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  #1  
Old 09-16-2018, 04:51 PM
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Default Could this be Hughie Jennings Game Used Bat?

Acquired in Iowa. Pontiac Turning Co. bat with jennings name on the knob.
According to this site...Pontiac made bats for professional players including hughie jennings:

http://keymancollectibles.com/bats/p...aseballbat.htm

Bat is 33 1/2" long and is pretty heavy.

Has what appear to be cleat marks in a few spots.

Could this be a game used Hughie Jennings bat????

PS...bat does have a crack approx 10" from knob.
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Last edited by ullmandds; 09-16-2018 at 05:01 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2018, 05:20 PM
Bill Rayburn Bill Rayburn is offline
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Great bat Pete, but I don't think the quality of the wood (knot holes) would befit a professional player.
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  #3  
Old 09-16-2018, 05:35 PM
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better pics
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File Type: jpg IMG_0028.jpg (78.1 KB, 459 views)
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  #4  
Old 09-16-2018, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ullmandds View Post
better pics


Very interesting! Obviously, there are a lot of questions with a bat like this, but the presence of knots or knot holes does not preclude it from being used by a professional player. I have heard that, back in the day, some players preferred wood with knots in it because they thought that it made the wood surface harder than regular wood.


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Last edited by Mark; 09-16-2018 at 06:47 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-16-2018, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
Very interesting! Obviously, there are a lot of questions with a bat like this, but the presence of knots or knot holes does not preclude it from being used by a professional player. I have heard that, back in the day, some players preferred wood with knots in it because they thought that it made the wood surface harder than regular wood.


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I agree...so who would be the best resource to authenticate???? This bat has a lot of really interesting marks on it.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ullmandds View Post
I agree...so who would be the best resource to authenticate???? This bat has a lot of really interesting marks on it.
The Keymancollectible site makes the following statement:

"It has been documented that the Pontiac Turning Co. made bats for use in professional leagues including Major league players Frank Chance, Napoleon Lajoie, and Hugh Jennings. The players names were stamped into the knob of "Professional Style" bats."

http://keymancollectibles.com/bats/p...aseballbat.htm

I'd send a message to Steve K asking him how he learned about all this, and after that I'd give a call to John Taube.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:06 PM
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Default Without toes

1-attachment.jpg

Easier to focus on the bat without the feet.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:18 PM
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without the toes????? Frank you were around when Hughie played...do you remember his bat specs???
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:32 PM
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Would the people at the Louisville Slugger Co. have more knowledge about this bat ? Store or game used etc ? I'd travel to Louisville if it was mine . See what they have in stock etc.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insidethewrapper View Post
Would the people at the Louisville Slugger Co. have more knowledge about this bat ? Store or game used etc ? I'd travel to Louisville if it was mine . See what they have in stock etc.
i checked out their site...they refer people to hunt auctions for authentication. I'd assume they have records that would tell jennings bat specs...I just don't know how to get this info????
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:36 PM
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I took a tour of their musuem and they have specs of everyone . They even let you hold Babe Ruth's bat with gloves on. should be a great trip if you have the time.
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  #12  
Old 09-16-2018, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insidethewrapper View Post
I took a tour of their musuem and they have specs of everyone . They even let you hold Babe Ruth's bat with gloves on. should be a great trip if you have the time.
Thx. I visited the museum back in 2000 or so when I was interviewing for dental residencies...I almost moved to Louisville!!! It might be time for a return trip!!!
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:09 PM
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Default Could this be Hughie Jennings Game Used Bat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ullmandds View Post
i checked out their site...they refer people to hunt auctions for authentication. I'd assume they have records that would tell jennings bat specs...I just don't know how to get this info????


There are very few records prior to 1920. The Malta book makes no reference to any Jennings bats, saying only that he didn't have an endorsement contract with them.

As I understand it, floods, fire, and the ravages of time have done away with most of, if not all of, H&B’s order/ shipping records prior to 1920.

Last edited by Mark; 09-16-2018 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
There are very few records prior to 1920. The Malta book makes no reference to any Jennings bats, saying only that he didn't have an endorsement contract with them.
interesting...
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  #15  
Old 09-16-2018, 08:23 PM
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with hillerich and sons buying out pontiac turning you'd think there were specs for players bats that transferred with the sale? who knows?
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Old 09-17-2018, 08:12 AM
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Steve's response:


A MEARS auction states; "There are no supporting factory records to
document exact use of this brand by major league players, but we do know
that PTC did supply bats to the professional leagues.

Other examples of PTC bats have entered the market, with examples of
Frank Chance, additional Napoleon Lajoie, and minor league players.
During the September 30th, 2010 MEARS Auction, a 1905-16 era Curly Blount
stamped bat was offered with identical Indian with headdress center
brand. Additionally, his name, "JENNINGS" is stamped into the knob."

http://sports.mearsonlineauctions.co...-lot78550.aspx

I'm not sure if that's what I used for reference. I don't recall. I might
have read an article written by Dave Bushing. Either way it is a
professional bat (Jennings on the knob) but without strong provenance or
factory records it cannot be attributed to Hughie Jennings.

