June 30, 1997 Vladimir Guerrero game used two tone LVS C243 bat given to me after breaking it during BP prior to his first game in Toronto (prior to career game #48).
Early career bat features uniform number "27" marked on the knob, pine tar along the handle and extended into the center brand area. The bat shows extensive grain separation throughout the barrel.
The cracked bat is intact, crack runs through the barrel and was given to me standing over the Blue Jays dugout. The bat originally had white tape around the barrel (tape is put on to help prevent the grains from flaking/separating). The tape was immediately removed to reveal Vlad’s name and direct ball marks are present under the taped area.
I suspect, but cannot substantiate, he converted game bats to BP to prolong the life of the bat. The team was on its 5th game of an 8-game road trip he likely didn’t bring many bats with him, especially very early in his career while making the league minimum $150k and taping his bats. Side note: Vlad Jr. uses game bats during BP, finding a good Vlad Jr bat that makes it more than 2-4 games is tough to find.
Input welcomed on early career Vlad Sr. bat usage/behaviour.