Mickey Mantle ‘corked bat’ withdrawn from auction block after family protests

David Brown
Big League Stew

Forget about buying the corked bat allegedly used by Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle that was being auctioned; Grey Flannel Auctions has removed it from the block. In fact, all mention of the bat has been removed from Grey Flannel's website after Mantle's family put the pressure on, saying: "We no longer can remain silent."

They spoke quite legally, too, through attorney Jonathan Halpern, partner in the legal firm of Bracewell & Giuliani (yes, that Giuliani):

“Following Bracewell & Giuliani's intervention, on May 9th, the on-line marketer informed us that it had withdrawn the bat from sale and also had removed the bat (and related photos and statements from its web site).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.”

That's right, the Mantles say: Mickey was as real as he was spectacular.

And what about the work of memorabilia authenticator John Taube, which claimed Mantle's bat was legit, and even X-rayed, to show cork inside? Perhaps the bat is real, but the doctoring is disingenuous. Can a scientist carbon-14 date glue? Or the cork itself? The only thing left to do is hand over the bat to a third (fourth? fifth?) party for independent authentication. Have them drill a hole in the barrel in order to extract particle samples. If the owners still believe the bat to be real, and want to keep pushing such an idea on the rest of the world, it's probably the only way they'll ever get any money for it.

Until then, we are left to believe that Mantle's legacy is "pure."

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