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  #1  
Old 01-02-2005, 11:46 AM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: Dan B

After doing some research I have found some interesting items regarding DiMaggio and his bats during the streak. In a 1969 article in the Christian Science Monitor by Herb Goren, DiMaggio says "I would order a dozen bats. They would all look alike, same size, same weight. But there's always one that feels different. That's the one I'd work on. I would dip it in olive oil. I'd sprinkle it with resin. I'd put a small flame to it. And when it was good and dry, I'd file it down with sand paper. It would be hard and smooth and black. This was my bread and butter bat." He also states in the article that he never used his gamer in batting practice. I have done some research and have come to the conclusion that Joe used 4 bats during the streak. Bat number ONE was stolen in Washington between games of a double-header after Joe had hit in 41 straight games. Tommy Henrich was headed to the plate in game two and DiMaggio yelled at him that he had his bat. Henrich came back and told DiMaggio that it was a bat that Joe had lent him in early June. DiMaggio could tell right away that it wasn't his streak bat so he gave it back to Henrich. Joe took a new bat, Bat number TWO. DiMaggio used bat number TWO for 3 plate appearances getting a sac-fly a line out and a fly out. In the seventh inning Henrich urged DiMaggio to take his bat. DiMaggio then took the bat, bat number THREE the one he loaned Henrich and prompltly got a hit with it. Joe used bat number THREE for two games. When bat number ONE was returned to him (thanks to the mob?). He then used Bat number ONE until he broke it (this according to the Christian Science Monitor article). Joe then used bat number FOUR up through the end of the streak when it was ended in Cleveland on July 17th.

in summary
Bat ONE: Broken
Bat TWO: used for only 3 PA and never used again. Could not be the Mastro bat because it predates the July 1 order date.
Bat THREE: Henrich's borrowed bat - also predates the July 1 order date. This bat was raffled off by the USO in 1941.
Bat FOUR: The only possible bat that fits Bushing's criteria.

Assuming everything written in the Christian Science Monitor and Richard Ben Cramer's "The Hero's Life" is factual then this means that the bat sold by Mastro could only be bat number FOUR. Now I would like to hear how Bushing came to the conclusion that this bat was a streak bat gamer. Given the fact that he can't correctly identify Ichiro's bat (not to mention his numerous mistakes in dating gloves) now we're supposed to believe that he can identify Joe D's streak bat? The evidence is against the bat being a streak bat: Ball marks on the wrong side being the strongest evidence. The fact that it came from the attic of Tommy Henrich who he himself says that he used the EXACT same specification bat that Joe used and was known to borrow bats from DiMaggio brings it further into doubt. I could find no record in all of the sources I researched where DiMaggio gave the bat away. I did find mention that he gave his spikes that he used during the streak to the daughters of Jerry Spatola the man who got Joe's stolen bat back for him.

I think someone paid $350,000 for one of DiMaggio's throw away bats that he loaned to Henrich.

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  #2  
Old 01-02-2005, 11:59 AM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: mike

Taking no position on Dave Bushing or the bat, this inquiry is good. Thanks!

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  #3  
Old 01-02-2005, 12:08 PM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: PASJD

It is more important to the owner what he thinks he has, than what he actually has. As the poet Wallace Stevens wrote, "what we said about it became a part of what it was." Then again, one can hope that efforts like this and Robert's will put the pressure on the gentlemen involved, if not to give explanations for past auctions, then at least to be more thorough in the future. One would like to think that if a mistake was made, it was made in good faith. Then again, between the recent talk of this item and the T206 Wagner, one feels a bit cynical and disillusioned towards some of the hobby icons in whom one has had faith in the past. One is reminded of Caesar's surprise and disillusionment in seeing Brutus among his assasins.

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  #4  
Old 01-02-2005, 12:14 PM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: dennis

it has the stamp of authentic and the price to prove it is.

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  #5  
Old 01-02-2005, 12:16 PM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: Dan B

You may be right, but I place the "perception is reality" folks in the same category of "more money than brains".

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  #6  
Old 01-02-2005, 12:21 PM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: PASJD

P.T. Barnum had it right, didn't he ("There's a sucker born every minute."). I guess the philosophical question here is should we feel outraged, or should we shrug our shoulders because the buyer has only himself to blame.

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  #7  
Old 01-02-2005, 12:29 PM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: Paul

This is not an effort to take sides at all. But I was just wondering if it is typical for a bat to last through 41+ games before it cracks. I had always assumed that batters went through a few bats a week.

