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Circa 1964 H&B Advertising Poster
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $7,050
This exceedingly rare 1960s retail poster for H&B Little League bats features endorsements from nine of the game's top stars: Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Hank Aaron, Al Kaline, Eddie Mathews, Ernie Banks, Tommy Davis, Nellie Fox, and Harmon Killebrew. All nine players are pictured along the bottom, while examples of the various Louisville Slugger Little League bats for sale are pictured above. Although the poster is undated, the fact that Nellie Fox is pictured as a member of the Colt .45's indicates that the piece was issued in either 1964 or 1965 (Fox only played with Houston during those two seasons). This poster was only issued to participating retailers and was intended for display on store walls in promotion of the company's most recent line of Little League bats. As clearly noted along the top, all of the Louisville Sluggers pictured here are "Approved Little League Bats." Given the "star" power of its endorsers, it's no surprise that Louisville Slugger bats were the bat of choice for nearly every youngster in America at the time. Vintage H&B retail posters are extremely rare and this poster was only recently discovered among a large quantity of items left in storage by a sporting-goods store that has been closed for over forty years. It should be noted that there are numerous H&B "fantasy" retail posters circulating in the marketplace, which might leave some collectors with a distorted notion regarding the availability of such pieces. Original, vintage pieces such as this are virtually nonexistent and the offered example is further distinguished by its exceptional state of preservation. The poster (22.5 x 35.5 inches) was obviously never displayed in the store (all of the spaces reserved for the retailer to write in prices are blank) and aside from a small one-inch tear in the upper right border and a minor nick along the right edge, the piece remains in Near Mint condition. This is the first example of this poster we have ever seen. This poster is an exceptional display piece from an era that does not have many store-display pieces of this type, and would be a welcome addition to any advanced baseball advertising and/or bat collection. Reserve $200. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $7,050
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