Here is an auction for a 1900-12 Willie Keeler Pontiac Turning Company
Professional Model Bat.>
https://goldinauctions.com/1900_12_W...-LOT36465.aspx

I just now referenced it to see if MEARS added any information on Pontiac
Professional model bats and I noticed that they are using my website as
reference in their letters of evaluation. LOL ....

If you like send me some nice pictures and I'll add it to the website for
reference. -Steven

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  #17  
Old 09-17-2018, 08:28 AM
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The bat auctioned in mears was described as 33" weighing 41 oz. Also under the pontiac turning logo the #4 is depicted. On Steve's site it is clearly shown in the 1910 ordering options that a #4 bat corresponds to a non professional bat. So to me this was more a store model bat that could have been purchased by anybody .

My bat is 33 3/4" long and weighs 38.1 oz...also there is no # under the pontiac turning logo... which more accurately jives with a professional model bad as per shown in the literature on the site .

my quest will continue to confirm/deny that this is a hughie jennings game used bat!

Last edited by ullmandds; 09-17-2018 at 08:36 AM.
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  #18  
Old 09-17-2018, 09:06 AM
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Default Pro-Model

This is great information! There seems to be a consensus that a Pontiac bat with the name on the knob is considered a pro-model bat. As Steve indicates, the question is whether Jennings ever had it in his hands. I think the difficulty is that Pontiac may have made this model of bat for Jennings --- and yet they may also have sold their Jennings pro-model bats to other players. Did THE Hughie Jennings use this particular pro-model Jennings in a game? If there were order/shipping records from the dead ball era, then you could use them to see if this is a match with old Hughie Jennings bat orders---but there aren't any. And even if you had the factory records, you'd still want to look for photos of Jennings with a bat to find tape patterns or other characteristics associated with him. Are there there any existing photos with him holding a bat? Let us know!
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  #19  
Old 09-17-2018, 10:25 AM
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Is that a No. 5 under the brand? If yes, those were $3.00/dozen.
Compare that with $10.00/dozen for the "B" pro model in the 1910 catalog, and I think that might help.
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Old 09-17-2018, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeDfan View Post
Is that a No. 5 under the brand? If yes, those were $3.00/dozen.
Compare that with $10.00/dozen for the "B" pro model in the 1910 catalog, and I think that might help.
I did not notice any # under the Logo when I held it in my hand this morning...but in the image it does appear to be a 5? I'll have to look again when I get back home...and that would be the end of this story!!!!!!

Last edited by ullmandds; 09-17-2018 at 11:12 AM.
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  #21  
Old 09-18-2018, 07:34 AM
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Yes...apparently there is a 5 under the logo...indicating a less expensive bat from the time period. Seeing as in 1910 the manufacturer did not really differentiate professional vs non professional bats...and the quality of the wood is comparable to more expensive bats...I do not believe this to be a smoking gun proving this is not a jennings used bat. This combined with Steve's observation that the manufacturer did not advertise "endorsed" bats with players names which would have been beneficial to their sales figures...I think it is possible that this bat could have been used by jennings.

The only way this could be proven would be to find photo/image of hughie holding similar bat...which is unlikely.

Here's steve's last response to me:

Hello Pete,

The problem is there are no factory records to connect any player to the
bat. The MEARS letter of opinion in the Goledinauctions.com Keeler bat
auction basically states that it is "plausible" that the practice during
this era used by H&B to add a players name to the knob in block letters
"could have" been transferred to Pontiac, a subsidiary company, and that
"might" explain the name Keeler on the knob. (key words here "plausible"
"Could have" "might")

MEARS goes on to state; "The players name on the knob of the bat serves
as a payer identification but due to the 'lack of supporting
documentation,' we cannot designate the bat as professional only, and may
have been available as a retail model."

"plausible" "could have" "might" "Lack of supporting documentation" is a
way of saying we really don't know but in order to charge you money for
our opinion we use these words.

Personally my opinion (at no charge) is that the bats were not available
in the retail market with the players name on the knob. If it were
available they would have used it in the retail advertising. I have a
couple of hardware store catalog ad. The 1912 has no mention of players.
The 1915 ad vaguely states "endorsed by leading professional players" no
listing of player's names.

The next page lists Louisville Slugger bats with player's names listed,
and a player endorsed decal on the barrel. Using this it is my opinion
that the name on the knob was not available in the retail market. It
would have been a great selling point, and it's not mentioned.

I believe you have a professional model, but without strong provenance,
or factory records, that do not exist, you will only have a professional
model. If you had the bat evaluated by MEARS or PSA, they could only
render an opinion using words such as "plausible" "might" and then charge
you money.

If it is evaluated, in their opinion a pro bat, and it is "plausible"
that Jennings "might" have used the bat based on the player use
specifications of professional bats order through H&B, then you added
value to the bat, but without strong provenance, it's still based on
speculation. If you don't plan on selling the bat you spent money to have
someone tell you that it's possible that Jennings might have used it. No
closer in fact, that it was before you spent the money.

