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Back Lot Number: 621  
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Description: Rare and exceptional Ty Cobb professional model baseball bat as gifted to Detroit Postmaster William Nagel c.1916-1918. Outstanding specimen is one of the earliest dating period Cobb game bats having sourced provenance to have entered the marketplace. Louisville Slugger double dash dot dash model bat measures 34.5" long and weighs 36.9oz. Hillerich & Bradsby centerbrand stampings present very boldly along with "Ty Cobb" facsimile signature stamp on barrel end. The bat displays strong evident use including ball marks, stitching impressions, green and blue bat rack marks, and cleat impressions. The overall condition of the bat itself is wonderfully original retaining fine surface and honey colored brown patina. William J. Nagel was born in 1873 in Detroit where he would later serve in several official city positions inclusive of Deputy City Controller (1909-1910) and later as Postmaster for the city beginning in 1913. Nagel was a versatile athlete and avid sports fan beginning with his high school and college days listing baseball as his preferred game of choice. Through his various governmental positions Nagel was afforded the opportunity to befriend members of the Detroit Tigers baseball team over many years. As documented by several periodicals and reference volumes of the period, Bill Nagel was a consistent figure at Detroit Tigers home games and practices often times throwing batting practice to the players. In particular, it is further evidenced that Nagel was one of the favored batting practice pitchers for Ty Cobb. As referenced in a period newspaper article for the Detroit News by George W. Stark, "In the Hughie Jennings era, he (Nagel) had the freedom of Old Bennett Park and later of Navin Field. There his first friend was Ty Cobb who spent hours every day sharpening his batting eye at the expense of Bill's pitches. He always said Cobb wore out his throwing arm and destroyed the potential of a big league career." Further corroboration of Nagel's relationship with the team is offered in an excerpt from the book The City of Detroit Michigan 1701-1922, "He delights in baseball and when the Detroit Tigers are in town he can be seen wearing the uniform in practice on the field with the players. The team counts him indeed a friend and he is a familiar figure in practice to tens of thousands of baseball fans." The bat is accompanied by numerous photographs of Nagel inclusive of a vintage cabinet image picturing him in a Tigers uniform along with several vintage newspaper articles as referenced in the aforementioned auction description Additionally, the lot includes Nagel's period autograph album which features a fine ink signature of Ty Cobb dated June 15, 1924 rating 9 out of 10. This autograph book not only carries actual dollar value as a fine signature but more notably directly corroborates Nagel's interaction with Cobb. As evidenced by recent auction pricing, sourced game used materials from the icons of baseball history continue to achieve record pricing. Superlative example which easily ranks among the finest in the hobby having the additional desirability of dating to the prime of Cobb's career with the Tigers. Includes LOAs from Hunt Auctions and PSA/DNA (Graded GU 9): EX
Estimated Price Range: ($75,000-$125,000)
Current EST:  10/23/17 11:23:53 AM