Kinunen. LOAs from Dave Bushing & Troy Kinunen/MEARS and James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$4,000+. SOLD FOR $12,925.00
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