However these bats were actually made for the collectible or autograph market never intended for use.
Now unfortunately these bats are coming into the market place without MOST BUYERS OR SELLERS being able to distinguish a TRULY VINTAGE BAT from a PENNIES ON THE $ REPRODUCTION !
Reading this guide before bidding, buying or selling any 1940's or later described bat could prevent you from being mislead.
Major problem areas are ACCURATE DATING OF BATS, show or reproduction bats being MISTAKEN for VINTAGE ORIGINALS or STORE BATS thought to be GAME USED !
Reproduction or meant to be autographed bats didn't need a size number branded into them because they weren't ever distinguished by size since they were never intended to be used !
These REPRODUCTION BATS ARE NOT worthless BUT to a serious bat collector they are worth pennies on the $ compared to their vintage counterpart !
DON'T EVER BUY A BAT CLAIMING TO BE VINTAGE WITHOUT FIRST SEEING OR BEING TOLD EXACTLY WHAT IS BRANDED INTO THE TOP OF THE BAT KNOB or IF THE 125 or 302 IS UNDERLINED WITHIN THE CENTER BRAND LABEL !
But may be described as mint or nrmt/mt examples of very collectible vintage bats.
If you use these specific tests you should be able to tell ! Top of the line STORE MODEL BATS such as the ADIRONDACK STORE MODEL 302 or HILLERICH & BRADSBY STORE MODEL 125 which are truly vintage, NEVER HAVE 125 or 302 UNDERLINED & ALWAYS HAVE SIZE NUMBERS BRANDED INTO THE BAT KNOB !
That was how MEANT TO BE USED BATS were manufactured & displayed on store bat racks by size for the public to differentiate on which to buy.
Then, when inspecting any bat knob, memory plus common sense should prevail, in case someone tries to add branded numbers afterwards.
Another valuable tool to differentiate a truly vintage bat from a much more recent one is the PATINA of the wood. These changes are very subtle but over time especially 40 plus years they can become obvious. Very bright and light wood from the knob to just above the trademark is cause for concern. However, even in a truly vintage previously taped handle bat there should be a multitone darkened area just above the trademark to the area where grip taping usually ended.
USE COMMON SENSE BEFORE BIDDING ON OR BUYING ANY BAT CLAIMING TO BE 40 PLUS YEARS OLD.