Earlier this month, under the watchful eye of Professional Model Bat Authenticator John Taube, PSA launched a thorough compilation of game-used pro model bats that encompass the playing careers of 30 notable hitters ranging from “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron to “The Splendid Splinter,” Ted Williams. Game-used bats represent the newest add-on to the company’s popular population report listings. Although the list of players and game-used bats will continue to grow over time, the bats found in PSA’s initial pop report database were all selected based on their historical significance, rarity, popularity of the player, visual appeal and, of course, market value.
“The first 30 players we focused on were selected from the book Legendary Lumber – The 100 Top Players Bats in Baseball History,” said Taube. “The group to follow, which we are currently working on, will also come from the book. Our plan is to complete the players that appear in the book as they represent the top 100 bats in baseball history. After that additions will be discussed.”
Auction prices for game-used bats reached all-time highs over the past year. Last March a bat used by Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. to record his 3,000th career hit, graded PSA GU 10, sold at auction for $200,000. That same month, a circa 1922 Ty Cobb gamer, graded PSA GU 10, sold for $1.1 million. A month after that, a bat used by the late, great Lou Gehrig in 1938, graded PSA GU 10, sold for $715,120.
“The game-used bat population report will be of great value to collectors,” said Taube. “Just look at what the pop report has done for cards. We expect bat values to continue to rise as collectors open auction catalogs to find item descriptions that include high-graded bats with low population numbers indicating they are truly rare.”
The PSA Game-Used Bats Population Report is simple to use. Upon visiting the page, collectors are provided with an impressive lineup of 30 standout players and their respective number of PSA-graded bats. A total of 3,055 game-used bats have been recorded across the player list including the likes of Roberto Clemente (157 bats), Babe Ruth (98), Mickey Mantle (79), Stan Musial (59), Ernie Banks (39), Lou Gehrig (37), Ty Cobb (34), Honus Wagner (20), and Jackie Robinson (19). Not all players included in the opening launch are deceased or, for that matter, not playing presently. Others featured include living Hall of Famers like Derek Jeter (324 bats), Ken Griffey Jr. (187), Mike Schmidt (154), Johnny Bench (101) and George Brett (89), along with current superstars Albert Pujols (247) and Mike Trout (191).
Each of the players’ names hyperlink to his own PSA-graded pop report page where all of his recorded bats are broken down by grade, ranging from “PSA/DNA GU 10” to “PSA/DNA GU 0” (or authentic). There are also quick links provided to areas such as “Prices,” “Facts” and even the “[PSA Set] Registry.” Under the Facts tab for George Brett, for instance, it states: “George Brett bats exhibiting heavy pine tar sell for a premium.”
Professional baseball has been around for more than 150 years and because of its ever-growing number of participants, it’s doubtful that every player will make the PSA game-used bat pop report.
“But every significant player could find his niche on the report,” said Taube. “Our goal is to establish the community of player bats that are available in the marketplace, with their grade and value. Collectors will find this information very beneficial.”