A bat given by Ty Cobb to a former Detroit Tigers’ teammate sold for $253,000 in Tuesday’s All-Star FanFest memorabilia auction in Kansas City. Live auction bidding began after online and phone bids pushed it past the $118,000 mark during the past two weeks. The final bid was $220,000. The realized price includes a buyer’s premium. The winning bidder was Tyler Tysdal, a collector and business entrepreneur from the Denver area.
The Cobb bat was originally given to Eddie Onslow, who became a friend of the Hall of Famer’s after coming up to the Detroit Tigers as a raw rookie about a century ago.
“The usage characteristics of the bat, visual presentation, primary source provenance, and unprecedented handwritten corroboration from Cobb himself place this bat in a class of its own,” reads Hunt Auctions’ catalog description.
KCTV in Kansas City was there for the auction when the bat’s owner, 92-year-old Nancy Purviance, daughter of Eddie Onslow, passed it on to its new owner.
Measuring 34 1/2″ in length and weighing 40.1 oz, the auction house says the bat matches Hillerich & Bradsby factory records.
The bat shows cleat and ballmarks-even tobacco juice stains. The handle area of the bat retains his trademark wide spiral handle tape as documented in numerous period images of Cobb batting. The knob retains a small period cast iron hook installed fo display purposes which is being left intact for the sake of preserving its originality as found within the collection.
In his letter of authenticity, PSA/DNA bat expert John Taube wrote, “One glance and you immediately know this was a favorite bat of Cobb.”
Other auction highlights included:
- Three Cy Young Awards presented to Hall of Famer Jim Palmer sold for nearly $213,000 combined with the buyer’s premium.
- A key Lou Gehrig home run ball, belted in the 1928 World Series sold for $62,617. Stamford, CT resident Elizabeth Gott consigned the ball to help her 30-year-old son pay off his medical school debts, which total $200,000. Elizabeth Gott’s great-uncle wound up with the ball after it sailed into the bleachers during the Yankees’ game two victory over Grover Cleveland Alexander.