|Dick Allen Bat Sample from|
Last week Beckett News published a post on PSA's newest online collector's resource: PSA ProBatFacts. ProBatFacts provides users with detailed pictures and information on game used bats from a variety of Hall of Famers and notable players from Major League history. While the collection, which includes several Phillies, is fairly small at this point (73 Hall of Famers and 34 stars), PSA is dedicated to adding to the repository in the future.
In general, a game used bat is just that – a professional model bat that was used by a player during a Major League Game. Game used bats are created to a specific players requirements and are generally identified by a stamp of the player’s signature, the name stamped in bold block letters or by a uniform number written on the handle. Measuring the amount of use a particular bat had can be found in the wear on the bat – a lot of pine tar, or cleat marks lets the collector know that the bat had been used for an extended time during the season.
PSA's ProBatFacts is particularly good at helping collectors identify the "personal characteristics" associated with a given player's bat. For example, they provide samples of Pete Rose's unique handle taping technique or how Mike Schmidt would use red duct tape to recreate the "Adirondack ring" on his Rawlings bats. As a collector, unless you get it from the player on the field, it is important to be familiar with these extra details in order to (try to) determine the legitimacy of a bat...especially if you are considering a large purchase.