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1937 Rogers Hornsby Pro-Model Bat - Final Season in the Major Leagues
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $3,819
This Rogers Hornsby H&B signature-model bat (predating model numbers) dates to the 1934-1944 manufacturing period; however, it can be more precisely dated to the 1937 season based upon referencing the H&B shipping records. This particular bat measures 34.75 inches in length and weighs 35.1 ounces. According to the company records, Hornsby only placed six separate bat orders during the referenced labeling period. The first five orders, all of which were for 35-inch bats, occurred in 1937, while Hornsby was player/manager of the St. Louis Browns. It is important to note that each of those five orders (February 26th, May 28th, June 22nd, June 26, and July 8th) took place prior to his being fired by the Browns on July 20, 1937. The sixth and final order, for 36-inch bats, took place on July 2, 1938, while Hornsby was player/manager of Baltimore in the International League. Therefore, based upon those shipping records, this bat can be conclusively dated to Hornsby's final Major League season in 1937. Hornsby was player/manager of the St. Louis Browns in 1937 but was fired after only seventy-five games. Despite the fact that he was forty-one years old and his best days were clearly behind him, the famed "Rajah" still managed to squeeze in fifty-six plate appearances. Not surprisingly, Hornsby proved that he hadn't lost his batting eye by posting a .321 average with 1 home run and 11 RBI. Could this bat have been used by Hornsby to make his final hit #2930? It is possible, but of course we will never know for sure. Hornsby was the greatest right-handed hitter who ever lived and is one of only two modern-day players to bat over .400 in a season three times (Ty Cobb is the other). Included among his many achievements are seven batting titles, two Triple Crowns, and a .358 lifetime average. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1942. The bat displays heavy use along its entire length, including ball marks, stitch marks, dead wood on the back of the barrel, and an approximate fourteen-inch multiple crack in the handle that has been repaired with three nails, one of which is missing its head. Additionally, a few dents appear along the top, bottom, and back of the barrel. A portion of the wood along the barrel, in the area of the crack, appears slightly lighter in color than the rest of the bat, indicating that the crack was probably covered by tape at some point in the past. Graded A5.5 by MEARS (5 point base grade, plus 3 points for use, but minus 1.5 points for the handle crack and nails and another 1 point for the deadwood and dents). Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000++. SOLD FOR $3,819
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