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WPW Throwbacks: Shoeless Joe Jackson’s “Black Betsy”


Source: Mears

In an era when bats typically last no more than a few MLB games, the practice of nicknaming them is likely to disappear, but one of the most famous bats ever, Shoeless Joe Jackson’s Black Betsy, continues to hold a place in baseball lore.


Jackson, a .356 career hitter, had his bats produced by both Spalding and H&B (Some were handmade, and simply finished by Spalding), with H&B continuing to reproduce them as store models for decades to come.  These bats were not as uniform as bats are today, with lengths from 34 ½ to 36 ½ inches and ranging from 36 to over 40 ounces, they dwarfed most modern bats.



If you want the experience of swinging one today, replicas can still be found at Phoenix Bats, and they can even be personalized.

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