View Full Version : First Look !!! Vince Malta's New Book

02-19-2007, 06:12 PM
Phil Rizzuto would say, “Holy Cow !”

Jerry Coleman’s call would be, “Oh, Doctor !”

Harry Caray ? “It could be, it might be, it is….a Home Run !”

All I can say is ..... "WOW !!!"

Last Thursday I had the good fortune to have lunch at Willie McCovey's Restaurant in Walnut Creek, CA with Vince Malta and Chris Cavalier. The occasion ? Vince had just picked up several pre-publication copies of his upcoming book from the publisher and was giving us the first look at the completed project. The long-awaited debut of A COMPLETE REFERENCE GUIDE -- LOUISVILLE SLUGGER PROFESSIONAL PLAYER BATS is at hand, and here is a preview for GUU members.

. This remarkable book is the culmination of over 10 years of research into virtually every aspect of the Hillerich & Bradsby Company and Louisville Slugger professional player bats. The scope of research that went into this book is hinted at in the acknowledgement section, where thanks are given to numerous veterans of the bat collecting hobby, past and present, but make no mistake -- this book contains the personal blood, sweat, and tears of Vince Malta.

Following the Introduction, wherein Malta describes his goal as “providing the foundation of factual analysis rather than fables and hyperbole,” the book is broken down into seven main chapters, each of which, if published separately, would be a must-have for collectors of game used professional model bats. THE HISTORY OF LOUISVILLE SLUGGER, as the chapter title suggests, provides a six-page broad anecdotal history of H & B.

The two-page BRANDING OVERVIEW details the branding process and provides perspective on the importance of branding period recognition to the members of the game used professional bat collecting hobby.

In Chapter Three the appetizers are finished and the entrees begin. ILLUSTRATED BRANDING VARIATIONS devotes 30 pages to the most comprehensive and thoroughly researched illustrated analysis of H & B branding ever undertaken. No longer will collectors have to be content with broad statements of labeling periods when attempting to determine the manufacture date of a bat being considered for his collection.

In this chapter, Malta has not only identified twenty-three distinct center label brandings between the late 1890’s and 2006, but includes twenty-one additional variations of those brandings, which brings the center label variations alone to forty-four distinct brandings, each of which can be used to pinpoint the date of manufacture to a degree of specificity never before attained.

As an example, the somewhat “catch all” labeling period often identified as 1921 to 1931 is now broken intro eleven distinct brandings that appeared between 1922 and 1933, each of which is found within a contained time frame.

Take another problematic labeling period, 1950 to 1960. Additional identified variations such as six center brand defects found during that period, along with different fonts and three distinct versions of “Powerized” (of the twenty-three different versions of “Powerized” identified between 1931 and 2006) all help in the specification of the year of manufacture within what, to date, has been a broad period.

In addition to the center brand analysis, thirteen variations of barrel label stamping are identified, specific to block letter barrel only (3), signature barrel labeling only (3), and variations common to both block and signature barrel labeling (7).

The value of Chapter 3 alone is many, many times the cost of the book itself in assisting collectors to do preliminary authentication of bats they are considering adding to their collections.

INTRODUCTION TO PLAYERS’ CHARTS is a detailed fifteen-page description of all documented records available from the archives and vaults of Louisville Slugger, and the significant elements to be considered upon examination. This chapter also provides information on Hall of Famers’ Pro Stock Model bats (“One of the most important pages in the entire book,” says Malta), and the key elements of analysis of the individual players bat charts.

Chapter Five includes all documented records available for every Hall of Fame player, primarily in chart form. These PROFESSIONAL PLAYERS CHARTS are contained over 163 pages and, to most collectors, represent the meat of the book. These charts, as previewed and currently available on Game Used Universe, provide every collector with the archived information previously available to only a small handful of people in the bat collecting hobby. This information gives each collector the ability to research the model, length, weight, and finish of bats ordered by each Hall of Fame player during each year of his career. With the additional information contained in this book, this chapter allows a collector to determine for himself whether a specific bat is a professional model bat, and whether it was manufactured and shipped to a specific player either during his playing career, after his playing career, or at all.

Following the charts is a fully illustrated GLOSSARY OF TERMS, an effort that is sure to set the standard by combining new information with previous definitions found in earlier collector references such as BATS and the MastroNet Guide to provide a universal “collector’s dictionary.”

