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1950-1951 Phil Rizzuto Pro-Model Bat
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $5,581
This Phil Rizzuto H&B signature model "H117" bat dates from the 1950-1960 labeling period; however, factory records can more narrowly date it to the years 1950-1951. The bat measures 34.5 inches in length and weighs 33.375 ounces. H&B factory shipping records indicate that Rizzuto first ordered model "H117" bats measuring 34.5 inches on July 26, 1950, and continued to order such bats until June 1, 1951. During that time period the bats were ordered in both 33 and 34 ounce weights. Although the records show Rizzuto placed additional orders for model "H117" bats in the 1950s, none of the bats in those later orders match the specifications of the 1950-1951 style offered here. The bat is not cracked and displays moderate use including ball and rack marks. It appears that a descriptive card was once placed on the barrel by means of two separate wraps of tape, as one can still see the light adhesive outline from where the tape was removed. This is an outstanding bat dating from the height of Rizzuto's career. 1950 represented Rizzuto's finest season, as the diminutive shortstop batted a career-high .324 enroute to winning the American League MVP Award at season's end. The following season he batted .274 and helped lead the Yankees to their third consecutive World Championship (out of an eventual record five straight World Championships). Rizzuto's thirteen-year career, all of which was spent with the Yankees, was punctuated by postseason appearances. The Yankees won nine pennants and eight World Series with Rizzuto at shortstop. Despite being overshadowed by the team's more prominent stars, Rizzuto was the glue to the team's infield and one of the top defensive shortstops of his era. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1985. Graded A6.5 by MEARS (5 point base grade, with 2 points added for use and a half point deducted for the tape outline on the barrel). This is one of only three Phil Rizzuto bats listed in the MEARS census. This bat has been consigned to this auction directly from the personal collection/inventory of world-renowned bat and jersey authenticator Troy Kinunen. LOAs from Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $5,581
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