Ty Cobb’s bat from Detroit Tigers 1905 rookie season sells for $1.1 million

Played 41 games, scored first home run with bat

Ty Cobb, bat images (Grey Flannel Auctions)

The earliest known Ty Cobb baseball bat dating back to his rookie season in 1905 sold at auction on Sunday for $1,074,544.

Ty Cobb, nicknamed The Georgia Peach, spent 22 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, according to the MLB. He was an outfielder from 1905-1920 and was the team manager until 1926.

Cobb played 41 games and hit his first home run with the bat that sold. Bidding for the famed bat began at $100,000, and after 24 bids, it sold for $1,074,544.

The Georgia Peach set 90 MLB records during his career and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1936. He still holds several records including the highest career batting average (.366) and the most career batting titles (12).

Here are some details about the bat, as listed on the auction website:

  • The bat shows evidence of outstanding use with a slight crack on the upper handle.
  • Ball marks can be seen on the right and back barrel.
  • Cleat marks can be seen on all sides of the upper barrel.
  • There appears to be remnants of a tape application on the lower handle.
  • Areas on the left, right and back barrel have been lightly planed to receive factory side writing and additional factory notations.
  • Today the side writing is no longer visible.
    • The knob and top barrel have been vault marked with the model number “C28″ which guarantees the name of Ty Cobb would be displayed if the side writing was visible.
    • The appearance of factory side writing matching the name of the player who is branded into the bat is considered as impeccable provenance, in essence a letter of authenticity from the player and Louisville Slugger.

“This is the finest known example and only known rookie bat from perhaps the greatest player of all time,” Gray Flannel Auctions said.

See more items from the auction here.


About the Author:

Morgan is a Digital Editor and has been with WDIV since May of this year. She is also studying political science and communications at Wayne State University.