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  #8  
Old 01-02-2005, 12:48 PM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: Dan B

It may not be typical especially in modern times, but DiMaggio never used his gamers in BP, rarely swung at bad pitches that were likely to break a bat (Inside pitches) and he strengthened them using his own technique. That may be why his bat lasted that long, but I don't think it was especially unusual for the times.

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  #9  
Old 01-02-2005, 12:55 PM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: Scott

What if you had been trying forever to find a painting by Picasso and you finally purchased one that was "just right". Several years after it's been hanging on your living room wall, impressing your friends, a source of great pleasure to you and your family...you find out that someone associated with the person you bought it from was busted for forging Picasso paintings...ouch!

I think you might just say to yourself "I have LOA's and provenance, therefore it is real"...but you would never do any further research to determine if that was in fact the case. Or perhaps you yourself are a Picasso expert and you always had misgivings about that painting - it never looked exactly right, but you avoided giving it the same close inspection you would if you were asked to authenticate someone else's Picasso. Now you never get closer to it than ten feet.

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  #10  
Old 01-02-2005, 02:06 PM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: leon

But there is a law that says if someone permits something then eventually it becomes fact or law. In other words if a dividing line of 2 houses is assumed by both parties, even though it's not really the boundary, then after time it is the "real" boundary. Maybe if we assume the Wagner isn't trimmed then over time it won't be? later

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  #11  
Old 01-02-2005, 02:18 PM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: steve k

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."



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  #12  
Old 01-02-2005, 03:02 PM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: Tom Boblitt

Hillerich and Bradsby............
Interesting that they turned over their records to Bushing and they have the bat now. Not passing judgment either way but I find it interesting.....

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  #13  
Old 01-02-2005, 03:10 PM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: Julie

The bat the Joe loaned Heinrich in June became a de facto streak bat when the bat he had chosen didn't produce--he asked Heinrich for the bat back (even though he KNEW it wasn't one he had worked on, and hadn't planned on using it to keep his streak going). He used it in two games, until someone returned a bat that was stolen earlier.

But according to the auction page, this bat was "one of 6" shipped to Joe on July 1, 1941, "specially marked." It was, the thing goes on, used for the remainder of his streak (the last of THREE), and for a short period thereafter, till it was retired due due a crack.

Incidentsally, a GREAT JOB on YOUR research...

"Broads." Yuk.

As for the bat in the auction being the one in the description of Joe's "streak" bats in the first post, it's no more black than cream-colored paper...


Besides which, the whole thing is amking me dizzy.

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  #14  
Old 01-02-2005, 03:43 PM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: Anonymous

That bat was never given back to Henrich. It was donated to the USO and raffled off for a grand total of $1,600+. Imagine finding that one in your attic.

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  #15  
Old 01-02-2005, 05:10 PM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: hankron

This "perception is reality" theory is known as total cr*p ... It's on the order of when the sellers of the 'genuine' T206 Blue Eyed Wagner would bring out their mantra, "It's worth whatever someone is welling to pay for it" and had a minimum bid of $1 million. If someone pays $1 million for that baseball card, the only reality there will be that the buyer's an idiot and the sellers will be in deep legal sh*t.

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  #16  
Old 01-02-2005, 07:33 PM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: Scott

however, we are attempting to explain why people who are smart enough to know better still insist that items they possess are legit.

In other words, "peception is reality...but not necessarily to anyone other than the owner."

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  #17  
Old 01-02-2005, 08:57 PM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: John Basilone

"That bat was never given back to Henrich. It was donated to the USO and raffled off for a grand total of $1,600+. Imagine finding that one in your attic."


Sounds like a nice write up for a future lot description.

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  #18  
Old 01-02-2005, 10:43 PM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: hankron

Taking a unusual chance, I once placed a before I go to bed bid and a bit suprised to find out I won on eBay an leather jacket that supposedly was worn by a significant woman on the cover of a magazine. It was obviously the same 'design' of jacket as on the magazine cover, but what do I know about these things. After I won it I was able to contact via email the jacket's designer in London. I asked her about it and what were her thoughts (I showed her pics including of the labels). She said matter of factly that it was the jacket on the cover, as the jacket was custom designed and made for the photo shoot and only one was ever made. Sounded good to me.

My second 'provenance' story was when I bid and won a super duper desirable photo by a famous photographer of a pet subject. The seller knew the photographer's name but did no know much else-- he mispelled the subject's name (to my advantage as a bidder) and sold mostly antique furnature and stuff. When I got the photo, the photo looked legit (legitmate looking image and photo paper) but there wasn't the photographer's stamp or anything on it. I emailed the seller and asked where he got the photo. He said the photographer had recently skipped the country without paying his back rent on his appartment. To help pay off the debt, the contents of the appartment were auctioned off to the public. The eBay seller said he knew little to nothing about the photographer, but, as a full time furnature dealer, frequented those types of auctions and was the winner of the the contents of the photographer's appartment, including the photo. That answered that .... The funny thing is that about a year later, I met the photographer. He was a nice man and we had a brief, pleasant chat, including about photographs. I never said a word about the 'appartment' photos I owned.

