A valuable game-used Mel Ott bat stolen from the floor of last year’s National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore is safely back with its owner after the thief returned it.
The 1930’s era bat was lifted from the JT Sports booth after its new owner, collector Scott Foraker, had dropped it off for grading and authentication during the show at the Baltimore Convention Center. Foraker had purchased the 35”, 33.2 oz. piece of history for $48,300 at Hunt Auction’s 2012 All-Star FanFest event in Kansas City just a few weeks before the show.
JT Sports owner and PSA authenticator John Taube had offered a $5,000 reward for its return.
One day, Taube opened a package containing the bat, sent by someone who didn’t leave a return address.
“I guess miracles do occur,” Foraker told Sports Collectors Daily. “I am thrilled to have the bat back, obviously. Ott bats are rare to begin with but this one was one of a kind given its provenance from a former player. I am also grateful for two other things: 1) the outpouring of support from fellow collectors and 2) that whomever took it did the right thing in the end by returning it, which helps to restore the faith and also gives me a sense of forgiveness. As you know, these stories rarely have a happy ending but this one does.”