Barry Bonds’ Bat

For much of his career, Barry Bonds used the Sam Bat’s pure maple bat. The bat is model number Sam Bat 2K1 and Barry had it tuned to the size of 34 inches and a weight of 31.6 ounces. Barry Bonds’ bat stands at a significant tipping point from the ash wood bat market to the now famous hard maple bats. In particular, maple bats made by Sam Bats grace the plates in the hands of some of the best in the business, including Stanton. They also rank on several best wood bats lists.

Barry Bonds' Bat

 * Brand Length Weight Model Number Years
Barry Bonds Sam Bats 34 31.6 2K1 1997 – 2007
Barry Bonds Louisville Slugger 33.75 33.2 H238, P72 1986 – 1996

*Bonds would sometimes use different bats and different bat brands than the ones listed above. Especially in the 1986 to 1996 era. Once he found Sam Bats and fell in love with the 2K1, it is hard to say if he ever used anything else in game.

See our Sam Bat Reviews

Barry Bonds’ Bat Model, Construction, Weight & Length

Barry Bonds' Bat

Barry bonds predominantly used two different bat brands throughout his career. The most famous was the Sam Bat 2K1. Its length was 34 inches and it weighed 31.6 ounces. He used these bats almost exclusively from 1997 until his retirement in 2007.

The previous 8 years he was seen swinging the H238 from Louisville Slugger. Some of these 33.75 inch long, 33.2 ounces bats have been found at auction. There are also at least some existing game used bats of the P72 model also from Slugger, but the P72 is considered the exception in his pre-1997 years.

Barry Bonds’ Slugger Bat History

Barry Bonds' Bat

Many of Barry Bonds’ bats have been tracked down and are held in private collections. Many of those have also been identified at certain at bats. Take the above pictured H238 from Slugger in 1993. Barry swung this bat to hit career home run 185 on May 15, 1993.  This bat has been photo matched to this particular home run.

Sam Bat Overview

Barry Bonds' Bat

Sam Bat is a Canadian based company that makes only maple bats. They were, in all reality, the bat company that changed the name of the wood bat game that was heretofore dominated by Louisville Slugger’s ash bat.

We review this topic at length in another post. Here, for the sake of brevity, we simply point out how fundamentally different the wood bat game is due, in large measure, to Barry Bonds’ use of the Sam Bat in the late 1990’s. This opened the flood gates.

Barry Bonds’ Bat Sources

Barry Bonds' Bat

There are dozens of great resources on Barry Bonds’ Bats. A simple Google search should get you on the right track. We feel like we read every one of them for this post.

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Bo Jackson’s Bat

Bo Jackson’s way too short baseball career started in 1986 and ended in 1994. Throughout that time, he used no less than 9 different bat models from 2 different companies: Cooper and Louisville Slugger. From the sizes we could track down, the length was no greater than 34.5 inches and weighed no more than 33 ounces. Below are the details we have compiled about Bo Jackson’s bat.

Brand Length Weight Type Model Number Years
Louisville Slugger  Ash S44
Louisville Slugger  Ash B310
Cooper 34.5 32.3  Ash C271 1994
Louisville Slugger  Ash D162 1986
Cooper 34 33  Ash J93
Louisville Slugger  Ash B016L
Louisville Slugger Ash J93 1989
Louisville Slugger 34  Ash R206 1986

See our Louisville Slugger Bat Reviews

Bo Jackson’s way too short baseball career started in 1986 and ended in 1994. Throughout that time, he used no less than 9 different bat models from 2 different companies.

Bo Jackson's Bat

Bo Jackson Bat Model

Bo Jackson's Bat

Bo changed his bat model often. During his 8 year career, we found he used at least 9 different bats. Most pictures and game used paraphernalia show him using Slugger’s B310 Model. The B, most likely, stood for Bo. The 310 is a cross between a few bats—the most similar bat seems to be the S318, which you can buy.