The book concludes by providing GRADING CRITERIA FOR PROFESSIONAL GAME USED BATS, as developed and utilized by PSA/DNA. As with the glossary above, the primary value of this chapter is to provide commonality and universal application of the information found in this book.

And that’s it…. 232 pages of illustrated, detailed analysis and information that leaves few, if any, stones unturned on the subject of Louisville Slugger professional player bats. This book is available to be ordered online exclusively through www.GameUsedUniverse.com (http://www.GameUsedUniverse.com) , either as part of a menbership package or as a single sale item. All orders are anticipated to be mailed approximately March 15, 2007.

In the INTRODUCTION to this book, Vince Malta set his goal at producing and publishing “the most detailed and comprehensive analysis of professional Louisville Slugger bats ever offered to the public.”

Grand Slam to deep center !!!

Mike Jackitout7@aol.com (Jackitout7@aol.com)






02-19-2007, 06:25 PM
How much is it going to cost?

02-19-2007, 07:21 PM
Hi-- Here is the link that contains ordering information:


Basically, a copy of the book is included with a premium membership which costs $49.95. The membership contains other benefits as well as described in the link above, with an annual renewal rate of just $19.95.

The book itself has a retail price of $39.95, and online sales will only offered through the www.GameUsedUniverse.com (http://www.gameuseduniverse.com/) website.

Mike Jackitout7@aol.com

02-28-2007, 06:12 PM
I ordered this a few days ago. How will I know when its been shipped?

03-06-2007, 06:45 PM
I am sure that when the books arrive and shipping is underway, there will be an announcement on GUU that lets everyone know...I will try to confirm that the book remains on schedule this evening or tomorrow morning and will pass the info along.

Mike [EMAIL="jackitout7@aol.com"]jackitout7@aol.com (jackitout7@aol.com)

04-01-2007, 06:38 PM
Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

04-04-2007, 11:50 PM
Are we there yet?
Hello Marcus,

Sorry for not responding earlier. I had a minor surgery recently (hernia) and have been recovering. As for your question, the book has not been released yet. I was told there was a slight delay in the printing (apparently the player charts were not formatting properly in the initial run) but that has been fixed and the printing is underway again.

Notably, while we have absolutely no control over the printing schedule, Game Used Universe will be receiving our allocation directly from the printers and will be shipping them to anyone who ordered them on this site as soon as we receive them. I would expect that will likely happen within the next week or two. I will also let you know if I hear anything further in the interim.

Please let me know if that answers your question and/or if I can answer any others.


04-10-2007, 11:23 AM
Any updates?

04-11-2007, 03:44 PM
Any updates?
Hello Everyone,

No updates yet. We will certainly let you know as soon as we hear anything.


04-14-2007, 01:36 PM
Hi Everyone...

Vince Malta and the publisher of Vince's upcoming book, A COMPLETE REFERENCE GUIDE TO LOUISVILLE SLUGGER PROFESSIONAL PLAYERS BATS, confirmed yesterday that printing will be completed by mid-week, approximately April 18. Shipping from GUU of individual orders will occur shortly thereafter.

All the best

Mike Jackitout7@aol.com

04-23-2007, 11:42 PM
Hi Everyone...

Vince Malta and the publisher of Vince's upcoming book, A COMPLETE REFERENCE GUIDE TO LOUISVILLE SLUGGER PROFESSIONAL PLAYERS BATS, confirmed yesterday that printing will be completed by mid-week, approximately April 18. Shipping from GUU of individual orders will occur shortly thereafter.
Hello Everyone,

I was able to confirm today that the printing of the book was completed last Friday. Our allocation is being sent to us from the printer (they are located in Chicago) and we are expecting to receive the books this week.

To ensure that everyone receives the book as expeditiously as possible, we urge those who have ordered them through GUU to please verify your address in the GUU database. You can do so by clicking the following link (you will need to log in if you haven't already):


The deadline for verifying addresses is Sunday, 4/29/07 as we plan to ship the books out on Monday 4/30/07.

Please feel free to let me know if you have any additional questions but it looks like the waiting will soon be over!

Chris Cavalier

07-16-2008, 11:20 AM
Is this book officially out yet? I've never seen it and can't find it on ebay or amazon.

07-17-2008, 11:00 AM
blades3, i dont know if the book is out "oficially", but i did get mine from the game used forum a few months ago. premium members received a copy as part of their mebership to the guu.