Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Heritage Auctions: 1956 Jackie Robinson Game Used Bat- His Last Gamer?

Heritage Auctions is not only auctioning off some choice items from the recently revealed attic find of vintage Baseball cards called the "Black Swamp Find" (see the Honus Wagner graded 10 card, here), but is also auctioning a spectacular game-used Jackie Robinson bat.

This is a 1956 Robinson gamer and is thought to be the very last bat he has ever used in the Major Leagues.  I'll let the auction description take it over from here.
Jackie's last bat? It's more than just a fair assumption. The sizeable stack of paperwork charting the provenance of this historic lumber tracks the tale back to that final day at Ebbets Field, October 10, 1956, and a New York priest and devout Brooklyn Dodgers fan named Father Jimmy O'Halloran. As the story was recounted by O'Halloran to a friend and fellow Dodgers fan named Ron Allen, the clergyman had begun to pester Robinson for a bat late in the 1956 season. On the final day, after falling to the Yankees by a tally of nine runs to none in Game Seven of the World Series, a dejected Robinson approached O'Halloran and handed him this bat. Touched by Robinson's generosity, Father Jimmy insisted he accept five dollars for the gift, which Robinson reluctantly accepted.
Apparently, a subsequent owner showed the bat to should-be-Hall-of-Famer Buck O'Neil.  Buck had this to say:
"When I placed the bat in Mr. O'Neil's hands, he took a step back and gently rubbed the entire bat. He kept saying 'Jackie Robinson' over and over, almost reverently. When I suggested that he swing the bat, he looked at me and said, 'Son, this bat belonged to the greatest, most courageous man that ever lived, Mister Jackie Robinson. Other than the good Lord himself, there's only been one man ever worthy enough to swing this bat, and that's Jackie. But thank you, son, holding it in my hands now is one of the highlights of my year."
I can picture the Wayne's World guys right now screaming, "We're Not Worthy!"

(Auction Link)

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