We also know that in the 1989 All-Star game he used a Slugger J93, the same J93 that both Barry Bonds and Derek Jeter used around that time.

When Bo played his year with the Angels it appears he used the Cooper brand of bats. Cooper, at the time, made a serious run at Louisville Slugger as the top bat brand in the MLB, at one point garnering almost 30% of the market. We can confirm Bo used the C271 and J93 from Cooper during that time.

Bo Jacksons Bat Size: Weight & Length

Bo Jackson's Bat

Information on Bo’s bat weight and length are not readily available. We did track down a few sizes on his Cooper bat toward the end of his career which came in at 34.5 inches and 32.3 ounces. Slugger bats were only found in 34 inches. The weight, we can only guess, was 31 to 32 ounces.

Bo Jackson’s Bat History

Bo Jackson's Bat

Some particular bats of Jackson’s have been identified in specific at bats. For example, Bo Jackson’s 1989 All-Star game bat—where he led off with a home run—has been verified. MLB Game Used Bats instagram account points out how the oversized LOUISVILLE brand on the bats was impetus for the Major League to ban bat branding in the 1990 season.

A few other signed, game used Cooper brand bats of Bo Jackson’s have gone up for auction, the highest fetching close to $5,000. (We suspect the 1989 All-Star Game Bat would get even more).

Bo Jackson’s Bat Sources

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Pete Rose’s Bat

We have searched far and wide for information on the type of bats Pete Rose used during his career. We spent time perusing auction houses deep in the internet, as well as eBay auctions. As well, we even exchanged emails with a collector of Pete Rose bats. All of that research is found below in a conglomeration of information on Pete Rose’s bat.

Brand Length Weight Type Model Number Years
Louisville Slugger 33.5  Ash S222 1974
Louisville Slugger  35, 36  33.7*  Ash S2  1965 – 1968
Mizuno  34 30.3 Ash PR 4192**  1985
Adirondack 35 36.6  Ash 69A 1975

Pete Rose's Bat

*Rose mentioned in one letter of authenticity that the 33.7 was his preferred bat weight.
**4192 was the model number Mizuno put on each bat, in reference to Ty Cobb’s 4192 hits record which Rose was chasing. After Rose broke the record, it was changed to read ATHL (All-Time Hit Leader).

Pete Rose Bat Models

Pete Rose's Bat

While any given at bat might find Rose with any particular bat found in the dugout, Pete Rose generally used three brands of bats in his career. In his first years, the S2 from Slugger was his preference. Within the decade, a signature series was created for Rose using the S222. From there, the Rawlings Adirondack, which players like Ripken also used, became Rose’s bat of choice.

Pete would end his career, and break Ty Cobb’s all-time hit record, with the Japanese Mizuno. This typically all black stick had two different model numbers in its lifetime. Before the record was broken, the label PR 4192 was stamped on the bat. This was in reference to the hit record Rose was chasing. After he passed Cobb, the model stamp was changed to ATHL or, as is commonly understood, All-Time Hit Leader.

Pete Rose Bat Specs

Pete Rose's Bat

Rose not only used several different models in his career, but the bat weights and lengths also varied noticeably. In a letter verifying one of his Adirondack bats during the 1975 season, Rose mentions his preferred bat weight was 33.7 ounces. However, a measurement of his game used bats show his early days upwards of 36 ounces. By the end, some of his Mizuno bats weigh as light as 30.3 ounces.

Regardless of what they weigh now, it is hard to not simply take the hitter’s word for it. He preferred the 33.7 ounce bat in a 35 inch length.

Pete Rose Bat History

Pete Rose's Bat

With a significant number of game used bats available on the market from Pete Rose, there come with that a number of historical contextual stories. One Adirondack bat was given to a boy in the stands after a Reds Cardinals series in 1975. Rose would see that exact bat 20 years later and remember its markings.

Several other Pete Rose bats on the market today have been found, by x-ray, to be corked. These bats sell at a premium now and speak to the lack of regulation in the pre 1985 Major Leagues.

