PDA

View Full Version : Dating baseball bats


Archive
11-30-2004, 12:35 PM
Posted By: <b>ramram</b><p>Does anybody know a "rule of thumb" way to date baseball bats? I can date photos fairly well by the photographic process and types of uniforms but I don't have any idea how to further refine the dating when bats are present. For instance, I've got a pretty good idea of when the photo below was made because of the process, uniforms, etc. but can someone enlighten me with how to date the bat?? <br /><br />Rob<br /><br />P.S. The bat has the "Spalding" logo.<br /><br /><img src="http://home.kc.rr.com/ramram/bat.jpg"> <img src="http://home.kc.rr.com/ramram/bat%202.jpg"><br /><br />

Archive
11-30-2004, 01:34 PM
Posted By: <b>hankron</b><p>Can't be more specific than the ring bats were popular in the 1880s-90s.<br /><br />That's about the clearest picture of the rings and Spalding logo on a bat in a vintage photo you will ever find anywhere. In general, the presence of a ring bat will give a boost in value to a 19th century photo, in part because baseball equipment collectors like to have old photos of the stuff they collect. This detail gives a strong premium in value.

Archive
11-30-2004, 01:56 PM
Posted By: <b>runscott</b><p>it's not quite that easy - ring bats were also popular in the early 20th century. You can find ads for them in any of the early guides - my 1911 Reach Guide has several beautiful ring bats advertised. My 1905 Spalding Guide has an ad for a bat very similar to the one in this photo, but my 1909 Spalding guide has no ring bats advertised.<br /><br />A common misconception is that if a bat has a ring on it, then the photo (or actual bat) is from the 19th century. Ebay sellers make a lot of money using this to their advantage. Same goes for collared shirts - they typically sell on ebay for 200-300 because of a similar misconception that they must be from 1900 or earlier (and of course the sellers usually advertise them this way).

Archive
11-30-2004, 01:58 PM
Posted By: <b>runscott</b><p>I recommend scanning the equipment ads in the Spalding and Reach guides you are able to get hold of - create an inventory of images,descriptions,model numbers. This would make dating Reach and Spalding bats much easier.

Archive
11-30-2004, 02:09 PM
Posted By: <b>ramram</b><p>Since bats can be used for many years I think the most important detail would be a begining date that a bat would could be from. Much like a catcher's mask would date a photograph after 1875 but would not give much evidence to an end date. When did particular identifiable style bats start from? Knobs, rings, etc.<br /><br />Rob

Archive
11-30-2004, 02:13 PM
Posted By: <b>hankron</b><p>A lot of the bat styles-- rings, mushroom knobs, etc were trade marked by the manufacturer. So the earliest date often can be establish. I'm sure all this research is written down somewhere, and you can get a copy. Dave Bushing or Joe Phillips perhaps.

Archive
11-30-2004, 02:38 PM
Posted By: <b>jay behrens</b><p>Mike Montbriand would be the bat expert to talk to, but I no longer know how to get ahold of him.<br /><br />Jay<br><br>I saw weird stuff in that place last night. Weird, strange, sick, twisted, eerie, godless, evil stuff. And I want in.

Archive
11-30-2004, 08:47 PM
Posted By: <b>mike</b><p>Can you post the rest of the photo please? I am an avid bat collector and would love to purchase your pic if it is for sale. All the previous posts are right on with regard to dating bats. In your case, I would guess the bat is fairly new in the photo since it shows little wear. Painted and foil stamped logos chipped and scuffed easily. The bat in the photo appears unused. Thanks for showing it.

Archive
12-01-2004, 07:15 AM
Posted By: <b>Jimmy Leiderman</b><p>Very interesting thread Rob.<br />Scott's advice is a great idea.<br />I've digitized all of my photographs and a lot of others, including auction catalogs and pictorial books for future reference.<br /><br /><br />Here's a small contribution to the ring bat image archives<br /><br /><img src="http://www.mlbvintage.com/pics/uploads/spald.jpg"><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

Archive
12-01-2004, 08:05 AM
Posted By: <b>Kevin O</b><p>I found this online. Unfortunately there's no date or reference, only that it's later than 1877.<br /><br /><img src="http://www.network54.com/Realm/tmp/1101909412.JPG"> <br /><br />For an image of the ad page and a couple of nice Cabinets, go to: <br /><br /><a href="http://www.hfmgv.org/exhibits/pic/2003/03_apr.asp" target=_new>http://www.hfmgv.org/exhibits/pic/2003/03_apr.asp</a><br /><br />The Library of Congress has digitized Spalding Guides, but they begin in 1889. I think this is earlier.

Archive
12-01-2004, 08:51 AM
Posted By: <b>ramram</b><p>Great info. Thanks everyone. Here is the rest of the photo. As you can tell, Spalding bats abound. The all appear to be of the same type except for the one at the top left which appears black with the logo a light color. My guess of the date of the photo (from uniform styles, catcher's mask, etc.) was around the late 1870's which would fit nicely with Kevin's info, shown above, from the Spalding Guide.<br /><br />Rob<br /><br /><img src="http://home.kc.rr.com/ramram/1870's%20team.jpg">

Archive
12-01-2004, 09:31 AM
Posted By: <b>Hal Lewis</b><p>There it is...<br /><br />the rarest of rare...<br /><br />the Holy Grail of baseball cards...<br /><br />The 1877 Cabinet Card of the NORTH POLE BOMBERS!!!<br /><br /><img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14><br /><br />Wouldn't you expect Santa's Elves to have only the Finest in equipment?? After all, they make it themselves.

Archive
12-01-2004, 11:48 AM
Posted By: <b>Rob L</b><p>Another Ring Bat from a tintype I picked up a few months ago:<br /><br /><br /><img src="http://www.network54.com/Realm/tmp/1101923122.JPG">

Archive
12-01-2004, 04:06 PM
Posted By: <b>ramram</b><p>From an 1869 cabinet photo of a player with the Kearsarge team. The middle portion of this bat has a shine to it that makes it almost appear to be a trophy bat that possibly has an inscription on it.<br /><br /><img src="http://home.kc.rr.com/ramram/Kearsarge%20bat.jpg"><br />