Many people regularly go to Garage sales to find that hidden treasure. Bruce Scapecchi is an avid garage sale shopper. He says he visits thousands in a year, hoping to make that rare discovery. When he visited the garage sale Sue McEntee was holding, he wasn’t expecting to make an unexpected discovery.
He was perusing the family’s belongings when he noticed something under a table that caught his eye. Among a pile of baseball bats was a wooden one. The old bat was frayed and scuffed and had an old worn-out cloth tape around the handle. Sue had listed it for a $1.00. But Bruce immediately suspected the bat was incredibly special.
That’s because Bruce thought that the bat had once belonged to Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play Major League Baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jackie played in six World Series and is in the Baseball Hall of Fame and considered one of the best baseball players of all time.
It was the grip on the bat that first gave Bruce the clue. He told KCCI News 8, “The unique grip of the bat was Jackie Robinson’s style.”
He took the bat up to Sue and told her “I think you might have something here.” But he knew there was one way to confirm his suspicions. He asked her to grab a pencil. He told her to rub it on a particular spot on the bat – it’s where Jackie always engraved his name into the wood. The pencil test confirmed it – Jackie’s name was on the bat.
Sue was stunned this special bat had been with her all along, but it made sense when she revealed who her uncle had been. “My Uncle Joe Hatten played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was called Lefty Joe. He played baseball in the ’40s with him (Jackie),” she said. She told Bruce that Uncle Joe often bunked with Jackie and must have got the bat from his fellow player.
Bruce couldn’t believe the historical link between Sue’s family and Jackie Robinson, but was happy to have unearthed the unknown heirloom for her.
Watch the video below to learn more about this amazing find, including what Sue decided to do with the bat!