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1964 Whitey Ford Signed Pro-Model All-Star Game Bat (Ex-Ford Collection)
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $3,231
Extremely rare H&B block-letter model bat (no model number stamped on knob) specially produced and issued to New York Yankees Hall of Fame pitcher Whitey Ford for use in the 1964 All-Star Game held at Shea Stadium in New York. Graded A8.5 by MEARS. All-Star bats, like World Series bats, are favorites with collectors because each is specifically made for use in a special game(s), and because each can be dated to a very specific year. 1964 was a particularly significant year for the city of New York, which hosted the All Star Game as part of the 1964 New York World's Fair. This 1964 All Star bat example is further distinguished by its ideal provenance: it originates directly from Whitey Ford. Whitey Ford sold it in 2008 at a special, highly publicized live auction featuring Ford's personal collection that was held in conjunction with the Major League All-Star Game. Pro-model bats produced for pitchers are, understandably, quite rare, and this example is no exception. The offered bat is one of just six Whitey Ford pro-model bats listed in the MEARS census, only three of which are graded higher (all are A10). The bat is stamped "1964 All Star Game" and "New York" in block letters above and below (respectively) Ford's name (last name only) on the barrel. All of the manufacturer's stampings remain bold and well defined. Although Ford was selected to the 1964 American League All-Star Team, he did not appear in the game. Accordingly, the bat displays only light use in the form of a few stray rack marks. Ford has signed the bat in black Sharpie (grading "10") on the sweet spot of the barrel. This bat measures 33.75 inches and weighs 32.4 ounces. H&B factory records indicate that one 34-inch, 32-ounce K55 model bat (not stamped) was sent to Ford on July 1, 1964, six days prior to the All-Star Game. 1964 marked Ford's eighth and final appearance at baseball's annual midsummer classic, and he was certainly deserving of the honor. Ford was 10-2 at the All-Star break but he didn't appear in the game due to the fact that he had pitched just two days prior to the event. He finished the year with a record of 17-6 and a 2.13 ERA. Graded A8.5 by MEARS (5 point base grade, plus 3 points for its All-Star Game provenance, and another half point for the pinpointed factory record). 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 and James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$4,000. SOLD FOR $3,231
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