View Full Version : Earliest name labeling on bats

07-10-2006, 09:08 AM
Does anyone know at what level in a players career, whether it's in the majors or minors, that he can begin to have his name imprinted on his bats? Do the bats have to be ordered through a team account or can a player order them direct.......Do the guidelines, if any, vary by company? Thanks for any info!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

07-10-2006, 11:07 AM

Here is some basic information as it relates to player endorsement contracts with H & B. Player's have held endorsement contracts with H& B since 1905. Records indicate either when a player signed his first endorsement contract with the company (pre-1930 records) or when their first order of 'signature model' bats was shipped (post-1929.) When the signature model is first made for a player, two bats were generally shipped to him. The time frame from signing the contract to the first shipment of signature model bats was generally only a few days to a couple of weeks.

Endorsement contracts were most frequently given after a player made it to the Major Leagues, but that is not always the case. Willie Stargell, for instance, signed his first endorsement contract on 5/18/61, however did not play his first Major League game until 9/16/62. Thus, he had 7 shipments of bats between 5/26/59 and 4/20/61 with block letters while in the Minor Leagues, then 24 orders of bats between 5/18/61 and 8/14/62 while still in the Minors with his name in script (signature model). Orders after his first Major League game in September, 1962 continued with his name in script.

Some players, such as Willie Mays, never signed an endorsement contract with H & B and all of their H & B bats are block letter. Others, such as Stan Musial, drifted in and out of endorsement contracts, which caused his bats from the 1940's to have a script signature, while most of his bats from the 1950's and early 1960's appear with MUSIAL MODEL in block letters.

The most complete and updated information available concerning H & B endorsement contracts for all Hall of Fame players will appear in Vince Malta's upcoming book, due later this year, available through Game Used Universe.

Note: Although records are not available for Adirondack bats of the era, I believe their process was generally the same as H & B's. I have seen Adirondack signature models for player's that can be specifically dated to their Minor League career, before ever playing a Major League game, such as Carlton Fisk.

Good Luck in future collecting.

Mike Jackitout7@aol.com

07-11-2006, 09:12 PM
Thanks for the excellent information!!!!!!.....I cant get enough of this kind of stuff and am counting the days for the book.