Just a no profit opinion. (and I think my opinion "might" be "plausible")
:-) -Steven

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Old 09-18-2018, 10:32 AM
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I think you might have a winner there. All of that sounds very logical to me.
But I am no expert.
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  #23  
Old 09-18-2018, 11:13 AM
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The endorsement of professional baseball bats started with Honus Wagner in 1905. Jennings career was all but over in 1903 when he came to bat 19 times for Philadelphia.. He played in Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia during his professional career.

He was born and raised in Scranton PA

In 1907 he was named manager of the Tigers
His at bats in Detroit as a player
1907 4
1909 4
1912 1



PTC was a regional company.

During the time period there were two Professional Leagues in Michigan. The Southern Michigan and West Michigan Leagues. Where did they buy their professional bat? I'll bet PTC

go online and look at the pictures of all the bats which are said to be a Keller, Chance, Blount, Lajoie and the Jennings. All of the center brands are crisp and clean in their lettering. Now look at the knobs. All are irregular.

I don't believe that the PTC put those names on the bat pictured

I am more inclined to guess that someone other than PTC put the names on the bats
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Old 09-18-2018, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphusa View Post
The endorsement of professional baseball bats started with Honus Wagner in 1905. Jennings career was all but over in 1903 when he came to bat 19 times for Philadelphia.. He played in Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia during his professional career.

He was born and raised in Scranton PA

In 1907 he was named manager of the Tigers
His at bats in Detroit as a player
1907 4
1909 4
1912 1



PTC was a regional company.

During the time period there were two Professional Leagues in Michigan. The Southern Michigan and West Michigan Leagues. Where did they buy their professional bat? I'll bet PTC

go online and look at the pictures of all the bats which are said to be a Keller, Chance, Blount, Lajoie and the Jennings. All of the center brands are crisp and clean in their lettering. Now look at the knobs. All are irregular.

I don't believe that the PTC put those names on the bat pictured

I am more inclined to guess that someone other than PTC put the names on the bats
"I am more inclined to guess that someone other than PTC put the names on the bats"

The plot thickens!
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Old 09-18-2018, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
"I am more inclined to guess that someone other than PTC put the names on the bats"

The plot thickens!
the names and the brands?????
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  #26  
Old 09-18-2018, 12:03 PM
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Hey Jim, the 1905 date for Wagner's H&S endorsement is usually cited, but do we know for sure that no other company had endorsements sooner? If Bud made the first Louisville bat for Pete Browning in the mid-1880s, there seems to be a two-decade gap between, with more than enough time for a secondary maker to possibly enter into the market of producing player bats. I seem to remember YEARS AGO a Wright & Ditson bat on Ebay that was advertised as a late-19th century example, with "Kelly" in block letters, with the seller claiming it was produced for King Kelly.

I don't have access to my Hillerich & Bradsby book currently, the H&B Wiki page mention's the date, but their source is a 2009 New Yorker article that states "Although athletes have been endorsing products for more than a century—beginning, by most accounts, in 1905, when Honus Wagner put his name on Louisville Slugger bats". The use of "by most accounts" is troubling. Are there any sources contemporary to Wagner's signing with H&B that state the company was entering new territory? This may have all been confirmed previously, I'm just unaware if it has?

Brent
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:30 PM
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Brent,

The real thing is that all of the PTC bats that show an endorsement in block letters all have a different block used to make them. Some even with letters of different sizes.

Curly Blount bat??? of course a pitcher with only 49 at bats would have an endorsement deal

I have seen too many early bats doctored up with someone else punching a name on them
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphusa View Post
Brent,

I have seen too many early bats doctored up with someone else punching a name on them
I have seen this a couple of times, but, of course, I could tell because the attempts were very badly done. Do you have any good stories or helpful hints about spotting the fakes?
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Old 09-18-2018, 02:24 PM
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Hey Jim, I'm not disputing whether the Jennings PTC bat is an actual player-endorsed model, what I'm questioning is whether it's well documented or not that Wagner was in fact the first athlete to have an endorsed product.
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Old 09-18-2018, 04:13 PM
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http://sports.mearsonlineauctions.co...-lot78550.aspx
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Old 09-19-2018, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huysmans View Post
Hey Jim, I'm not disputing whether the Jennings PTC bat is an actual player-endorsed model, what I'm questioning is whether it's well documented or not that Wagner was in fact the first athlete to have an endorsed product.
Endorsed product or bat. According the H&b record, Wagner was the first to be paid and have his name on a bat.
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:04 AM
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Great read, thanks for posting
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  #33  
Old 09-24-2018, 11:31 AM
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john taube's response:


john@gameusedbats.com
11:19 AM (11 minutes ago)
to me

Yes....quite possibly a Jennings bat. Pontiac Turning company did
produce bats for the major leagues.

JT
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  #34  
Old 09-25-2018, 10:31 AM
JoeDfan JoeDfan is offline
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Way cool.
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  #35  
Old 09-25-2018, 11:18 AM
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they did not produce a model #5 for professional use. These were their low end store model bats. #4, 5, and 6
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