Outstanding Babe Ruth H&B signature-model bat (predating model numbers) dating from the 1924 season. Graded GU9 by PSA/DNA. The bat, as described by PSA/DNA in its accompanying letter, displays evidence of heavy use along its entire length: ". . . . Slight grain checking is visible on the back barrel. Several ball marks and ball stitch impressions are visible on the right and left barrel. The left barrel appears to be the primary contact defined by the barrel scoring that appears in this area. Cleat impressions can be seen on all sides of the upper barrel. A few abrasions can be seen on back barrel and on the front barrel to the right of the center brand." The bat also has a slight handle crack that has been repaired. The dating of this bat conforms to the general manufacturing period of 1923 to 1925, as indicated by the center brand. However, through an analysis of Ruth's H&B ordering records for that period, PSA/DNA concludes that "Based on the bat's weight today (39 oz) and its length [of] 36 inches, it is our opinion, the model of the bat is 'His 6-21-24' or a model as yet unknown, ordered by Ruth during the 1924 season."
According to PSA/DNA, the bat also displays the clear presence of two features one expects to find on Ruth game-used bats: "Two notable player characteristics displayed on the subject bat are the cleat marks on the upper barrel and the light scoring on the left barrel. The scoring also highlights the primary contact area on this well used bat. This is significant in that vintage photography of Ruth at the plate, has documented, that throughout his career, Ruth gripped the bat with the center brand turned down. this label down grip results in a left barrel contact area."
If this bat was indeed used by Ruth during the 1924 season then it dates from one of his finest all-around seasons and the only year in which he won the batting title. 1924 saw Ruth post league-leading totals in batting average (.378), home runs (46), runs (143), bases on balls (142), slugging percentage (.739), and on-base percentage (.513). Unfortunately, his 121 RBI that season were just eight shy of Goose Goslin's league-leading total of 129, thereby denying him the coveted Triple Crown. (The Triple Crown is one of the few achievements that eluded Ruth during his career.) The fact that Ruth only won one batting title is actually somewhat hard to believe when one considers that he finished with a .342 career batting average (tied for ninth best all time), and batted over .350 on eight separate occasions. This is an outstanding high-grade Ruth bat dating from the height of his legendary career with the Yankees. Length: 36 inches. Weight: 39 ounces. LOA from John Taube of PSA/DNA. Opening Bid $25,000. Estimate $100,000+.