Ben Chulay Collection

Hank Aaron Bat

Hank Aaron Bat

A longtime Pasadena resident, Ben Chulay donated three wonderful artifacts to the Baseball Reliquary in May 2016.  The first item was an Adirondack Northern White Ash “Whip Action” Hank Aaron bat, which the Milwaukee Braves slugger gave to him when Ben attended a game as a kid at Dodger Stadium in 1963. The bat had a small chip near the handle.  Ben couldn’t remember the date or any particulars, other than the game was played on Warren Spahn’s 42nd birthday.  We immediately went to Baseball-Reference.com, and sure enough, the game was played on April 23, 1963, on Spahn’s birthday.  It was quite a game, with the Dodgers nipping the Braves 2-1 in a pitcher’s duel between Sandy Koufax and Bob Shaw.  The Dodgers led 1-0 in the top of the ninth, when Hank Aaron homered off Ron Perranoski to tie the score.  In the bottom of the ninth, with two outs, Frank Howard hit one out off Claude Raymond to win it.  Typical of the Dodgers of that era, they won the game despite getting only two hits!  Also typical of the era, the game lasted two hours and 15 minutes!  Ben also donated a National League baseball that he had signed at the same game by various Braves and Dodgers players, including Spahn (who wrote “42 years old” on the ball) and Aaron.  The third donation was a 1961 Los Angeles Angels transistor radio, which Ben received as a promotional giveaway at Wrigley Field in the team’s inaugural season.  It was given out by KMPC-AM 710, which was the radio home of the Angels.

Note Warren Spahn signed "42 years old."

Note Warren Spahn signed “42 years old.”

Hank Aaron and others signed this ball.

Hank Aaron and others signed this ball.

 

Ben Chulay with his donations.

Ben Chulay with his donations.

A great artifact from a great era!

A great artifact from a great era!

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