The only known game-used bat from Jackie Robinson’s historic 1949 MVP season is coming to the auction block next month. This Hillerich & Bradsby “S100” signature model bat was used by Robinson during his third season with the Brooklyn Dodgers, who’d purchased his contract from their minor league affiliate in 1947. Robinson won the National League batting title and MVP award that year in addition to leading the Dodgers to the World Series.
It’s part of a 1,150 lot auction slated to open June 17 via Goldin Auctions.
The auction house says the un-cracked 35-inch, 34.4 ounce, white ash bat is Robinson’s only regular season game-used bat known to exist from ‘49. The labeling period dates the bat from 1943-49 but factory records reveal that this particular model number (S100) was ordered by Robinson only once, on May 5, 1949. The bat shows evidence of use with several ball marks and ball stitch marks visible on the left and back barrel. Also visible on the bat are blue bat rack streaks.
This item has been examined by PSA/DNA and is marked with an invisible DNA daub that will fluoresce under a patented laser lamp. The bat grade by PSA/DNA is GU-9. It also comes with Letters of Authenticity from industry experts Dave Bushing and Troy Kinunen/MEARS.
Earlier this month, a Robinson glove sold for $373,002 and a Louisville Slugger used bat from the 1956 season was sold for $114,000.
Robinson entered the ’49 season with much to prove. Showing his versatility as well as his durability, he played in the most regular-season games (156) of his career and batted a league-leading .342 with a league-best 37 stolen bases to his credit. He led the Dodgers to their second N.L. pennant in three years and another trip to the Fall Classic. Though they lost to the Yankees, Robinson finished the season with 203 hits including 38 doubles, 124 runs batted in and 16 home runs.
Other auction highlights include the six lots from the family of Kobe Bryant including two Bryant high school game worn jerseys, a pair of 2000 Lakers championship rings and his 2000 NBA All Star Game ring. As included are: a rare 1909 T206 Ty Cobb card with a Ty Cobb back (1 of only five authenticated); multiple autographs of Babe Ruth; and a baseball signed by Ruth, Gehrig and the rest of the 1933 American League All-Star Team.