Legendary Live July 2009
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A major park in Mel Ott's native Gretna, Louisiana is named for the legendary slugger. At San Francisco's AT&T Park, the facade of the left field's upper deck bears a sizable "4," a number retired in Ott's honor. Most fitting, these tributes—and further widespread recognition—stem from Ott's achievements at a since-razed venue. With a whopping 323 of his 511 home runs launched at the Polo Grounds (the most by any player at a single ball park), Ott's tremendous power belied his 5-foot-9, 170-pound frame. Presented here is a Hillerich & Bradsby signature model bat wielded by "Master Melvin" during the 1943 season—a campaign that best illustrated Ott's affinity for the Harlem edifice. The 35", 33-1/2-oz. dimensions liken this white ash weapon to the "O2" models referenced in Ott's factory ordering records—which began in April, 1938. Taking into consideration the centerbrand and "Powerized" versions—along with the measurements—this bat's manufacture can be pinpointed to 1943. In limited plate appearances, Ott hit 18 home runs that season—every single one of them at the Polo Grounds! It also marked the 16th of a record 18 seasons in which he led his club in round-trippers. All but tailored for the ballpark's hitter-friendly porch in right field, Ott's swing had been recognized decades earlier. Drawing the ire of Giants skipper John McGraw, a 17-year-old Ott wandered aimlessly about New York City, completely lost and late for his 1926 tryout. With one look at that trademark leg kick and powerful left-handed swing, McGraw forgot all about his prodigy's late arrival. While McGraw did not immediately use Ott on a full-time basis, he did keep him on the big league roster—for fear that any minor league mentor might attempt to toy with Ott's unusual batting style. Perfect for the Polo Grounds (and pretty good elsewhere, too), Ott's swing felled many a National League hurler. The offered weapon administered some of that damage. A rich, light-brown finish flaunts a pronounced centerbrand and barrel stampings. Uncracked, the item exhibits outstanding use, with ball, bat-rack and cleat marks throughout. A small chip on the knob has been professionally repaired. Gorgeous lumber from a deadly arsenal! LOA from PSA DNA & Graded GU 8.
Mel Ott 1943 H&B Game Used Bat - The Rarest of the "500 Home Run Club" Bats!
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