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Old 05-10-2009, 07:17 PM
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Shawn England
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Location: Dawsonville, Ga
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Default "Georgia Cracker" Hanna MFG Athens, Ga. Baseball Bat

First bat I have ever purchased! I know nothing of bats and would appreciate any input. Age, rarity, Story! and value. I am guessing that it is not that old due to the fact the label is stamped on??

Thank you, Folks

1. 35 inches long
2. No number on the end
3. "No. 35 Georgia Cracker Hanna MFG. Athens Ga."







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Old 05-15-2009, 09:57 PM
Directly Directly is offline
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I saw one like yours on Ebay at $150 OBO. I thought it could named be for the Minor League team Georgia Crackers?
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:56 AM
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John Harrell
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Default Hanna Bat Co.

Shawn,

Your bat is a Hanna Bat Co. bat. They were in business in Athens , GA from the late 20's to 1976. The Georgia Cracker bat was put out in the 30's and indeed is named for the rather derogatory term "Cracker", used to describe the rural inhabitants of Georgia. Several teams used the nickname "Crackers", including the Atlanta Crackers (Southern League) and the Atlanta Black Crackers. Yours is a nice example.

John Harrell
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:06 AM
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Shawn England
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Default UGA students armed with miniature Hanna baseball bats

Thank you guys for the input.

I have been trying to do some research on this particular baseball bat, but have come up with very little. I did find this magazine from the University of Georgia titled "The Georgia Cracker" and an article (pasted below) talking about the close relationship the Hanna family had with the University. I thought perhaps there could be a relation with the bat name "Georgia Cracker" and UGA???
Any thoughts on this theory?

Very cool article by the way!





Magill: Basement cleaning brings legendary batmen to mind
Athens Banner-Herald | Story updated at 5:24 pm on 11/20/2008

Special
Johnny Mize

Special
Bob McWhorter



Dan Magill
The other day, while cleaning out my basement, I found two old Batrite bats made by the Hanna Manufacturing Company of Athens. Hanna was one of the nation's largest makers of baseball bats for five decades (1926-1976).

One of the two bats I used in intramural softball games when I was at the University of Georgia.

Hanna was the No. 1 maker of softball bats when almost every town in the country had softball leagues. Athens' games were played on the old Athens YMCA's athletic fields (located where the Holiday Inn's main parking lot is now). Various stores in town had teams. When I was a boy, the No. 1 team was McGregor's and its star pitcher was Hugh O'Farrell. He later was a World War II hero in the Battle of the Bulge, and a tank commander in the Second Armored Division.

Members of these teams were older citizens who had been athletes in high school and college. One of them was Georgia's first All-American in football (1913) Bob McWhorter, who later served as longtime Athens mayor.

Incidentally, I saw "Mr. Bob", as I always called him, hit the longest softball home run in history. It was in the spring of 1941 in a game between UGA's intramural all-stars and the faculty all-stars. I was the centerfielder representing Chi Phi fraternity and "Mr. Bob" was one of the faculty all-stars (he was a law school professor then).

We played on old Herty Field. Home plate was close to the chapel bell. "Mr. Bob" hit a ball that went way over my head in centerfield and over the "Old Beanery" building smack into Lumpkin Street.

The Hanna family lived on McWhorter drive (just a block from my home on Woodlawn) and next door to the home of Johnny Broadnax, UGA assistant athletic director. I knew members of both families, and often visited the Hanna factory at an old train depot behind the Classic Center site now.

The Louisville Slugger was the most famous bat ever made (used by Ty Cobb). It was manufactured by the Hillerich and Bradsby Co., in Louisville, Ky.

The Hanna Batrite, at one time, was the second most popular bat in baseball. It was the favorite of the great Johnny Mize of Demorest, famous home-run hitter with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Giants and New York Yankees. He his 51 homers in 1947 with the Giants and starred on five straight World Series champion teams with the Yankees in 1949-50-1-2-3.

The greatest use of the Hanna bat, in my opinion, occurred Nov. 16, 1935, in Sanford Stadium when LSU blanked Georgia, 13-0, en route to the SEC crown.

But Georgia definitely won the free-for-all fight that erupted after the game when the LSU ROTC cadet corps, which had accompanied the team to Athens, stormed the field intent upon tearing down the goal posts for souvenirs. However, quite a few of the red-blooded Georgia students had anticipated this event and met them at the cross roads: the goal posts.

The Georgia students were armed with miniature Hanna baseball bats. They were 15-inch bats that Hanna gave away to fans as souvenirs.

There were several good fights. One of the star Georgia fighters was the Bulldogs' conference welterweight boxing champion, Mickey Radutzky of New York, a knockout puncher. He didn't need a bat.

The Georgia boys defended their goal posts, forcing the LSU cadet corps to withdraw and retreat to the train station at the north end of College Avenue, the Georgia students chasing them all the way.

I was 14 years old at the time and tagged behind the students, brandishing my bat.

Originally published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Sunday, November 23, 2008

Last edited by smokelessjoe; 05-18-2009 at 06:09 AM.
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