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1934-1943 Mel Ott Pro-Model Bat
Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $11,163
Mel Ott H&B signature-model bat (predating model numbers) dating from the 1934-1943 manufacturing period. For any collector who has ever attempted, or is in the process of attempting, to put together a 500 Home-Run Club pro-model bat collection, one fact immediately becomes apparent: Mel Ott bats are by far the most elusive of the group and are far rarer than those of Ruth, Foxx, or Mantle. In fact, this is the first Mel Ott bat ever offered by Robert Edward Auctions. When one focuses strictly on H&B models, which are universally the most desired among collectors, the number of known Ott bats becomes fewer still. Of the twenty-two Mel Ott pro-model bats that are even listed in the MEARS census, only sixteen are H&B examples, and of these, a full quarter (4) are either team-index bats or post-career issues. Offered here is one of just twelve Mel Ott pro-model bats listed in the MEARS census that actually dates to his active playing career. Ideally, the ten-year span 1934-1943 was an extremely prolific period for the Hall of Fame slugger. Ott led the National League in home runs in five of those ten seasons and averaged 98.4 RBI a year over that span. For Ott’s entire career he reigned supreme as the Giants top slugger, leading the club in home runs every season between the years 1928 and 1945. Ott led the National League in home runs on six different occasions and was the first National League player, and third overall, to reach the historic 500 Home-Run plateau. What makes that feat all the more remarkable is the fact that unlike many of the other great sluggers of the day, Ott had no real protection in the Giants lineup. From 1928 through 1945, no Giants player other than Ott managed to hit thirty or more home runs and in ten of those seasons no other player, with the exception of Ott, was able to hit even twenty home runs. In addition to his slugging prowess, Ott was also a fine hitter, as evidenced by his .304 lifetime average. An eleven-time All-Star (out of a possible fifteen seasons), Ott helped lead the Giants to three pennants and one World Championship over the course of his twenty-two seasons. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1951. The offered bat displays heavy use along its entire length, including ball marks, stitch marks, and cleat marks. Minor deadwood is evident on all sides of the barrel. Additionally, the bat also has a few surface flaws that are probably related to its tremendous use. There is a small gouge present in the center brand, as well as one on the barrel stamping that affects the word “Genuine” above Ott’s facsimile signature. A portion of the knob is also chipped. Length: 35 inches. Weight: 31.3 ounces. Graded A5.5 by MEARS (5 point base grade, plus 3 points for use, but minus 1 point each for the dead wood and chip in the center brand, plus an additional half-point deduction for the chip in the knob). While technically accurate in its grade, it should be noted that all of the deductions reflect its cosmetic appearance (indeed, ironically some point deductions, such as for deadwood are the result of heavy game use) and in this case do not in any way reflect negatively on its status as an ideal pro-model Mel Ott game bat dating from the peak of Ott’s career. LOA from Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $11,163
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