Pete Rose Bat Sources

GoldIn Auctions Product Page
Bidami’s Pete Rose Page
Ebay Pete Rose Game Used Search

Mears Online Auctions
Big Time Bats Product Page
PSA Pete Rose Page

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Cal Ripken’s Bat

Like most players of his era, Cal Ripken swung a number of different bats in his career. Most pictures show him using Louisville Slugger’s P72—a very popular bat which is now retired in Derek Jeter’s Bat name.

Brand Length Weight Type Model Number Years
Louisville Slugger 34 7/8 34.3  Ash M159  1981
Rawlings  Ash Adirondack
Louisville Slugger  35 34 Ash S188
Louisville Slugger 34  34.1  Ash P72 1989

Cal Ripken's Bat

You can search for some of his game used bat on eBay with a string like this. They range in the $2,000’s.

Cal Ripken Bat Sizes: Weight and Length

Cal Ripken's Bat

Cal Ripken’s bat size was the largest we’ve yet to find. In fact, if we understand the rules correctly, Ripken’s bat was the heaviest it could possibly be. Every bat we have identified as his came around 35 inches and 34+ ounces. A serious behemoth of a bat that only a few guys use as strength training BP Bats.

Cal Ripken Bat Models

Cal Ripken's Bat

By the end of his career, Ripken’s go to bat was Louisville Slugger’s P72. The P72 is the same bat Derek Jeter made famous, insomuch that Slugger retired the P72 when Jeter retired and changed its name to the DJ2.

As well, it is confirmed he used the M159 and S188 from Slugger occasionally. And, once in a blue moon, he swung Rawlings’ Adirondack Big Stick. All his bats were made of ash as was the custom during his playing days.

Cal Ripken Bat History

Cal Ripken's Bat

Ripken was protective of his gear and kept most of it. Those that can be found in the collector’s market are identified by cleat marks on the end of the bat. Those marks came from Ripken repeatedly hitting the bat on his cleats in between swings.

The number 8, written in the snowman fashion, is usually found on the barrel. In his earlier years, it was the number 5 on the barrels—his minor league number which was also a shout out to his boyhood hero, Brooks Robinson.

Ripken’s Most Memorable At Bat

For over 50 years, Lou Gherig, the “luckiest man alive”, held the record for the most consecutive games played. Cal Ripken, Jr would take that title from him on September 6th, 1995. With the Orioles up 2-1 in the bottom of the 4th, Ripken, batting in the 5-hole, stepped to the plate during his 2131 consecutive game. He had popped out to center field in the 2nd. Shawn Boskie, the starter for the California Angles that night, went down quickly with a 3-0 count. The next pitch was history. On a belt high fastball Ripken unloaded his Louisville @Sluggernation P72 and drove the ball 14 or 15 rows up over the left field fence.

Boskie would give up 3 home runs that night to Orioles players. None more memorable than Cal Ripken’s bomb.

Cal Ripken Bat Sources

We referenced a number of sources when writing this Cal Ripken’s Bat article. Many can be found with a simple Google search, but others were found elsewhere. Below are the ones we found most helpful.

Huggins and Scott Auction House
Goldin Auctions Ripken Product Page
PSA Card Ripken Bat Page

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Ozzie Smith’s Bat

Known much more for his glove, Ozzie Smith’s bat gets too little pub. Yet he had almost 2,500 hits, over 1,200 runs and nearly 800 RBIs in his career. In homage to those numbers, the following details the information we found on his bat specs, models, length and weight. See all our Louisville Slugger Bat Reviews.

