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  OVER-SIZED, PAINT-DECORATED BASEBALL BAT, PRESENTED TO "J. WHIPPLE" OF THE "ERIE BASEBALL CLUB," CA 1858-1870's
Dimensions (inches): 3" x 3" x 54"
Description:
This remarkable bat, the best 19th century example that I have ever seen, was was presented to "J. Whipple" of the "Erie Baseball Club."

Painted red, white, blue, and black, the bat it is decorated in gold with the club's crest. The inscribed date of 1871 may have been added later. This could certainly be accurate in terms of its year of use, though it may actually pre-date this. In combination with the date of the Erie Baseball Club of Buffalo, the painted surface and crest suggest a date between 1858 and perhaps the 1870's at the latest. The graphics of the crest are more indicative of the mid-19th century than the latter decades.

The "J. Whipple" on the bat may have been Joseph Oliver Whipple of Buffalo, New York (b. abt. 1830 in NY, d. 14 Oct 1884 in Buffalo, NY -- died in the Erie Canal). There was a baseball club by that name in Buffalo, founded in 1858. There were at least two other clubs by the same name, however, in the same period. One was located in Troy New York. Built between 1817 and 1825, the Erie Canal terminated at the Troy Locks. There was a John Byron Whipple (b. 1932, d. 1905) listed as a painter in "The 1875 Troy, Rensaleer, NY City Directory," with an address of 180 Congress Street. Another painter, by the name of Orson Whipple, is listed in the same publication at 184 Congress Street. As professional painters, either could reasonably be expected to be the source of such an object, if John Whipple was involved with the Erie Baseball Club of Troy. Another Erie Baseball Club was located in Erie Pennsylvania. In that city there was another John Whipple (b. Apr. 11, 1837, d. Aug. 13, 1913) who might certainly be a candidate.

Unfortunately, information on these early clubs and their rosters is extremely scant and very difficult to research. Myself and another researcher spent at least 20 hours on the project thus far. These are fairly good leads, but further work could eventually prove fruitful as more and more newspapers are digitized.

Condition: Remarkable, with no issues worth mention for an object of this nature and of this early date.
   
Primary Color: red, white, blue, black
Earliest Date: 1858
Latest Date: 1879
For Sale Status: Available
Price Please call (717) 676-0545 or (717) 502-1281
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com
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