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1951 Yogi Berra Signed Pro-Model All-Star Game Bat
Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $32,313
Extremely rare H&B signature model ("R43") bat specially produced and issued to New York Yankees Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra for use in the 1951 All-Star Game held on July 10th at Briggs Stadium in Detroit. This is an extraordinary Yogi Berra bat that at a glance communicates not only that it is an authentic Berra game bat, but a bat specifically produced for use in the 1951 All Star game. All-Star bats, like World Series bats, are favorites with collectors because each is specifically made for use in a special game, and because each can be dated to a very specific year. The bat is specially stamped "All Star Game" and "Detroit 1951" above and below, respectively, Berra's facsimile signature ("Larry Berra") on the barrel. All of the manufacturer's stampings remain exceptionally bold and well defined. Berra has signed the bat in black marker (grading "9") on the barrel. Yogi Berra pro-model bats are scarce, especially those issued for All-Star Game or World Series use. This is one of just a very few Yogi Berra All-Star Game bats we have ever seen and the first we have ever handled. It may also hold the distinction of being the earliest known Berra All-Star Game bat, as we are unaware of any examples predating it. Berra was only appearing in his fourth midsummer classic in 1951 and given the fact that 1940s-era Yogi Berra pro-model bats are virtually nonexistent (we know of only one example), it seems highly probable that the offered bat is indeed the earliest surviving Berra All-Star Game bat. Adding to the bat's significance are both its year of issue and the amount of use it displays. 1951 marked the first of Berra's three MVP seasons. In 141 games, Berra batted .294 with 27 home runs and 88 RBI to help lead the Yankees to their third consecutive World Championship. The bat displays heavy use, including ball marks, rack marks, and an approximate seven-inch crack in the handle. (The bat displays an approximate seven-inch area of light surface shading on the handle that corresponds to the area of the crack, indicating that it was probably once repaired by tape. Berra had one hit in four at bats in the 1951 All-Star Game, which was won by the National League by a score of 8-3. Normally, All-Star Game bats, especially if they were only used for that one game, display very modest use. The amount of use displayed on this bat indicates that it almost certainly saw additional action during Berra's MVP season, thus making it one of the most desirable Berra bats imaginable. This is only the third Yogi Berra pro-model bat we have ever handled and it is by far the finest in all respects, especially with regard to its year of issue, date-specific provenance, degree of use, and the fact that it is signed. Length: 35 inches. Weight: 35 ounces. This bat has resided for decades in our consignor's world-class bat collection and is accompanied by an LOA from renowned bat authenticator Dave Bushing. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000+. SOLD FOR $32,313
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