Lumber that legend Joe DiMaggio may have used for his final bow on the diamond is now coming up for auction.
Heritage Auctions’ 2020 Winter Platinum Night Sports Collectibles Catalog Auction features a 1951 Joe DiMaggio All-Star game bat, which experts believe he also used in the 1951 World Series, where the Bronx Bombers secured their third-straight world title. It’s expected to bring a six-figure price.
DiMaggio slogged through that season in less-than-perfect physical health and condition. He was developing bone spurs in his right foot and a bad right shoulder, which hampered his performance and stats. Following the World Series victory, he announced his retirement.
The bat was gifted to then-Yankees batboy Joe Carrieri, who chronicled the exchange in his book Joe DiMaggio: The Promise.
Carrieri recalled that DiMaggio called him over and said that he had promised Carrieri a game-used bat. He reached into his locker and grabbed one to gift Carrieri — now on the auction block.
What’s special about this particular bat is that it is 34 ounces in weight. Based on exchanges that DiMaggio had with a friend at the time, DiMaggio first started using a 34-ounce bat in Game 3 of the 1951 World Series. This suggests that the bat was the last one DiMaggio would use in his career and may have been the bat he homered with in Game 4–the final shot of his career.
The bat is a Hillerich & Bradsby D29L with a handwritten “34” on the knob in pencil. It is 36 inches in length, consistent with all other DiMaggio bats. It also features the initials “JC” on the knob, written by Carrieri.
Heritage Auctions previously sold a 1951 Joe DiMaggio All-Star game-used bat in 2017. That one was also 34 ounces and believed to have been gifted by DiMaggio to a fellow MLB player.
The auction, which kicks off Jan. 31, 2020 and will close over Feb. 22 and 23, features other pieces from Joltin’ Joe, like a 1941 Play Ball Joe DiMaggio #71 PSA Gem Mint 10 (estimated value $500,000) and World Series Game 5 worn and signed Yankees jersey ($200,000).