Louisville Slugger 33 3/4 29.9  Ash C271 1983
Louisville Slugger  Ash H238 1982
Louisville Slugger  Ash S327
Louisville Slugger Ash C235
Louisville Slugger  Ash R161
Louisville Slugger  35.5 32.4  Ash B267  1988
Louisville Slugger 34 30  Ash S315 1978 -1979
Louisville Slugger 35 31.2  Ash K55 1986, 1987
Rawlings Adirondack 34 29.1  Ash 384B 1982
Rawlings Adirondack 36 32  Ash P302 1989*

Ozzie Smith's Bat

*This particularly sized Adirondack showed no signs of use. It was, however, one of two bats issued to Smith for the 1989 All-Star game.

What Bat Did Ozzie Smith Use?

Ozzie Smith's Bat

Ozzie used no less than 9 different models from two different brands throughout his 18 year career. It can be assumed he used many more turns and models from Slugger, and due to their popularity at the time, a few from Rawlings Adirondack as well. The list above should not be considered exhaustive.

Unfortunately, video and picture evidence of the time doesn’t have enough resolution to confirm, and all we can tell is the bats he liked were the natural wood color.

We did write an article a while back about Ozzie’s use of the Louisville Slugger 915 Prime at an All Star Game. You might find that interesting as well. You may also want to check out David Ortiz’s bat.

Ozzie Smith Bat Specs: Sizes & Lengths

Ozzie Smith's Bat

Ozzie Smith’s bat didn’t change much in terms of sizing. The lengthiest bat we found game used was a 35.5 B267 from Slugger, and the shortest was a 34 inch in a number of models. The weight of the bats were on the lighter side for MLB players which ranged from 29.9 to 32.4 ounces. These metrics are not surprising considering the arguabley greatest short stop of all time stood all of 5 feet 11 inches and weighed no more than 150 pounds during his career.

One bat issued to Ozzie from Adirondack for the 1989 All-Star Game was a 36 inch, 32 ounce Ash P302. However, that particular bat was never used in the game, but rather was signed by the players on the team. We can assume his other bats were of the same size around that time period, but we don’t have conclusive evidence.

Ozzie Smith’s Bat History

Ozzie Smith's Bat

It took the Cardinals 6 games to beat the Dodgers in the 1985 NLCS. But game 5 is the most memorable in terms of historical at bats. Thomas Niedenfuer, who had replaced Fernando Valenzuela’s four-hit eight-inning gem, pitched Ozzie Smith on the left side of the plate. With the score tied and one out, Ozzie chased a fastball, got a ball and watched a strike.

Up to this point, Ozzie had nearly 3,000 plate appearances from the left and had yet to hit a home run. No doubt, Niedenfuer must have thought he could sneak fastball on the inside half with Ozzie down 1-2 in the count. Ozzie had other plans. He turned on the ball and roped a home run several rows into the left field stands. #WizardWalkOff.

Poor resolution doesn’t help in identifying the exact bat he used. Nor does the 1985 mandate by the MLB for smaller brand logos on bats. But, we can guess the wood colored bat was a Slugger variety as it lacked the red stripe the Rawlings Adirondack made famous. His confirmed use of the K55 and S271 in years surrounding the 1985 season make this as good a hypothesis as we can offer.

 

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Derek Jeter’s Bat

Derek Jeter’s Bat is the Louisville Slugger P72. It’s an ash bat with an open grain structure for an easy swing. He used it for his entire career, with a lifetime batting average of .310 for 3,465 hits. Derek Jeter used a Louisville Slugger P72 for more than 12,500 plate appearances and has ordered around 2,500 bats during his sure-to-be Hall of Fame, 20 year career. Compare that to Bryce Harper, another very popular bat search term, and you’ll find he’s used more than 20 in just the 7 years of his MLB career.

* Brand Length Weight Type Model Number Years
Derek Jeter Louisville Slugger 34 31 Ash P72, DJ2 1992 – 2014

***Note: There is a grandfather clause to reproduce the bat. Any descendant of Les Pinkham (the man for whom the P72 was originally made) can ask Slugger to recreate the P72).*

History and the Bat Behind Home Run #230

Derek Jeter's Bat

The P72 bat was originally made in 1954 for Leslie Wayne Pinkham, who never made the majors due to an injury to his thumb.  Jeter chose the bat, he said, because it was shaped like his high school bat. He never swung anything different. The bat is now retired all of 60 years after its creation.

