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1905-1910 Napoleon Lajoie Cleveland Naps Wright & Ditson Makers No. 5 Retail Model Bat - PSA/DNA LOA

Lot Number 1014

Quantity: Bid Starts: 11/25/2022 12:00:00 
Bid Open: 400.00  Bid Ends: 12/08/2022 23:30:00 
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In all likelihood, this war club (34", 
40.2 oz.!) was purchased straight out of the Wright & Ditson catalog by one of Lajoie's legion of fans. However, as the accompanying PSA/DNA LOA explains, "Some of these retail model bats found their way to the Major Leagues, but without provenance Major League use cannot be confirmed. Additionally, professional model Wright & Ditson bats were very similar to their retail line. The vaults of Louisville Slugger contained many retail model bats that were used by professional players (not necessarily the player whose name appeared on the barrel) and then returned to Louisville Slugger so that bats of the same model could be produced."


Moreover, as the PSA/DNA website points out, this bat's weight does perfectly match up with Lajoie's game bats. "Lajoie, who was known for his upper body strength, was able to handle a hefty piece of lumber.  Lajoie often used a bat that weighed close to, or more than, 40 ounces. Lajoie can be seen holding bats with a prominent, overlapping wrap of tape along a substantial portion of the handle in period images. While we cannot confirm how often Lajoie prepared his bats in this manner, it is clear that its presence can help place the bat in his hands."       


Origins aside, the bat has survived its 110+ years well, showing moderate use with a handle crack, a front-barrel chip, and some checking/grain swelling from repeated ball contact on the front/back barrel. The handle is nicely taped, and the barrel branding reads, "WRIGHT & DITSON / BOSTON / MAKERS / LAJOIE." Full LOA from PSA/John Taube.

Pictures  (Click on Photo to Enlarge)