Sluggers chose their bats carefully, personalized them for maximum effectiveness
Some of the most enduring and popular memorabilia that exists to remind us of the amazing batting feats accomplished by members of the 500, 600 and 700 Home Run Clubs are the customized, game-used bats that have found their way into baseball lore.
While the bats on display in Cooperstown and other museums around the globe will never "come into play" in the high-priced world of elite memorabilia trading, there are still quite a few authenticated, game-used bats in the personal collections of wealthy baseball fans and collectors of baseball antiquities. Like an artist's original or a fine wine, the game-used bats of baseball's greatest sluggers have certain characteristics that are obvious to collectors, making them extremely valuable and coveted items.
Following is a look at the actual bats chosen by many of baseball's greatest all-time home run hitters, members of the exclusive 600 Home Run Club® to pursue their dreams, along with details about the manufacturer/model/specs of each and "ballpark" figures of what you would have to pay to hold their preferred "tools of the trade" in your own hands.
Editor's Note: The bat preferences of MLB greats who hit between 500-599 career home runs can be viewed here; 500 Home Run Club® Members' Tools of the Trade and the bat preferences of MLB's most elite sluggers, who hit more than 700 career home runs, can be viewed here; 700 Home Run Club® Members' Tools of the Trade. For details about the bat preferences of 800 Home Run Club® honorees Sadaharu Oh and Josh Gibson, click on; 800 Home Run Club® Honorary Members' Tools of the Trade.
Willie Mays (660 career HRs) preferred bat was the Blond Hillerich & Bradsby S2
Use Characteristics: Mays bats tend to have pine tar application on the mid section. Many knobs have black 24's written.
Game Used Bat Value: $10,000.00
Ken Griffey,Jr's (609+ career HRs) preferred bat is the Black Smith Finish Louisville Slugger C271C
Use Characteristics: Griffey is notorious in recent years for using criss-cross tape grip on his handle. In his rookie years, he would also shave the handle for grip.
Very little, if any, pine tar can be found on Griffey's true gamers. Game
Used Bat Value: $1,750.00
Sammy Sosa 's (609 career HRs) preferred bat was the Blond Easton SS3 Maple
Use Characteristics: In recent years, Sosa bats are characterized by a large taped knob and heavy pine tar in the mid section. In his early years. shaved handles and other tape jobs were used.
Game Used Bat Value: $800.00