A Louisville Slugger Ty Cobb bat from more than 100 years ago is changing hands after a private sale brokered by Mile High Card Company. The price of the bat, which dates from the first part of Cobb’s long career and was graded GU 9.5 by PSA/DNA, was $325,000.
The bat dates to the period of Cobb’s run of nine consecutive American League batting titles.
“With extremely strong stamping, exact specifications and telltale evidence of Cobb’s bat preparation, it’s one of the finest examples of a Cobb game-used bat known to exist,” Mile High stated in a news release following the sale.
Weighing 38 ounces with a length of 34.5 inches, it’s a massive war club for a 175 lb. free-swinger, but Mile High says the specs match the large majority of Cobb gamers.
“It’s an amazing piece of history from early on in Cobb’s career and the fact that it shows such a strong amount of use but very little erosion to the wood or fading of the stamps makes it extremely unique,” stated Mile High President Brian Drent.
The center brand carries two “dash-dot-dash” symbols appearing below “Louisville Slugger” and markings on the knob to show that it was hand spun, confirming it as an authentic Cobb gamer. The location of the engraved Cobb signature also dates the bat to the early years of his career as it would be moved further up the barrel on Cobb bats later that decade. With the company changing that center stamp from “J. F. Hillerich & Son” to “Hillerich & Bradsby’ in 1916, the time period of the bat is also confirmed as an early career example.
The cleat marks on the barrel and tape residue on the handle match several of the highest graded Ty Cobb bats in the PSA/DNA database.
The combination of identifiable player characteristics, specifications that match factory records and medium to heavy game were used by authenticators at PSA/DNA to warrant an elevated grade of GU 9.5.
The buyer of the bat is a private collector who opted to remain anonymous.
“Ty Cobb was the greatest offensive juggernaut of his day and ranks among historians as one of the top five players ever. This amazing piece is the cornerstone to any world-class collection and both parties involved are very pleased with the transaction,” Drent reported.
A 1919-1922 Cobb bat rated PSA/DNA GU 10 sold for $253,000 in 2012. Another Cobb bat from 1914 sold for $178,250 in 2017.