Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Black Cooper Game Used Bat, autographed
I'm not a huge collector of bats, but that doesn't mean I ignore them. I just won't pay the huge price that often gets hung on them. This is "only" my second Wallach bat. I picked it up from a seller on the "Game Used Universe" site. He also gave me a great deal on a bat that belonged to Oddibe McDowell, who like Wallach, also won the Golden Spike Award (1984 Arizona State). If you collect bats, I suggest looking at this guy's other listings.
There are three things I want to discuss about this bat. The first is the color. It's black. Which while in and of itself is not unusual, it's unusual for Wallach. I can't find a photo of him using this bat anywhere. He's using a black bat on his 1983 Topps card, but on that card the handle is also black. Wallach also appears to be using a black bat on his 1990 Topps card. I can't say for certain, but I think that the bat on that card is the same as the one above (same model, I'm not claiming it's literally this bat). The photo quality on the 1990 Topps is just too poor to tell. However it, it would be the right era. As the only other Wallach bat I have is also a Cooper, all natural wood color, and the period Wallach used that bat appears to be from 1990-91 from the photo matches I could find.
The other thing I look for in bats is pretty basic, whether or not their cracked. I prefer they not be. I'm not sure which is more "valuable," broken or intact, but I prefer intact. It drives my wife nuts, but I have to have something in my hands. If I'm watching a Syracuse basketball game on my couch, chances are there's a football, or tennis ball, or baseball in my hands, which I spin or fire up at the ceiling as the intensity of the game may demand. Wooden baseball bats have gradually worked there way into my rotation as a preferred prop for watching sports. As such, I prefer to be swinging an intact one while stressing over free throws at the end of a Georgetown game, or counting down outs in October (disclaimer, my wife insists swinging a bat inside is not ok. But she also says throwing a football inside isn't either, and we all know its fine so long as you have a good arm). This one is far too cracked to swing. I'm pretty sure it would split into pieces if it were swung with any force. But it looks nice. The Oddibe bat, if your interested, is in perfect shape. It's coming to Spring Training in Scotsdale with me (I go as a paying spectator, I'm actually trying to make a 40 man), and I'm going to take some actual cuts with it off my old man, an aging former college pitcher who still throws pretty decent B.P.
Which brings me to the third thing I look for in a bat, it's appearance. This one looks awesome. It's got a good amount of pine tar, the finish is very nice, everything about it is pretty sweet. Except for the autograph. I've said it many times, but I am not an autograph guy. If I didn't get it myself, then I have no use for it, and even then, I get a much bigger kick out of a hand shake, or photo op, than a I do a signature. The Wallach signature on this bat only detracts from it for me. Wallach wasn't swinging bats with his own signature in his playing days, and at it's core this is supposed to be a genuine relic from his playing days. I'd prefer it were left as is (or was?).