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And now the worst baseball-related auction item of all time

May 21, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT


Reader D — that’s how he signed the email anyway — alerts us to a fine piece of American history up for auction. A baseball bat. And not just any baseball bat:

… a 25-inch ornately detailed bat with gold-leafed vines wrapped around the mid-barrel portion meeting a silver metal scroll at the handle. On the scroll is engraved “R. Huff, Fulton, Missouri, 1936, Ku Klux Klan.” A silver-colored metal wraps around the handle while the knob is inlaid with what appear to be 12 ivory circles. On one the end of the knob is a hooked silver cross inlaid with “KKK” engraved on it. The 25″ bat shows some wear but overall is in EX condition.

There was a Roy Huff who played in the Cardinals system in the 1940s and 50s, but he would have only been 12 when the bat was engraved. Guessing it wasn’t his unless the little league slugging awards were kinda crazy back then.

I asked on Twitter who would ever want to bid on such a vile thing, and of course a million people responded with “Luke Scott” or “John Rocker.”  Yawn. Way too easy. I prefer this answer:


Me likes.

  1. rodge1 - May 21, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    Title of this story should have read, “And now the worst baseball-related article of all time”

    • drewsylvania - May 21, 2012 at 3:52 PM

      Really? Go read Passan.

  2. ajcardsfan - May 21, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Even better is the name with that handle “Jesus Fish”…”Bring me your racists, your bigots and generic assholes so that I may bludgeon them with a bat”

  3. deathmonkey41 - May 21, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    I am curious to see how much it goes for.

  4. Jonny 5 - May 21, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    I don’t know, I bet that would be a perfect bat to beat the “Philly fans suck” Horse dead with. 😉

    • The Baseball Idiot - May 21, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      Only because the Tasers don’t work.

    • paperlions - May 21, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      That horse is dead and gone, all that remains is a dark spot on the ground.

  5. dadawg77 - May 21, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Damn, someone could have used this in Tinley Park, Il this weekend.

  6. number42is1 - May 21, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    you have a million followers?

  7. Chris Fiorentino - May 21, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    LOL at the reverse-irony of Craig writing “Me likes” when someone wants to use the bat to “bludgeon a white supremicist”. Personally, I don’t want anybody to get bludgeoned ever. But what do I know..I am a scumbag, unruly, battery-throwing Phillies fan.

    Me don’t like.

    • heyblueyoustink - May 21, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      Hell, the bat probably belonged to a Philly fan for that matter, i’m surprised Craig didn’t make the suggestion.

      I mean who else could it belong to? Who else could be so vile?

      • koufaxmitzvah - May 21, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        Ty Frigging Cobb

      • drewsylvania - May 21, 2012 at 3:55 PM

        Or many, many players in and before the 50s.

  8. dowhatifeellike - May 21, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    At 25″, I’m guessing it wasn’t meant for actual baseball use.

    • southcapitolstreet - May 21, 2012 at 1:46 PM

      Or this is a classic case of the guy with the little bat overcompensating by covering it with white supremacist symbolism

  9. airedale1950 - May 21, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    The KKK was accepted at the time in the south and was part of every day life, sort of a hard ass Kiwanis Club. It was what it was, vile to the core.
    My problem is that in today’s PC world, what’s the big deal about an antique bat with frankly historically important symbols going up for sale? Do we all have to jump up to voice our repugnance of a previously accepted socio-cultural movement we took no part in?
    I had nothing to do with the Clan, or slavery, or pogroms or poison gas for that matter, but if I could make big money off the bat…why not go for it?
    You know you want to…..

    • koufaxmitzvah - May 21, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      “My problem is that in today’s PC world, what’s the big deal about an antique bat with frankly historically important symbols going up for sale? Do we all have to jump up to voice our repugnance of a previously accepted socio-cultural movement we took no part in?”


      I guess to show the world how un-PC you be, you get to tell people to not worry and don’t think about the past.

      Nothing to see here, folks. Don’t be a bunch of PC pussies. Be a real American man. Unless, of course, you’re Black, Jewish, Mexican. Then, maybe, you can be 3/5 of an American man. Or maybe deported. Or strung up in a tree for looking at the precious, sweet innocent Southern White women.

      • teamobijuan - May 21, 2012 at 5:21 PM

        It’s something inherently American printed on something inherently American.

        The KKK and a baseball bat. Only true patriots need bid.

  10. phillyphan83 - May 21, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    You know deep down you would love this on your mantle Craig. This sort of thing is revered in the south. Then again, I’m pretty sure you’re not actually from Atlanta, just jumped on their bandwagon in the ’90s. Amateur hour continues…

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 21, 2012 at 1:56 PM

      I’m pretty sure I’m not actually from Atlanta either. In fact, I’ve never lived there. I’ve been a Braves fan since the mid-80s. You can look it up if you’d like, I’ve written about it often. You can also look up the fact that they sucked pretty bad back then.

    • drewsylvania - May 21, 2012 at 3:56 PM

      Yes. Real men throw batteries.

