This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/10/2017
Combining the raw power of Randy Johnson with the pinpoint accuracy of Greg Maddux, Washington Senators hurler Walter Johnson was the greatest pitcher of all-time and dominated the mound in much the same manner that the legendary Babe Ruth did at the plate. Second all-time in wins with 417, “The Big Train” compiled an unbelievable 265-143 record with a 1.59 ERA from 1910-1919, leading the American League in wins five times, ERA four times, shutouts six times and strikeouts nine times. And unlike Christy Mathewson, his almost as dominant counterpart in the National League whose team won the NL pennant for three consecutive seasons, Johnson played for a mediocre squad that didn’t make the postseason until 1924 and usually offered lackluster offensive support. On many occasions, especially during his 38 career 1-0 victories, Johnson’s brilliant pitching performances would have been wasted if not for his own prowess with the bat. While his status as a pitching icon was unquestioned, Walter Johnson was widely recognized, other than Babe Ruth, as the finest hitting pitcher of his time. Called on to pinch hit 110 times in his career, Johnson smashed a career 24 homers, and at age 37, posted a .433 average in 1925, the highest ever for a pitcher in a single season with at least 100 plate appearances. Standing 6’1” and weighing over 200 lbs., Walter Johnson was an exceptionally large man for his day and towered over most of his opponents. Carrying a war club that exceeded 40 ounces, Johnson served notice to other big league pitchers that his appearance at the plate was not to be taken lightly. Mile High Card Company is proud to offer this Walter Johnson Hillerich & Bradsby Co. hand-turned Professional Model Louisville Slugger, used by Johnson during the final campaigns of his unprecedented career. While game-used bats of such immortals as Ruth and Cobb occasionally surface, it’s extremely more difficult to come across a piece of lumber used by a pitcher during this time period. Even Walter Johnson, who batted more than any pitcher in baseball given his hitting ability and 531 complete games, never registered more than 150 official at-bats in a season, so the number of bats ordered would be considerably lower and last far longer. The number of known Walter Johnson game-used bats is currently at three, only one of which also houses the script signature on the barrel (the third is a block letter, side written example from an earlier time period). Granted a grade of GU 8, the conclusions of PSA/DNA are that “the bat is authentic, and was used by Johnson during the referenced labeling period (1925-31). The bat exhibits medium to heavy use and possesses identifiable player use characteristics." Listed at a length of 35” and a weight of 40.1 ounces, the bat is uncracked with a small chip at the knob and many ball and cleat marks. A spiral pattern of original masking tape (invented in 1925) appears on the handle. Given his batting performance over the final three seasons of his career (246 at-bats, 5 homers, 42 RBI and a .317 batting average), the masking tape experiment was a complete success! Paired with the bat is an original Type I photo measuring approx. 14” x 8 5/8” of The Big Train taking a big cut at the plate, very suitable for framing and display. A piece of American history that would be very much at home in Cooperstown’s Baseball Hall of Fame, this Walter Johnson game-used bat is a cornerstone to any world-class baseball collection! Full LOA from Vince Malta/John Taube - PSA/DNA.
Spectacular 1925-31 Walter Johnson Game-Used Louisville Slugger Bat PSA/DNA GU 8
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