1923 Rogers Hornsby Game Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 7, MEARS A8. "He was frank to the point of being cruel and as subtle as a belch," wrote sports journalist Lee Allen of the gruff Texan who terrorized two generations of Major Leaguers with a temperament excused only in the face of true greatness. The parallels between Ty Cobb and Hornsby are quite striking--beyond their positioning at numbers one and two on the career batting average ladder, each brought a gritty Southern determination to his craft, refusing to hang up the spikes until age forty-one. Both had suffered shocking family tragedy--Cobb's father and Hornsby's brother each shot to death. And after nearly 20,000 combined at bats, just a single strike out separates their respective totals, Hornsby with the edge at 679. The clear divide between these two early legends comes in the power stats, where Hornsby's three excursions north of the .400 season mark become all the more eye-popping. Hornsby claimed the Triple Crown during two of these campaigns, clubbing forty-two and thirty-nine homers respectively in 1922 and 1925. Cobb's single Triple Crown in 1909 was achieved with just nine Dead Ball dingers. Here we present an extraordinarily rare early Hillerich & Bradsby dating to the height of Rajah's extraordinary powers, his fourth in a six-season reign as National League batting champion. The rather abridged "R.H." stamping on the barrel helps to assign a vintage, as Hornsby had yet to sign a contract with the bat manufacturer that would provide him with signature models. But the specific dating comes in the form of a grease penciled "8-4-23" date applied at the Louisville Slugger factory after the bat was returned as a template for future models. The name written on the barrel to the left of the date has been lost to the passage of time. A pale area of wood over the barrel stamping is the result of an ancient shipping label, long since lost. Several nails repair a crack in the handle, but no points are deducted for this issue in sidewritten bats, as the end of the bat's usefulness is key to its status as a factory return. Length and weight are correct for Hornsby at thirty-four inches and thirty-six ounces. Heavy use is clearly evident, with ball marks and swelling of the grain bearing witness to the exploits of the Senior Circuit's most dangerous man. Included is a photocopy of a period photograph of Hornsby in the Cardinals dugout gripping an identical slab of lumber, the unusual "R.H." barrel stamping turned toward the camera. Certification paperwork from both leading game used bat authentication services is likewise present. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU7. LOA from MEARS, A8.