    • skids003 - May 21, 2012 at 4:02 PM

      Not just the south, phillyboy. The KKK was as big or bigger at one time up north, so it wasn’t just SOutherners.

  11. philsieg - May 21, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    First, it’s “Klan”. Second, at the time the bat was made, the the various Klans were strongest and most active in the former Union state of Indiana. Third, here’s some photos of the kind of outings favored by the members of your “hard ass Kiwanis Club”.

    Finally, I’m a native Southerner who’s sick of hearing your whining about “political correctness” and your “Why me? I didn’t do it” BS every time someone suggest we should behave with a little common decency and consideration of the feelings of others.

    • airedale1950 - May 21, 2012 at 2:25 PM

      OMG!…watch out Phil baby…your heart is bleeding all over the freshly defiled remnant of the ole stars and bars.
      Pity too, you are still fighting that losing battle..oh, and sorry about that little fire in Atlanta on the 14th of November 1864.

      • philsieg - May 21, 2012 at 2:59 PM

        Jesus, how bad is your reading comprehension? How in God’s name can you infer sympathy to the Confederate cause from what I wrote?

        Spelling it out simply so you’ll hopefully understand, the South’s “noble cause” wasn’t. It was vile, inhumane and an affront to decency. The ownership of human beings was explicitly written into the Confederate constitution, so spare me the states’ rights bullshit. I grew up in the ’50s listening to those code words while most of you here were still shitting in your diapers. The South deserved to lose. We are a better country because it did.

        To my fellow Southerners and their witless sympathizers who think that the Confederate battle flag (it’s not the Stars and Bars – look it up) represents some sort of paean to honor and heritage, it’s time to quit whitewashing rebellion, treason and your own racism while getting your panties in a wad when you get called on your misplaced loyalty. The flag belongs in history class and in museums, not on public display and certainly not in any publicly funded form, like current state flags. Your freedoms are not impinged upon (except your freedom to be an asshole) when you respect the feelings of others. They are enhanced.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 21, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      You are dead on Phil. As someone who was born and raised in the Hoosier state I can attest to what you posted being 100% factual. It was a KKK hotbed. Central Indiana specifically.
      As recently as the mid to late 80’s the small…rural…country towns were still quite racist and bigotry ran rampant. My High School had 3 Black Guys, and a guy of Chinese ancestry.
      I remember going to high school basketball games in Martinsville, Greensburg, and Connersville and the racists chants were unreal. The ‘N’ Word was chanted anytime one our Black Guys had the ball and “Chink” every time our guy of Chinese descent had the ball. Martinsville actually has a fairly large number of minority families now. This might not sound like a big deal to most. But minorities totally stayed away from these places as recently as 20 – 30 years ago.
      They have come a long way…but still have a lot of work to do.
      As is the case everywhere.

  12. wpjohnson - May 21, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Whether Calcaterra and his fellow politically correct pinheads like it or not, it is a legitimate piece of baseball history. Where do you place a bid?

    • dowhatifeellike - May 21, 2012 at 1:54 PM

      I think it’s more Klan history than baseball history.

      • cleverbob - May 21, 2012 at 2:02 PM

        I thought people bought Nazi-era china because they loved to collect dishes.

      • wpjohnson - May 21, 2012 at 2:42 PM

        Actually, it is both and, thus, quite collectible. After all, it isn’t going to go out on the streets and knock anyone in the head, is it? You liberals are great in regard to censorship. You want no censorship unless, of course, it deals with something you oppose.

      • dowhatifeellike - May 21, 2012 at 3:02 PM

        Being an old baseball bat doesn’t make it a piece of baseball history. It hasn’t been used in any historic baseball context. The only historic context here is that someone monogrammed it with Klan symbolism.

        I don’t see how censorship plays into any of this. Nobody is saying that it should be destroyed or not made available for sale. The argument is that to most of us (baseball people), this item has no significance. It’s a cultural item, not a sports item.

      • CJ - May 21, 2012 at 3:16 PM

        Saying “you liberals” followed by a dumb comment really doesn’t do much other than make conservatives look stupid, which isn’t all that hard to begin with, so as one, just do us all a favor and stop. Thanks.

        About your question…see those green words in the post? Yeah, those are called hyperlinks. If you click on them they’ll magically take you to other parts of the interwebs that just might have something to do with an auction site where you can buy a KKK baseball bat for a grand or so so you could either watch for your viewing pleasure, buy and burn the thing, or smack yourself in the face with it, repeatedly, until you get some sense.

      • cleverbob - May 21, 2012 at 3:20 PM

        For the record, I’m a moderate.

    • mrfloydpink - May 21, 2012 at 2:26 PM

      Uh, just because something is baseball-related and is old does not make it a legitimate piece of baseball history.

