44 years ago this week, Stan Musial ended one of the longest All-Star games in history with one swing. The bat he used is about to find a new home.
The 1955 All-Star Game took place the same day that a funeral was held for the man who conceived the idea in the early 1930s. Chicago sportswriter Arch Ward was being mourned while his creation was playing out yet again in Milwaukee.
The American League would grab a 5-0 lead through six innings, but the National League fought back and the game dragged into extra innings at County Stadium, baseball’s new 45,000-seat palace. Finally, in the 12th inning, Stan Musial drove the first pitch from Boston’s Frank Sullivan into the right field bleachers, winning the game for the National League, 6-5. It was Musial’s fourth of six All-Star homers. The bat he used is being sold this month by SCP Auctions after residing in the famed collection of Dr. Richard Angrist.
The Hillerich and Bradsby model comes with three letters of authenticity and is photo matched. Musial has signed the bat on the barrel and included the phrase “My H.R. Bat 1955 All Star Game.” H&B confirms the bat as a Musial Model: 34.5 inches in length, 30.95 ounces. It has branding from the 1955 All-Star Game and even sports a mark denoting where Musial connected for his famous home run.
“This bat certainly ranks as one of the most important game-used all-star pieces in the history of the game,” David Kohler, president of SCP Auctions said. “It’s certainly the best graded Stan Musial bat for collectors.”
The 12th was Sullivan’s fifth inning of work. He was one of just three pitchers used by American League manager Al Lopez that day. Musial promised catcher Yogi Berra, behind the plate for the entire game, that he was coming up to the plate with the intent of ending it. That he did–sending the first pitch in the bottom of the 12th over the fence. It led some to wonder whether the pitch was a ‘gift’, aimed at putting an end to the exhibition. There’s little doubt the Yankees were tired. The All-Star game came in the midst of a 17-game road trip that began in Baltimore July 6 and didn’t end until a game in Kansas City on the 24th.
A lifetime .331 hitter who smacked 475 home runs and a one-time National League-record 3,630 hits, Musial was named to 24 All-Star Games in his career. In the clubhouse after the game, a photo was taken of Musial and teammates pointing to the spot where bat met ball. The wood grain of the photo matches the bat up for auction. Another photo shows Musial kissing the bat.
Highly graded game-used bats from Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Ty Cobb and Lefty Grove can also be found in the SCP auction which concludes July 23.