To the victors go the spoils! In the matter of World Series champions, the famed Hillerich & Bradsby plant has been awarding decorative “black bats” to players and team personnel since 1934. The 35” white ash models feature a black “Smith” finish and gold or green colored stampings, which show facsimile signatures of those under contract with H&B and block-letter stampings of the remaining names. These (2) Baltimore Orioles examples include:
1966: features (34) names including Aparicio, Blair, Blefary, Palmer, Powell, B. Robinson and F. Robinson.
1983: features (35) names including Bumbry, Dempsey, Flanagan, Lowenstein, Murray, Palmer and Roenicke.