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Historic 1910-14 Ty Cobb bat highlights Heritage Fall auction

Ty Cobb was the best pure hitter in baseball history. The 1910-14 bat he used during the greatest stretch of his 24-year career is up for bid at Heritage Auctions.

Ty Cobb was the greatest pure hitter in baseball history, sporting a major-league record .366 batting average over his 24-year career.

But Cobb was also known for so much more. During a four-year stretch from 1910-14, The Georgia Peach accomplished feats that have rarely been matched. In 1911, he hit .419, had a 40-game hitting streak and was named American League MVP. He followed it up the next season by hitting .409, giving him a .396 average over an incredible five-year stretch.

He was also baseball’s first five-figure player and became infamous for such outrageous incidents as intentionally spiking other players and climbing into the stands to assault a heckler.

Through it all, day after day from 1910-14, Cobb strolled to the plate toting a 39-ounce, pock-marked ash bat — the one he used to win five of his record 12 batting titles.

Also See: Lou Gehrig's 1930s letters to grape grower up for bid 

The bat Cobb used during the greatest stretch of his Hall of Fame career highlights the November Fall Sports Catalog Auction at Heritage Auctions.

Ty Cobb game-used bat from his 1910-14 seasons.

Ty Cobb game-used bat from his 1910-14 seasons.

The auction, which runs through Nov. 17-19, also features another valuable and spectacular 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card, this one graded PSA 8, that could attract millions. A SCG 9.5 version of the card sold for a sports card and memorabilia record $12.6 million in August.

Cobb’s J.F. Hillerich & Son piece of lumber is considered one of the oldest and most extraordinary game-used bats to ever come to auction. It has a current bid of $650,000 and an estimated value of $2 million.

The 34.5-inch bat has a heavily pock-marked upper barrel, where Cobb smacked dirt off his spikes, as noted in the PSA/DNA letter of authentication. It also has more than two dozen nails tacked into the wood where it swelled from hundreds of impacts and evidence of the tape that Cobb often had hanging loose on the handle.

Handle of 1910-14 bat used by Ty Cobb.

Handle of 1910-14 bat used by Ty Cobb.

Also See: CSG awards high grade to another 1952 Topps Mantle card 

It has been photo-matched to two images, including a 1912-13 photo of Cobb at Comiskey Park in Chicago, which is also included in the auction as a Type I photo. It also is matched to a famous 1913 news photo of Cobb and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, each carrying three bats, including the one up for bid.

Photo of Ty Cobb (left) and Shoeless Joe Jackson holding their bats. One of Cobb's bats from 1910-14 is up for bid at Heritage Auctions.

Photo of Ty Cobb (left) and Shoeless Joe Jackson holding their bats. One of Cobb's bats from 1910-14 is up for bid at Heritage Auctions.

The bat came from the collection of Eddie Maier, the owner of the Pacific Coast League Vernon Tigers and one of the earliest collectors of game-used bats. Cobb inscribed the bat: “To Mr. Maier From Ty Cobb, Sept. 18th, 14.” Maier sold the bat five years later to silent film star and director Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle.

The Heritage auction also includes several other amazing pieces of sports memorabilia, including:

• A 1952 Hillerich & Bradsby S100 bat that Jackie Robinson used to hit his only All-Star Game home run. The bats comes from Robinson’s estate.

A glove Ted Williams wore during his final minor-league season in Minneapolis and early in his big-league career in Boston, including in 1941, when he hit .406.

Ted Williams game-used glove from the early days of his career in Boston.

Ted Williams game-used glove from the early days of his career in Boston.

Also See: Legend of Al 'Mr. Mint' Rosen still looms over hobby 

A game-worn Willie Mays jersey photo-matched to a Sept. 1, 1966 game at Shea Stadium, where Mays would later end his career.

Willie Mays game-used jersey from 1966.

Willie Mays game-used jersey from 1966.

A game-worn, signed Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls jersey photo-matched to the 1996-97 season when Jordan won his fifth NBA championship.

Michael Jordan signed, game-used jersey from the 1996-97 season.

Michael Jordan signed, game-used jersey from the 1996-97 season.

Wayne Gretzky’s 1979 World Hockey Association Edmonton Oilers contract, which was for 10 years and $3 million.

Among the top cards in the auction are: a 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection LeBron James Rookie Patch Auto card numbered to 18/23 and graded BGS 8.5, Auto 10; a 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Ticket Tom Brady rookie card, also graded BGS 8.5 and Auto 10; and a 1954 Topps Hank Aaron rookie card graded PSA 9.  

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