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Old 01-03-2005, 08:03 AM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: Robert Plancich

I would like it to be known that when it comes to this bat that I do not have any kind of "agenda" nor do I consider myself a "stalker' of Dave Bushing.

What really bothers me is the fact that we have situation wherein the "world's foremost" and "virtually only respected" authority (according to MastroNet,GAI and SCD Authentic ads and bio's) who completely refuses to answer any questions and/or provide any supporting documentation substantiating his claim of authenticity. An article was recently written by Mike Eisner (for collectibles.com and can be found under Mike's card reviews) wherein he states if "Dave says it's real, it's real" and that just about sums it up.

Before the article in the New York Daily News was published regarding this bat (the link for this article is included) I contacted Dave Bushing and he was very evasive about who owned the bat. I had to ask him three times and he finally answered back saying that he was "financially involved" with the Henrich family. I would like to post the emails from him (one of the rare times Bushing actually answered me back) on this bat on the N54 if someone could tell me how to do it.I would also like to post the emails from H&B and their legal counsel which make for intereasting reading if anyone is interested.

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  #20  
Old 01-03-2005, 08:23 AM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: mike

Not that those procedures are perfect (errors and dishonesty are possible and missed), academic and medical research is peer reviewed.

The research is performed and submitted for peer review.
The editor drives the process and requests peer opinions (obviously, wrong doing is possible here).
Peer opinions are presented in annonymous reports to the editor (again, agendas and else may kill research findings here)
The editor makes requests to the researcher and makes a decision with respect to publication.
Publication legitimizes the results and the broader community is made aware of new knowledge.

In effect, the researchers validate their results through the editors and their publications.

In our hobbies, there is no parallel. The papers do not present peer reviewed research. Opinions are obtained by financially interested 3rd parties and those opinions are not peer reviewed. Thus the opinions are just opinions, especially when the authenticators refuse to discuss their conclusions.

I do not state that David Bushing is incorrect in his opinion, but his refusal to make public and discuss his procedures and conclusions is troubling from a scientist's perspective.

On a side note, if the experts were not to share their information then they would have an advantage in evaluating potential items for purchase. I'm not a legal expert, but, in my view, once the expert issues an opinion to the owner of an item and allows an opinion to be published to the public, he has a responsibilty to explain his conclusions. Since Robert does not own the bat, Robert might not have the necessary access to obtain answers to his questions. Of Robert did own the bat, would David Bushing be forthright? Since the auction house and prior owners allowed the opinion published, do they owe the public an explanation regarding the opinion, or do they get away with hiding behind the opinion?

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  #21  
Old 01-08-2005, 04:15 PM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: Robert Plancich

The MastroNet auction catalog does state that this bat was "specially marked" (thanks Julie) which couldn't be further from the truth. This particular model bat was made in 1941 and 1942 and there is no possible way to tell which year and/or which shipment of bats that this "streak" bat came from - there are no special markings on this bat whatsoever. The only thing making this bat was it purports to be is a letter from Tommy Henrich stating that he can remember a shipment of bat sent to DiMaggio on 07.01.41 and that he can now specificially identify that bat. Now the question that begs to be asked is how did Tommy Henrich acquire the information about the shipping dates for bats that were sent not to him, but to DiMaggio? He must be the only player that i know of that has total recall of such information. What's kind of funny is that he can recall this tiny bit of information and yet he had totally forgotten that he had this historically significant DiMaggio 56-game hitting streak bat that he had left at his mother house for the past 63 years - until Dave Bushing came along. Lucky for all of us that Dave Bushing & Dan Knoll were there to authenticate this bat for us!

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  #22  
Old 01-09-2005, 10:56 AM
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Default The Joe DiMaggio "Streak" Bat

Posted By: Dan Bretta

Not to mention that Henrich himself states that he was not close to Joe. In fact in all the years they played together he never went out with DiMaggio once. I could not find any instance of Henrich stating that he was given a streak bat from DiMaggio. However there is evidence to show that Henrich would borrow bats from Joe and that he used the exact same model bat.

Perhaps the best person to ask would be Barry Halper who was very close to DiMaggio for a number of years. Caretaker is probably a better word than friend. I would imagine that at some point Halper asked Joe what he did with those bats.

Dan

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