Heartland March 2020 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/9/2020

“Chance was a great leader because he asked no man to take any chance that he would not take himself and because he had the power to instill enthusiasm even in a losing cause.” -John McGraw, New York Giants

To hold a bat used in a game by legendary Cubs Hall of Famer Frank Chance represents the opportunity to hold a piece of early baseball history. To own Frank Chance’s game used bat represents a rare opportunity seldom afforded anyone in the world of sports memorabilia. If only this extraordinary Frank Chance Spalding Gold Medal Autograph Model bat could talk. Could Chance have used this heavy piece of white ash against Christy Mathewson? Did it see action in the historic Merkle game during the final weeks of the 1908 season? Or could it have been used during the Cubs amazing 116 victory season in 1906? Unlike modern players who toss away equipment in the blink of an eye, bats, gloves and other equipment were prized assets that were meant to last as long as possible. This Chance gamer is no different. It’s covered in marks and scuffs and indentions from countless games. One look at this bat and it’s clear this heavy piece of lumber was wielded in game after game, at least for a season and maybe longer. A game used bat from the days when Spalding was considered superior to Louisville Slugger. For many major league hitters in the first decade of the 20th Century, Spalding was the bat of choice. After all, baseball legend Albert Spalding started producing his professional sporting goods line in 1876. By 1883, Spalding’s factories were churning out 300,000 bats annually, in woods ranging from white ash to presentation bats made of cherry. The company even created the first modern line of standardized baseball bats in 1892, two years before Bud Hillerich registered the Louisville Slugger name. As J.F. Hillerich and Sons, and later Hillerich & Bradsby, began focusing on signing star players to endorese their bats, Spalding focused on creating the best bats in the world. By order of A.G. Spalding himself, the focus was on creating the world’s best bats. Spalding refused for years to kiln dry his wood. His natural curing process required the wood to season and dry for two years before it could be shaped. The company founder believed his technique produced harder, longer lasting bats. And many of the game’s most prominent stars, such as Frank Chance, agreed with Spalding, choosing the former big league star’s bats over Louisville Slugger based on how the ball “popped” off Spalding’s tight-grained ash war clubs. Legendary lumber from one of the game’s legendary leaders. We’ve handled many bats and game used items over the years, but this Frank Chance Spalding gamer is something special. It’s a glimpse into an era when hard men escaped the factories and coal mines to play baseball, when high-spiked slides were considered gamesmanship rather than playing dirty, and when the ability to control the ball off the bat was more important than hitting the ball out of the park. We doubt you’ll see another Frank Chance game used bat any time soon. So, consider it carefully and place it on your watch list just for safety.

1908-1911 Frank Chance Spalding "Gold Medal Autograph" Signature-Model Bat Uncracked PSA/DNA
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Minimum Bid: $4,000.00
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Auction closed on Thursday, April 9, 2020.
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