One of the most significant pieces of sporting memorabilia was given to Don Bradman, when he was only 12. "That bat meant almost everything in the world to me." Sir Donald Bradman
The bat where it all began.
In 1920/21, at age 12, Don Bradman was scorer for the senior Bowral Cricket Club team that included his father (as umpire), brother and two uncles.
One weekend, the team was a player short and so the young Don Bradman was sent out to play on the Saturday. He scored 37 'not out'.
As a reward for this fine effort, team member Sid Cupitt gave Bradman this bat. The bat was second-hand, damaged due to Cupitt splitting it while playing in a previous match.
Although Bradman speaks of his father (a carpenter) removing 3 inches off the bottom of the bat to meet his height, he recalled in a later interview that it was probably only about half an inch to one inch removed.
Bradman used the bat for five seasons.
In 1925-26, Bradman used this bat in his first full season with the Bowral Cricket Club, where he scored a district record of 300 in the final against Moss Vale.
It was that moment when the name 'Don Bradman' started heading further afield, than the local Southern Highlands.
The First Bat is made of wood and waxed twine, produced by City and Suburban Sports Manufacturers, Sydney, Australia, c.1918.
The bat is heavily worn, yet over a century later has given the wood a warm patina and beautiful amber colour.
But if you look closely, you can still see etched on the back the scores of a proud young cricketer, Don Bradman:
14 and 66
25 and 0
Don Bradman's First Bat (Back) by City & Suburban Sports ManufacturersBradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame
"It was about this time that I came into possession of a real bat. And I was now the happiest boy ever. It was given to me by a Mr. (Sid) Cupitt, a member of the Bowral Town team. It was man's size, but that did not matter. It was a bat with a splice, and not one chopped out of the limb of a gum tree. That bat meant almost everything in the world to me. With a saw my father cut three inches off the bottom, and rounded it off at the foot, and I went into the paddock with my prized possession. I played shots at imaginary balls till the light failed. I was happy."
Don Bradman - Sydney Morning Herald, 1930.
Don Bradman's first bat & baggy green cap by Chuck BradleyBradman Museum & International Cricket Hall of Fame
Bradman Museum © 2019
Don Bradman First Bat: Donation Cricketers Club of NSW.
Don Bradman Baggy Green cap
Bradman Museum Collection.
The First Bat: Google Art Cam 2018.
Bradman collection: Chuck Bradley, 2013.
Authenticated by Sir Donald Bradman, August 2, 1983, generously donated by Cricketers Club of NSW 1996 to Bradman Museum, Bowral.