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1949 Stan Musial Pro-Model Bat Attributed to Career Home Run #139
Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $11,163
Stan Musial H&B block-letter ("Musial Style") pro-model "M137" bat dating from the 1949 season. Graded GU9 by PSA/DNA. This bat has a unique and very significant provenance as is it was very likely used by "Stan the Man" while hitting his 139th career home run in 1949. The bat's provenance is fully detailed in an accompanying notarized letter of authenticity from the original owner, Eugene Meister. During his youth, Meister became friends with longtime Reds announcer Dick Bray, who later hired him as an assistant on his famous Fans in the Stands pregame show at Crosley Field. In September 1949, Meister received this bat as a gift from Bray. In part: "I met several players with Dick, but Stan was always one of my favorites. Dick and I would go to virtually all of the home games together. This particular bat was given to me by Dick Bray the day after Stan used it to hit a home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to win the game at Crosley Field 6-5 September 10, 1949. Dick said that Stan gave him this bat which was used the day before in the ninth inning to hit the game winning home run. I still remember like it was yesterday. I have had this bat all these years and I have decided to part with it and pass it on to someone else who I hope will enjoy it as much as I have." While all of the facts regarding Musial's home run have been confirmed (a copy of the September 11, 1949, issue of the Cincinnati Enquirer sports page, which headlines Musial's home run, accompanies the bat) the most compelling aspect of Meister's story is that it is fully supported by the H&B factory records. In the accompanying PSA/DNA Letter of Authenticity, John Taube notes that this particular model bat was only ordered by Musial in 1949: "The M137 model is very rare with only three bats shipped to Musial in July and August of 1949. The ability to pinpoint the M137 model to the summer of 1949 helps to confirm the bat's provenance. Eugene Meister had no knowledge whatsoever as to any of the bats ordered by Musial during his career, let alone the rare M137 model of which only 3 were manufactured during the referenced labeling period." Since Meister did not receive this bat directly from Musial, he was relying on Bray's word regarding its home-run attribution, but there seems to be no reason to doubt the veracity of Bray's statements, especially given their close friendship. Furthermore, and most important, the fact that this is one of only three model "M137" bats ordered by Musial in 1949, at precisely the time noted in Meister's letter, leads us to strongly believe this bat is exactly what it is purported to be: the bat used by Stan Musial on September 10, 1949, to hit his game-winning home run against the Reds at Crosley Field in Cincinnati. Its home-run provenance notwithstanding, this is both an exceptional and rare Musial pro-model bat dating from the height of his legendary career. The bat displays heavy use along its entire length, including numerous ball and stitch marks on the right and left barrel, and cleat marks. Also evident are light grain checking and a handle crack (of indeterminate length), both of which have been professionally repaired. Musial enjoyed another banner season in 1949, finishing the year with 36 home runs, 123 RBI, a .338 batting average and league-leading totals in hits (207), doubles (41), triples (13), and on-base percentage (.438). The bat's extreme rarity, combined with the fact that it is a virtual certainty that it was used by Musial to hit the game-winning home run on September 10, 1949, his twenty-ninth home run of the season and 139th of his career, makes this one of the finest Musial pro-model bats in existence. LOA from John Taube and Vince Malta of PSA/DNA. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $4,000+. SOLD FOR $11,163
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