      An artifact becomes historic if it has a connection to a significant individual, place, or trend that affected the game in an important way. A jersey from Babe Ruth, a seat from Ebbets Field, a poster that demands that baseball remain segregated–these are historic artifacts. But inasmuch as the story of the KKK and that of baseball have little to nothing to do with one another, this artifact is simply not a part of baseball history. It has nothing to do with political correctness nor with anti-racism. If I go buy an electric guitar and paint a swastika on it tomorrow, it is not a piece of rock and roll history, nor does it become a piece of rock and roll history if I keep the guitar for 70 years.

      Now, if it was Ty Cobb’s KKK baseball bat…

      • wpjohnson - May 21, 2012 at 2:38 PM

        No a legitimate comparison, pink. All indications are that this bat was “created” back in the 1930s. If you add a decoration to a bat today, it means nothing.

        Whether you boys and girls like it or not, this bat is a part of baseball history. Of course it is also a part of Klan history, too.

        Political correctness seeks to launder the truth for its touchy, feely proponents. I guess the author was just a few years early with the book, 1984.

        I still am interested in knowing where you bid?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 21, 2012 at 3:32 PM

        Whether you boys and girls like it or not, this bat is a part of baseball history. Of course it is also a part of Klan history, too.

        How is this a part of baseball history? Was this the bat used by Mazeroski in the shot heard round the world? Did Jackie Robinson use it when he broke the color barrier? Or Maris when he hit 61?

        Those bats are part of baseball history. This appears to be a bat with a radical, christian terrorists’s group markings on it. How is it a part of history other than it’s being?

      • mrfloydpink - May 21, 2012 at 3:35 PM

        Reading comprehension’s not your strong suit, eh, wpjohnson?

        Why is the bat historic? Apparently, not because of the decoration, according to your post. So it must be because it is old, right? If so, then any old object is inherently historic? If I can find some petrified horse shit from the 1930s, is that a part of agricultural history? If I can find a piece of wood around my house that’s 100 years old (I’m in California) is that a part of Western history? If I get some grass from the lawn of Robert E. Lee’s house, is that a part of Civil War history?

        What if I get a baseball bat right now, paint it to resemble a penis, and then put it in a safety deposit box for 80 years. When my heirs open the box, do they now have an important part of baseball history? If not, then why is my penis bat less historic than some cracker’s KKK bat from 1930? Neither penises nor the KKK are inherently baseball related. Though I would actually say that penises have more to do with baseball than the Klan does.

        And finally, you keep deploying the phrase “political correctness.” Allow me to quote Inigo Montoya: “That word that you keep saying. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

      • drewsylvania - May 21, 2012 at 3:59 PM

        It makes it a piece of history. What would make it “legitimate”?

      • skids003 - May 21, 2012 at 4:07 PM

        Mr. pink, you offend me with the word cracker.

  13. seeinred87 - May 21, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    I’d buy that for a dollar.

  14. Old Gator - May 21, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    How much do you think Marge Schott would have paid for it? That foul little dog of hers probably got off lucky.

  15. stex52 - May 21, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    I grew up in Klan country. It’s not an attractive part of our history, but it is part of our history. I will buy the argument that it is more interesting to establish some provenance for the bat. But otherwise, why not bid on it?

    The Crusades, the Reconquista, the 30 Years War, the Opium Wars, the colonization of Africa, the Spanish conquests in the New World, the Portuguese in India, the British in Ireland, the Opium Wars, the American Indian Wars, the Civil War, World War II, need I go on?…………………

    All of these had a strong component of bigotry, whether religious, ethnic, national or cultural. That does not mean the artifacts of the times and history are without interest. In fact, in comparison to those others, the hatred expressed by the KKK is really rather mild.

    • drewsylvania - May 21, 2012 at 4:07 PM

      Yes–but they all fall into the category of “how many people can we kill because we don’t like them?”

      • stex52 - May 21, 2012 at 10:08 PM

        You are correct, but it wasn’t really my point. A historical artifact of those times is still valuable. The fact that people kill because they are not like them is the particular of history, not the exception.

  16. xmatt0926x - May 21, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    It’s interesting when you see a pic like that and what names immediately pop into your mind.I saw the pic and was sure the post would say it was a Ty Cobb bat. Luke Scott also immediately popped in my head. He calls himself a birther but I think he’d take a president from Kenya, Australia, or Pluto as long as he had the right skin tone. Just a hunch.

  17. drewsylvania - May 21, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    My first thought was a reminder of the winners who keep spelling Kevin Youkilis with extra K’s.

  18. bigleagues - May 21, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Does ANYONE truly believe this bat was used to play baseball?

  19. cogitobaseballergosum - May 21, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    From the picture it could be a locker room trophy from a teammate commemorating a particularly bad day at the plate.

  20. fmlizard - May 21, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    It isn’t good, but it is meaningful because of the way it symbolizes a very real part of baseball history.

    • mrfloydpink - May 21, 2012 at 5:55 PM

      What real part of baseball history? The KKK and baseball did not have anything to do with one another. Just because baseball had racism, and the Klan was/is racist does not make a Klan bat a useful artifact of baseball history.

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