This particular P72 Slugger bat hit Jeter’s career home run number 230 during the 2010 season versus Toronto. A collector owns this bat, and it is worth a best estimated value of around $4,500. You can see more about that here.

Derek Jeter’s Bat & Hit #3000

After getting his 2,999 hit on a first inning single, Derek Jeter approached the plate on July 9th 2011 for his second at bat. He worked the count to full at Yankees stadium. Then, he fouled the seventh pitch to the right, then fouled off the eight to the left.

The ninth pitch was one for the history books. David Price, the big lefty and starting pitcher that day for the Tampa Bay Rays, tried a backdoor slider. It clocked 84 mph and dove into just too much towards middle third of the plate. It crossed the plate right below Jeter’s belt. Jeter drove the ball to left centerfield and into the 1st row of the second concourse at @yankees stadium. He became the 28th hitter to get #3,000hits and the 1st to get it on a #homerun.

The #baseballs that day were specially marked in the unlikely event he put one out. Weeks later the ball would be valued at around $250,000. (Although the fan gave the ball back to Jeter). The bat was the same one he always used: A P72 from Louisville Slugger.

On the day Jeter would go 5 for 5 at the plate.

Jeter’s P72 Specs: Sizing, Type, Weight, Length

The P72 is copied far and wide by many other vendors, so you can find the shape of the bat elsewhere. Of course, with a Louisville Slugger official logo, you’ll need to look in the secondary market. Here are the general specs of the P72 as Derek Jeter used it.

  • Manufacturer: Louisville Slugger
  • Model Number: P72
  • Finish: Black-Smith
  • Length: 34 inches
  • Weight: 31.1 ounces
  • Wood: Ash
  • Finish: Black
  • Handle: 15/16 Inch
  • Barrel: Large Barrel
  • End: Non-Cupped End

Derek Jeter’s Bat No Longer For Sale

The Louisville P72 in ash is no longer for sale, however, a number of other manufacturers create the same turn. In other words, you can get the same shape of bat, just from another manufacturer.

If you feel like you want to spend some serious coin, check eBay (with a search like this) for certified game used Derek Jeter bats.

Derek Jeter’s Bat Sources

Derek Jeter's Bat

We reviewed a number of sources to gather this information into one place. Derek Jeter bat information has pasted the internet.

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Mickey Mantle’s Bat

Mickey Mantle’s bat details are as well documented as any player’s. Like most, he used a number of bats throughout his career and not necessarily contiguously. Below we capture much of the history and bat background for Mickey Mantle’s bat.

* Brand Length Weight Type Model Number Years
Mickey Mantle Louisville Slugger 35 31 Ash M110 1955-1957
Mickey Mantle Louisville Slugger 35 32-34 Ash K55 1950-1960
Mickey Mantle Louisville Slugger 35 32 Ash W215 1966
Mickey Mantle Adirondack Ash 302

Mickey Mantle's Bat

Mickey Mantle’s Historic At Bat

Mickey Mantle's Bat

By the start of 1967, only 5 players in the modern era had over 500 home runs. On May 14th of that year, Mickey Mantle would join the club. On that late afternoon, in front of nearly 20,000 fans at Yankee Stadium, Mantle, a switch hitter, stepped in the batter’s box on the left hander’s side. On the 7th pitch of the at bat, the 5 foot 11 inch Stu Miller—a 39 year old, 16 year veteran pitcher—would give the 5 foot 11 inch Mantle a fastball on the inner half.  The left fielder never had a chance.

Mantle would trot around the bases without much fanfare—like he’d done it 499 times before. At least one fan would rush the field while Mantle made his way to the dugout. The announcer, as far as the recording goes, doesn’t even mention the milestone. The crowd cheers.

