Mickey Mantle’s family says slugger never used corked bat; auction pulled

Mickey MantleMickey Mantle’s family issued a statement on Monday to defend the former New York Yankees slugger against an allegation that the Hall of Famer used a corked bat when he played.

Two weeks ago, Grey Flannel Auctions sent out a press release to advertise the upcoming auction of a corked 1964 model Mantle bat. In addition to showing X-rays of the alleged corked bat, the auction house had supporting details about Mantle corking his bat; they cited a former Minnesota Twins equipment manager who said Mantle corked his bat.

The Mantle family issued a statement and retained a law firm to discredit the auction, which has been removed.

“Our Dad loved, revered and dedicated his whole life and professional career to the game of baseball. He persevered through devastating injuries to play 18 seasons for the New York Yankees and won seven World Series and many awards. The legacy of our Dad’s professionalism, perseverance and integrity has endured for more than 43 years since his retirement from baseball and is a testament to his status as an icon in American sports and culture.

“Recently, an on-line sports memorabilia marketer promoted an outrageously false, misleading and deceptive claim, apparently for a quick buck and publicity, that it was selling at auction a first-of-a-kind baseball bat: a ‘Mantle-corked gamer’ and a ‘corked bat of Mantle.’ The claim has spread throughout the Internet, and news media outlets nationwide have repeated and republished the marketer’s false claims, baseless implications, and purported statements of the marketer’s so-called authenticator,” the family said in its statement.

“We no longer can remain silent. The statements and suggestions that Dad used a corked bat more than 49 years ago to cheat at the game he worshipped are false. Let us be clear: Dad didn’t need and never used a corked bat. Mickey Mantle was honest about the way he played the game that he loved and to which he devoted his professional life. He was one of the best who ever played the game because of his natural talents and abilities – and his heart. Our Dad’s legacy must be protected and the injury to his reputation must be corrected – he does not deserve to be the subject of these outrageous fabrications.

“We are taking a stand for our Dad and our family, including his four grandchildren, for Mickey Mantle fans and baseball fans everywhere, for the game of baseball that Dad loved so dearly, for the honor of the New York Yankees, the team he gave his heart and soul to for almost two decades, and for all of the other players who, as Dad did, have played and are playing the game the right way.

“This all stops now. No effort will be spared to preserve Mickey Mantle’s well-deserved legacy for honesty, fairness and supreme effort in the face of physical adversity that most players would not have been able to overcome. We love and are proud of our Dad. Because he can no longer defend himself, we will do it for him.”

The Mantle family’s attorneys also attacked the auction.

“Following Bracewell & Giuliani’s intervention, on May 9th, the on-line marketer informed us that it had withdrawn the bat from sale and also had removed the bat (and related photos and statements from its web site). The marketer has made no mention on its web site of the bat’s removal from the site or the auction sale. The family has made several straightforward, common sense authenticity requests, including the right to review the purported bases for the claim; the chain of custody of the bat’s owner(s); and the right for forensic analysis and independent third-party examination. To date, we have received no response to these requests. We will continue to pursue a correction of the false claims and suggestions, vindication of Mickey Mantle’s integrity in the game and restoration of his rightful legacy.”

So there you have it: Mickey Mantle never used a corked bat. You know how we know? Because his family said so.

Around The Web

  • mark

    Now they are going after the Mick unreal:(

  • http://twitter.com/NFL_Madness NFL Madness

    So this guy trumped up some scam on possibly the greatest baseball player of all time, 20 years after his death and 45 years after his retirement? Reminds me of something I read years go where a guy was cutting pieces off his wooden desk and selling the pieces as “Babe Ruth’s baseball bat”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jane-Smith/100003927837470 Jane Smith

    Not sure if the last two sentences in this article are an attempt at a joke or a cheap shot at Mantle’s family. It’s not appreciated by this reader. The sale of sports memorabilia is one of the biggest scams going. There are a lot of fakes out there and good people are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous dealers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/don.hess.33 Don Hess

    Larry Brown has convinced me that beyond any question he is an absolute idiot. Mantle broke a lot of bats in his career, so if they had been corked don’t you suppose someone would have noticed? Brown should be ashamed of the last paragraph – it has no journalistic value at all – kind of like him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/larry.dalzell Larry Dalzell

    PLEASE let Mickey RIP! Therere are enough ‘shams & scams’ going around for eveyone. As a kid I used to love the game, when the players played w/heart. Not so much anymore.

  • delashmit

    Mickey Mantle was so incredibly strong that he did not need to cork his bats. This story/auction was just someone trying to get oublicity and make some money.

  • delashmit

    Mickey Mantle was my hero as a kid and he will always remain a legend in my mind. Stop the disgusting attempts to destroy his name.

  • delashmit

    Mickey Mantle was my hero as a kid and he will always remain a legend
    in my mind. Stop the disgusting attempts to destroy his name. He was so much better than most of the fake athletes these days. When asked once after about one of his great years and the salaries today, Mickey said he would walk into George Steinbrenner’s office and say :”Hello Partner.”

  • missedgehead

    I have heard of revisionist history, but this is ridiculous. I know we live in a culture where people want to try to find flaws in every single sports star/celebrity , but this is unreal. I also did not appreciate those last few sentences either. Came across as very snarky.

  • righthalfback76

    I am not a Yankees fan by no means, but I respect Mantle, Maris, and Berra. The last sentence in the story is horrible. Because his family said so… I would trust them over Mark, Sammy, and Barry who actually cheated the game and still have records that should be stripped from them.
    Absolute Joke If they are in the Hall of Fame so should Pete Rose.