Presented is a group of four vintage baseball bats with three professional models and one store model. The bats include a retail version from Frank “Lefty” O’Doul and professional models from Jack Tobin, Patsy O’Rourke and Eddie Burke. Each bat comes with a PSA/DNA auction house letter. Detailed descriptions are on our website.
1.) Local boy Jack Tobin spent the majority of his 13-year career in St. Louis, playing for the Federal League’s Terriers (pacing the circuit with 184 hits in 1915) and the American League’s Browns. This professional model bat was handled by Tobin during the early portion (1916-1921) of his career. The Hillerich & Bradsby (33-oz/34-1/2”) block-letter (last name only) weapon sports a “dash-dot-dash” center brand and shows heavy use with surface marks throughout and a series of vintage batboy nails driven to mend the checking on the hitting surface. A 9-1/2” H-shaped handle crack represents the lumber’s demise, after which, grease pencil “side writing” was executed on the barrel, requesting the manufacture of additional models. There are lathe marks on the knob and barrel end.
2.) Following an uneventful 1908 season with the St. Louis Cardinals, former shortstop Patsy O’Rourke toiled for 10 seasons in the minor leagues with teams such as the Lynn Shoemakers and Wichita Witches. The offered side written bat was used by O’Rourke following his professional playing career. Turned during the 1923-1925 labeling period, this Hillerich & Bradsby (37.7-oz/35”) white ash weapon features a dark brown finish and a Hornsby-style knob. To the right of and just below the center brand, a grease pencil notation reads “J Patsy O’Rourke 24,” alerting H&B of a request for identical models. The bat shows heavy use with surface marks throughout, a 5-1/2” H-shaped handle crack and flaking about a foreign agent that coats large portions of the surface.
3.) Turned in 1925 for use by minor leaguer Eddie Burke, this Hillerich & Bradsby (31.6-oz/34”) block-letter (full name) bat was side written in request for the manufacture of additional models. The white ash lumber has a deep brown patina and Hornsby-style knob. Heavy use is evident with surface marks and a 12-1/2” H-shaped handle crack secured by vintage batboy nails. Just below the center brand, an illegible grease pencil notation has faded over time. While the bat hails from the 1923-1925 labeling period, it’s likely from 1925, Burke’s lone season with the Bridgeport Bears of the Eastern League.
4.) The National League record holder for hits in a single season (254), former Giants star Lefty O’Doul owns the highest career batting average (.349) among players not enshrined in Cooperstown. The offered 1930-1933 store model bat was turned by Spalding for use by those who aspired to hit like O’Doul. The white ash (31.7-oz/33-3/4”) block-letter (“FRANK O’DOUL”) weapon shows heavy use with grain swelling about the barrel, multiple handle cracks and vintage nails on both the hitting surface and handle. Additionally, there is a small chip on the knob’s edge and an “M” carved into the knob. Auction LOA from John Taube, PSA/DNA.
Note: while Spalding issued professional model bats with a similar center brand between 1926 and 1934, this particular model reads “Case Hardened” while gamers from that era had a “Hand Turned” stamping instead.
Please note that the Auction LOA is not part of PSA/DNA's full authentication process. For more details about full PSA/DNA authentication and how you can take advantage of our PSA/DNA LOA upgrade service, please visit our website at http://www.psadna.com/bats/batfees.chtml or call us toll-free at (800) 325-1121.