Mantle would play one more season, ending with 536 total home runs. Stu Miller would hang up the cleats after pitching two games in 1968. His 16 year career makes him arguably the most storied pitcher in Oriole history. He allowed only 140 home runs in his 16 years. Yet none more historic than that sunny afternoon when “The Mick” made history on his fastball.

Mickey Mantle’s Bat Specs: Size, Weight and Length

Mickey Mantle's Bat

All the details on Mickey Mantle’s bat are not readily available, but after wading through enough auction house data, we can see his bat usually weighed not much more than 33 ounces and most often weighed in at 32.6. The length of his bats were mostly 35 inches. Some came in around 36.

Mickey Mantle Models

Mickey Mantle's Bat

Mickey Mantle used at least two different brand models of bats in his storied career. The Louisville Slugger was far and away his preferred, or at least more used, brand. Adirondack, which was soon to be known as Rawlings, was his second. There are many more Louisville Slugger bats in the game used markets than Adirondack.

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Reggie Jackson’s Bat

The strikeout king, as he is affectionately called, hit 563 home runs in his storied career. He also won 5 World Series. In his 20 year career, he played for 5 teams and 14 All Star teams. He is, hands down, one of the greatest hitters in his generation and, in large measure, revolutionized the long ball. From auction house data and a few knowledgeable sources, we’ve gathered as much data as possible on Reggie Jackson’s Bat.

BRAND LENGTH WEIGHT TYPE MODEL NUMBER YEARS
Louisville Slugger 34.5 32.6 Maple MC44, J93 1967
Adirondack – Rawlings 34.5, 35 31.8, 32.1, 33.4, 33.7, 35.1, 37.1 Ash 288RJ, 170B, 281B 1971-1977, 1980, 1982, 1984

Reggie Jackson's Bat

Reggie Jackson Bat Sizes

Reggie Jackson's Bat

In the modern era, we’ve rarely seen bats that weigh over 34 ounces. Most are traditional drop 2’s or 3’s like you’ll find in Pete Rose’s and Derek Jeter’s Bat. Even Barry Bonds had a negative drop and rarely were his bats over 34 ounces. Reggie Jackson, on the other hand, often handled bats that were HEAVY. In fact, we found one auction where Reggie’s bat weighed an astonishing 37.1 ounces.

What Bat Did Reggie Jackson Swing?

Reggie Jackson's Bat

Reggie used the two major wood bat brands in his era: Louisville Slugger and Rawlings Adirondack. Well over the last two-thirds of his 20 year career, most video and auction evidence shows he preferred the Rawlings Adirondack. For most of those years, he preferred his signature series 288RJ. At other times, the MC44, J93 from Slugger as well as the 170B and 281B from Adirondack/Rawlings were his preference.

At 31, He’s Born Mr. October

Reggie Jackson's Bat

The 6th game of the 1977 World Series was played on October 11th. The Yankees were up 3 games to 2 on the Dodgers. In the bottom of the 2nd, Reggie Jackson would take 4 straight balls for a walk.

On his second at bat in the bottom of the 4th, Jackson would send Hooton packing. On his first pitch of the at bat Jackson would paste a line drive to right field for a two run. Hooton was replaced by the 27 year old Dominican Republic native Elias Sosa. But the native born Dominican pitcher wouldn’t fair any better. In the bottom of the 5th, for Jackson’s 3rd at bat, Reggie would also destroy the first pitch of the at bat some 400 feet over the right fielder for another two run shot. It marked the end of Sosa’s night, but not that of Jackson’s.

In the bottom of the 8th inning, Reggie Jackson squared with Charlie Hough. It was his 4th at bat of the game. To this point in the game, Reggie had seen all of two hit-able pitches on the night, both of which he put in the cheap seats. With no one on, Hough took the sign of an outside knuckle ball for Jackson’s first pitch. His lanky wind up put a floater on the outside half. Jackson, with a calmness you’d expect from someone nicknamed Mr. October, loaded his monster Rawlings Adirondack and smeared that ball to high heaven. In a moment caught by a hundred cameras, Reggie, the catcher and umpire look heavenward as Jackson pauses at the plate to admire.

