View Full Version : Pee Wee Reese Records

09-12-2006, 12:21 PM

Does Pee Wee Reese's bat records record an H&B model M117 measuring 34" and weighing around 30 ounces?

Thanks you.

09-12-2006, 07:27 PM
Hi Sammy---

Reede's records show 13 separate shipments of Model M117 bats between 3/10/1949 and 5/14/1951. All documented orders are either 34.5 inches or 35 inches in length with weights ranging around 32 to 33 ounces. Reese was known to order some bats in lengths of 34 inches throughout his career.

Note that H & B Model M117 was first manufactured for Stan Musial off a Walker Cooper Model C92 with a thinner handle in the mid-1940's.

Mike Jackitout7@aol.com

09-12-2006, 09:00 PM
Hi Mike,

Thanks for the reply.

Was interested in the one being auctioned on eBay via geppis memorabilia road show.

Sold for 4900 with the 22.5 percent eBay penalty.

09-13-2006, 01:18 AM
Hi Sammy---

I took the opportunity to review this auction and the supporting documentation, and i guess I am still a bit confused.

This bat was cert'ed by MEARS on 7/12/06, apparently for this auction, and received a grade of A 8.5 (reference Cert. 303858). In the LOA the bat is measured at 34.125 inches with a weight of 30.2 ounces. In the LOA it also states that the bat matches factory records.

Here is the confusion: The bat is dated to 1949 -- here are the orders shipped to Reese of M117 bats that year (total of 38 bats):
3/10/49 34.5" / 32 oz
3/31/49 34.5" / 31 oz
5/05/49 34/5" / 32 oz
7/13/49 34.5" / 33 oz
8/12/49 34.5' / 32 oz
9/16/49 34/5" / 32 oz
10/3/49 34.5" / 32 oz (World Series)

After checking the orders above, I thought that the confusion surrounding the length would probably be cleared up in the comments section of the LOA, as the comments section of MEARS LOAs have, in my opinion, been increasingly precise and insightful over the past 6 months or so. Here are the comments:
"Louisville Slugger factory records show Reese first ordered M117 model bats in 1949. Exhibits use on all sides especially above the barrel stamp and on back. Altogether a very nice second era label Reese bat with perfect markings."

Hmmmm. No help there. I recalculated the bat's measured length of 34.125 inches plus the MEARS accepted variance of + 0.250 inches, and came up with 34.375 inches, short of the 34.5 inch shipments that would constitute a match of factory records.

So what is the point here? I really don't know. Is "being close" to factory records the same as "matches factory records?' I guess it is to some people. Maybe the term "matchs factory records" is a little fluid. Although Reese never ordered 34 inch M117 bats in his entire career (at least that are documented), he did order 34 inch bats between 4/15/38 and 3/8/46, then again a few times (ten) in 1952, 1953, and 1958. Plus, his very first first order, which was indexed as His 4-15-38 (and became model R21) is diagrammed at 34 inches. So, regardless of the fact that Reese's personal H & B factory records do not document any orders of 34.5 inch model M117 bats being shipped to him in 1949 or at any other time, he did actually order 34 inch bats of other models in other years, during his career.Also, Reese was a frequent in-person visitor to the H & B factory, and it is not inconceivable that he picked up a few bats now and then during his visits. In 1949 could he have picked up a few 34 inch M117 bats? Maybe. I guess. Who knows?

Is all of that enough to say that a 34 inch M117 bat dated to 1949 "matches factory records?" Or is it the responsibility of the authenticator to lay the facts out and let the collector decide his own comfort level? Especially with a bat that, to use the vernacular, "ain't likely to be no fifty dollar bat."

I was unable to access the worksheet on this bat to see how the grade was calculated, but I believe, in the minds of many collectors, a grade of A 8.5 pretty much places the bat in the specific player's hands based on specific documentation. This bat, while a professional model, does not match Reese's factory records and shows game use by some unidentified player, who may or may not have been Reese. The bat did come, according to the auction house, from the collection of Phil Rizzuto, so maybe a few points were added due to provenance. But coming from the Phil Rizzuto collection (by the way, Rizzuto favored 34 inch bats himself throughout much of his career) without additional documentation, and without maybe even a "To Phil from Pee Wee" inscription on the bat, doesn't really tell us much.

Again, the above are just the thoughts that ran through my head as an authenticator, when responding to the post above. And, just to make it plain, I have only reviewed Reese's personal H & B factory records, the LOA referenced abve, and the auction description
http://cgi.liveauctions.ebay.com/1943-49-Pee-Wee-Reese-Game-Used-Baseball-Bat-Graded-A8_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ28221QQihZ019QQitemZ 290026504418QQrdZ1

I have not had the opportunity to see the worksheet on this bat, or any additional provenance, if any exists.

Mike Jackitout7@aol.com