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From the very same season he committed suicide, this extremely rare Willard Hershberger bat from Hillerich & Bradsby is pre-model numbers and shows nothing on the knob. There is a facsimile signature burned into the barrel, which shows use due to impressions. The back of the barrel retains two small chips. The lumber - which measures 34.25" and weighs 25.4 ounces - is team-signed by the 1940 Reds, including 16 signatures that are light but legible and include McKechnie, VanderMeer, McCormick, Walters and more. The lot includes an LOA stating that this bat was given by the Reds to their broadcaster, Dick Bray, immediately following Hershberger's death so it could be his last bat. Bray and his wife were very good friends with the troubled but talented catcher, who compiled an impressive .316 batting average in just three seasons. To this day, Herschberger is the only major leaguer ever to take his own life during his playing days.
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