In the 6th game of the World Series in 1977, Reggie Jackson may have put on the most impressive hitting display in the history of the sport. 3 strikes, 3 bombs. At age 31 he was born Mr. October in 1977. And the Yankees were once again World Champions.

Reggie Jackson Game Used Bats

Reggie Jackson's Bat

Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, used the above bat while a member of the California Angels. With it he would hit career home run #547 and later gift the bat to a friend. This bat originally sold on eBay for roughly $5k and would later be re-sold by a bat dealer for three times that amount.

A close eye will notice the shaved handle on this bat. This is quintessential of Reggie Jackson gamers from later in his career. Additionally, Reggie typically wrote his uniform #44on the knob of his bats, but, like this example, it wasn’t entirely uncommon for his knobs to be blank.

 

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Jackie Robinson’s Bat

What more can be written about Jackie Robinson? Nothing. The answer is nothing. We won’t pretend to add something. Instead, we simply compile all the data we found on the bats Jackie Robinson used in his career. We gather this data mostly from auction houses and detailed write ups that tend to accompany his very famous and coveted bats. We have researched the game usage of several serious stars’ bats and could argue, when it comes to equipment, there is none more famous than Jackie Robinson’s bat.

BRAND LENGTH WEIGHT TYPE MODEL NUMBER YEARS
Louisville Slugger 34.5, 35 34 – 36 Ash S100, R115, C117L 1947 – 1956

Jackie Robinson's Bat

Jackie Robinson Bat Sizes: Weight and Length

Jackie Robinson's Bat

Jackie’s bats consistently weighed between 34 and 36 ounces with most in the 34 range. As one specific example, a 1955 bat given to Walter Blount weighed 34.1 ounces. (That bat, by the way, has an incredible story).

34.5 and 35 inches were Jackie’s preferred lengths—at least by the end of his career. Compared to the weight, this would give the bats between a -1 and 0 drop. The smaller knob and no cup on the end cap push the swing weight toward the end cap, too. On average, Jackie Robinson’s bat should be considered a heavy swinging drop 1 in a 35 inch bat from Slugger.

What Bat Did Jackie Robinson Use?

Jackie Robinson's Bat

From what the internet has gathered, Jackie Robinson used one brand of bat his entire career: Louisville Slugger. During this era, we admit, there weren’t many options. The Rawlings Adirondack would have been Jackie’s only other real option and we couldn’t find a single instance where a Robinson game used bat was such. Our research indicates Jackie Robinson’s Bat should be considered an ash S100, R115 or C117L from Louisville Slugger.

Jackie Robinson’s First Base Hit

Jackie Robinson's Bat

The first hit of Jackie Robinson’s career is the stuff movies are made of. Literally. During his second game in Major League Baseball on April 17th 1947, Jackie would get his first hit. In the 1st he flew out to center, the 2nd he walked and then, in the third, he hit a double play. In the bottom of the 5th, possibly frustrated he had yet to record a hit, Robinson would get the first hit of his MLB career by laying down a bunt to the third baseman and beating the throw.

Jackie would go on to win Rookie of the Year with a near .300 batting average and change the game as we know it. His steals home would become the stuff of legends. But that innocuous bunt in the bottom of the 5th against the Braves on April 17th, was the first time a black man was credited with a hit in Major League Baseball.

Of note, the second hit of his career? A home run in the bottom of the 5th during his 3rd MLB game.

Jackie Robinson Game Used Bats

Jackie Robinson's Bat

The above Jackie Robinson game used bat is from his historic rookie season of 1947. What is often lost in the appropriate fan fare of his color barrier breaking is that he also won Rookie of the Year in 1947. His inaugural season also landed him 5th in the MVP voting. With this Louisville Slugger bat, he hit for a .297 average and a .810 OPS. He hit 12 home runs, logged 48 RBIs and finished with 29 Stolen Bases.

