The Louisville Slugger brand deposed by Hillerich and Bradsby (H and B) in 1894 dominates this market. This manufacturer was careful to the needs expressed by the players and the bats of the champions were custom made. Some documents are surviving.
Moreover a game used bat of Babe Ruth has some features brought by the player to facilitate its handling such as added scratches or rings. The phenomenal precision of Babe Ruth results in a grouping of the marks of ball impacts on the lumber.
Encouraged in this practice by the manufacturer, the players returned to the factory their favorite bat to serve as a model for the next orders. These exceptional bats were kept by the manufacturer.
The first agreement between Ruth and H and B happened in 1918 when the young champion was playing for the Red Sox. His model bat identified by an R2 mark was sold for $ 537K including premium by Heritage on October 2, 2009. Its characteristics are 36 inches and 39 ounces. It is authenticated by PSA/DNA and by Mears and graded A10*. The asterisk similar as a + is rewarding the historical character of that piece of equipment.
On August 19 in Dallas with extended bidding, Heritage sells a bat currently at 36.75 inches and 42.4 ounces, consistent with a July 1920 transaction between Ruth and H and B. This bat also retains other characteristics of Babe Ruth's playing practices in that glorious first year with the New York Yankees. It is estimated $ 400K, lot 80039.
This bat which has been intensively game used is graded GU10 by PSA/DNA. It was also returned to Louisville as a model. It is authenticated as the Babe Ruth's bat displayed by H and B in the 1940s alongside the Louisville Sluggers of other champions in a traveling exhibition. The label used by H and B in this marketing operation has been removed but its shade remains visible in the lumber.
SOLD for $ 410K including premium