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1920-1924 Frankie Frisch Pro-Model "Rookie Era" Bat
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $3,555
Frankie Frisch Spalding "Autographed" model bat dating from the 1920-1924 manufacturing period. Graded GU 8.5 by PSA/DNA. The center-brand stamping features Frisch's facsimile signature, above and below which, respectively, are "Spalding" and "Autograph" (each in block letters). The bat, which measures 34.5 inches in length and weighs 38.1 ounces, is not cracked and displays evidence of use along its entire length, including ball marks, stitch impressions, and cleat marks. A wrap of vintage black tape extends 8.5 inches up the handle from the knob. As noted in PSA's accompanying LOA, the offered bat's pro-model status is based upon a number of supporting factors. In full:
Spalding pro player ordering records do not exist but we do have retail catalogs to refer to in order to determine which players endorsed Spalding bats and used them at the major league level. Additionally, by virtue of vintage photography, Spalding bats that were returned to Louisville Slugger and the professional barrel branding (Hand Turned 1926-1934), which does not appear on bats in Spalding's retail catalogs, we can differentiate between bats that were produced for the public and those produced for professional use. The subject bat matches perfectly the length and weight of Louisville Slugger bats ordered by Frisch during the referenced labeling period. Referencing Frisch's Professional Bat Ordering Record on file at Louisville Slugger Inc., we see him ordering 'His 5/26/21/ a.k.a. His #1 square-round end.' The orders call for 34.5 inch bats weighing 37, 38, and 39 ounces. Frisch models appearing in Spalding's retail catalog were offered at 34 inches in length weighing 40 to 47 ounces. We also have in our database (PSA/DNA Cert. Number 102283) a Hand Turned Ball and Diamond professional model Frisch bat circa 1926 to 1934 documenting the use of Spalding bats by Frisch.
1920 marked Frisch's first full season in the majors with the New York Giants, making this an extremely early Frisch pro-model bat. The fabled "Fordham Flash" quickly became one of John McGraw's favorites, both for his intelligence and skill on the diamond. During the five-year period 1920-1924, Frisch compiled averages of .280, .341, 327, .348, and .328, respectively. Not coincidentally, the Giants captured four pennants and two World Championships during that same period of time. Frisch later went on to equally great fame as the player/manager of the legendary St. Louis Cardinals' "Gas House Gang" of the 1930s. Frisch retired in 1937 with a lifetime average of .317. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1947. Frankie Frisch bats are rare. In fact, this is the first Frankie Frisch pro-model bat we have ever offered, and it is a particularly outstanding and ideal example dating from the start of his professional career with the Giants. LOA from John Taube and Vince Malta of PSA/DNA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,500+. SOLD FOR $3,555
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