That year he would also lead the league in sac bunts and flies by logging 28. In the modern era, only a couple, including Ozzie Smith, would approach those types of sacrifice numbers. Even Jackie would only post more than 20 one other time in his career. After coach confirmed he could hit the idea of bunting to move runners around by bunting from the 2 spot was no longer tolerable.

The heritage auction house sold this bat for $478,000. It is, to date, the only existing bat attributed to Jackie Robinson’s rookie season, and may be the most valuable piece of modern day game used equipment in any sport.

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Dave Winfield’s Bat

At 6 foot 6, the remarkably athletic, Dave Winfield, twelve time All Star, was as imposing a hitter as the League has ever seen.  He could hit for power and run for triples. In the last 40 years, we found only two individuals who hit more than 400 home runs and over 80 triples. Those two: Ernie Banks and Dave Winfield. Unlike Ernie, who played for only the Cubs during his career, Dave played for six different teams, using a number of different bats. Below we document the information on Dave Winfield’s Bat.

BRAND LENGTH WEIGHT TYPE MODEL NUMBER YEARS
Louisville Slugger 35.5 32.9, 33.3 Ash W285, W273, K55  75, 83, 86, 90, 91
Rawlings Adirondack 35.5 34.4 Ash DW20, 91, 92
Cooper  35.5 – 35.75 33 – 34.1 Ash CDW20 92 – 95

What Bat Did Dave Winfield Use?

Dave Winfield's Bat

The evidence supports Winfield using three different brands during his career. Within those brands, it appears he only tried different models with Louisville Slugger. Like Ozzie Smith and Mickey Mantle, he would swing the famed K55. Additionally, the W285 and W273 were signature series bats made for Winfield by Slugger.

Dave Winfield also swung a signature series custom bat from Rawlings with the Adirondack label DW20. Cooper Bats, popular with folks like Bo Jackson, also convinced Winfield to swing a custom series.

Dave Winfield’s Bat Size

Dave Winfield's Bat

Based on his stature, it’s no surprise Winfield used a relatively heavy bat when compared to his peers. Reggie Jackson would swing a 34+ occasionally, and Cal Ripken was often found with a 34 ounce bat, but Winfield lived there. Others used much lighter.

At 35.5 and 35.75 inch bats, Winfield’s are the largest we’ve captured in the modern era. Without surprise, as the only player ever drafted into four professional sports (NBA, NFL, ABA, MLB) Winfield happened to be remarkably strong. His 35+ inch bat with a 34+ ounce weight was heavy proof.

Game Used Dave Winfield Bats

Dave Winfield's Bat

Above is a collection of Winfield game used bats (also known as “gamers”) from 1993. Dave tinkered with different grips throughout his career. He either taped, shaved handle or Mota-Sticked the handle. During the 80’s, a long spiral pattern tape job was found on most his bats. Rarely would his uniform number be found on the knob. E-Bay often turns up Dave Winfield bats with a search like this.

Dave Winfield’s Historic At Bat

Dave Winfield's Bat

0 for 4 going into the 11th inning of the 6th game in the 1992 World Series, Dave Winfield would face Charlie Leibrandt. Runners on first and second with one out, Leibrandt, a 6 foot 3 lefty with 12 years under his belt, would work Dave Winfield to a full count.

To this point, Winfield’s series at the plate had been ho hum at best. 22 plate appearances yielded only 4 hits—none of them extra bases and none of them resulted in runs scored. He had walked twice and struck out three times, leaving his series batting stats well under his season averages. Leibrandt’s full count change up nearly fooled Winfield who would extend his 35 inch cooper bat as far as his 6 foot 6 inch frame could reach through the zone. At the end of his reach, he’d pull a heater down the third base line and into the corner. A stand up double with two RBI’s in the top of the 11th would be enough to give the Blue Jays their first World Series Championship.

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