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1928-1931 Lloyd Waner Pro-Model Bat
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $7,638
Extremely rare Lloyd Waner H&B signature-model bat (predating model numbers) dating from the 1921-1931 manufacturing period. Graded A7.5 by MEARS; only one graded at this level, with just one graded higher. While the center brand defines this bat as having been produced between the years 1921 and 1931, it can be more narrowly dated to the four-year span 1928-1931 based upon the available H&B shipping records. The bat measures 34.5 inches and weighs 37.5 ounces. According to company records, Lloyd Waner only ordered this particular style bat in the years 1928, 1929, and 1931; however, the fact that it does not feature a "Powerized" and "Pat. Pending" stamping on the barrel (which was introduced in 1931), and that Lloyd's 1931 order specified thirty-six ounce bats (the offered bat weighs nearly thirty-eight ounces), strongly indicates that the offered bat was produced for Waner in either 1928 or 1929. The bat displays heavy use along its entire length, including grain swelling, stitch marks, light deadwood on the back of the barrel, and a very light application of pine tar on the handle. All of the manufacturer's stampings, including Waner's facsimile signature on the barrel, are deep and clearly defined. Graded A7.5 by MEARS (5 point base grade with 3 points added for use but a half point deducted for the light deadwood on the back of the barrel). Lloyd Waner debuted with the Pirates in 1927, one year after his older brother Paul joined the club. The siblings immediately earned the nicknames of "Big Poison" (Paul) and "Little Poison (Lloyd), as in "pick your poison," due to their prowess at the plate. Lloyd batted .355 in his 1927 rookie campaign and continued his assault against National League pitchers the following two seasons as well, finishing the years with averages of .335 and .353, respectively . Over the course of his eighteen seasons Lloyd batted .300 or better on eleven separate occasions and finished his career with a .316 lifetime average. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1967. Lloyd Waner pro-model bats are among the rarest of all twentieth-century Hall of Fame players' bats. To date, only six Lloyd Waner pro-model bats have ever been graded by MEARS, and of those six, only three were ideal H&B models (two were Hanna Batrite models and the other was a Kren model that has been "attributed to" Waner). Its rarity aside, the offered bat is also notable for its outstanding condition. Graded A7.5 it ranks as the second highest graded Lloyd Waner pro-model bat listed in the MEARS census, topped only by an A8 example. This is an exceptional Hall of Fame game bat in all respects and one of the few "keys" needed for the completion of virtually any advanced Hall of Fame bat collection. LOA from Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$4,000. SOLD FOR $7,638
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