When I started collecting bats in 1975, I soon became somewhat fascinated by the cheating aspects, probably spurred on by Graig Nettles and his bat with super balls that broke in 1974. As I collected, I was always searching for a corked bat.
My Dad was a doctor so I asked him about 1980 to have a couple bats X-rayed at the hospital by the radiologist that I suspected were loaded. I have a Bill Buckner bat from pre 1976 that I thought was corked from looking at the barrel end of the bat, but the X-rays proved negative. However, I had a Hillerich & Bradsby Jim Rice bat cracked in Anaheim Stadium from most likely 1978 or 1979 that also looked suspicious on the end of the barrel like a hole had been drilled and covered over, and the X-ray showed the hollowed out section perfectly. More than 30 years ago I sold that bat with the X-rays and that is one of the bats I regret letting go.
In the past few years, I have read about one or two other Rice corked bats in the collecting world. Does anybody have any corked or loaded bats in your collections to share? Yes, although not a Red Sox collector, that Rice with the X-rays is one I would sure like to have back someday.
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