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Lot # 1130 (of 1512)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1914-1916 Frank Baker Pro-Model Bat

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,320

Frank Baker H&B signature-model "40k" bat (predating model numbers) dating from the 1914 to 1916 manufacturing period. Although this bat has a general 1910-1916 center-brand design, it can be more narrowly dated because of a special stamping on the barrel below Baker's facsimile signature that reads "World Championship Model." After the 1913 World Series Baker requested that his bats be stamped with that special wording and H&B complied. This bat is a "40K" model, which means that it was originally produced with a cork-grip handle. As MEARS notes in its accompanying LOA, cork-grip bats were available both at the professional and retail levels; however, the two are easily distinguished by the fact that the retail models display inch marks on the knob, whereas the professional models do not. The offered bat does not display inch marks and, as MEARS further notes, the bat's length (33 inches) and weight (36.625 ounces) both fall within acceptable ranges for Baker's bats from the era. Heavy use is displayed along its entire length, including ball marks, cleat marks, deadwood on the back of the barrel, a number of indentations on the side of the barrel, a five-inch crack in the upper handle, a small area of chipping that affects the "World Championship Model" stamping, and a chip in the knob. It should also be noted that only a small portion of the original cork grip remains and there is small mounting hole on the front of the barrel. A carving, which is in the shape of an "X," appears on the knob. Frank Baker pro-model bats are exceedingly rare. This is the first we have ever offered and just the fifth example we have seen at auction in the past fifteen years. Graded A2 by MEARS (5 point base grade, plus 3 points for use, but minus 3 points for the "40K" model designation, another loss of 2 points for the barrel chipping, and a final point deducted for the chip in the knob). LOA from Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,320


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