A frequent question from the newcomers was what tips I could give them to build a collection on a modest budget.
We'll offer a few alternatives to the high priced bats of many of the vintage Hall of Famers and share a few ideas that will get you started without having to refinance your home. Once you've selected your area of focus, do some homework.
As with any collection, an area of interest must be determined. If you are unfamiliar with bats, we can recommend a few publications to give you a basic insight into the identification and dating of professional model game used bats.
You may want to focus on a favorite player, team, specific season, home run hitters or pitchers. The Mastronet Reference and Price Guide for Collecting Game Used Bats, offers the most thorough look at the identification and dating of pro bats. If you can find an original copy of Vince Malta's book Bats, it will provide a concise review of Louisville Slugger and Adirondack bats from 1950 to the present. Remember, the only foolish question is the one you don't ask.
Vince's new book A Complete Reference Guide: Louisville Slugger Professional Player Bats, available this fall, will offer a complete review of Louisville Slugger pro bats, including players ordering records, from the turn of the century to the present. Once you have a general understanding as to what to look for in an authentic pro bat, it's time to assess your budget and make your first purchase or trade.
Again, vintage Hall of Famers such as Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb, Foxx and Ott are among the most sought-after bats in the hobby and demand the highest prices.
Sluggers and home run hitters are the most popular areas of interest for collectors of game used bats.
If you have the resources to buy game used bats of these stars, you can look forward to assembling a Hall of Fame caliber collection.
While most of us can only dream of owning these very expensive bats, we still have the craving for the 500 Home Run Club and 3000 Hit Club members. The first alternative that I would recommend for vintage bats of 500 Home Run Club and 3000 Hit Club Players are "off label" pro model bats.
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