A Joe DiMaggio game-used, autographed bat up for bid in the Lelands Spring Classic Auction has now been identified with probable use in the 1949 World Series. It would be the first DiMaggio photo-matched bat from his playing days to ever be offered in a public auction.
Two newly discovered photos, along with previous independent attribution that the bat was used in the 1949 and 1950 regular seasons, led the company to determine there’s “a high probability” that the bat was used in the ’49 series when the Yankees defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers.
A locker room photo, taken the day after the final game of the World Series shows a bat sitting in DiMaggio’s locker, with lines running through the top of DiMaggio’s nameplate on the barrel that appear to match the bat in the auction.
When shown full size and examined closely, another newly uncovered photo shows the Yankee batboy holding what appears to be the same bat as he congratulates DiMaggio at home plate following his home run in Game 5.
While neither match was conclusive enough to guarantee World Series use, PSA and Resolution Photo Matching had already matched the bat to a game held a week before the 1949 postseason began, leaving a strong possibility that DiMaggio would have continued to use it in the World Series. PSA had also authenticated the bat as being used by DiMaggio during the 1950 regular season.
As of Tuesday evening, the high bid on the bat was nearly $46,000.
The auction, which also includes DiMaggio’s bat from the Yankees’ 1968 Old Timers Day, continues through Friday.