A corked bat that was reportedly used by Mickey Mantle is heading to auction.
According to Sports Collectors Daily, the “very prominent collector of Yankees memorabilia” who owns the bat never thought that there was anything special about the piece of Yankees history. But then it was examined by PSA/DNA bat authenticator John Taube.
Taube said that he noticed a small circular area near the top of the bat that looked similar to other corked bats he has examined. The authenticator x-rayed the bat and found that it had been drilled and filled with cork.
Taube said: “During our examination of the bat, we noticed a circular area .75 inches wide in the center of the top barrel. The finish in the area has also been touched up to mask the circular area. Alterations of this nature indicate the barrel has been drilled and filled with cork….we had the barrel x-rayed and (it) confirms that the barrel has been drilled and filled with cork…this is the first corked bat of Mantle that we have seen or heard of.”
The Hillerich & Bradsby model M110 bat dates back to 1964. It’s made of ash, weighs 32.6 ounces, and is 35 inches in length. Oh, it also apparently contains a piece of cork.
Grey Flannel Auctions writes: “Mickey Charles Mantle was a hero to millions of boys and men across the country, spanning generations. The Mick would cause grown men to break down just at the chance of meeting him and shaking his hand. Nearly two decades after his death, many still hold a special place in their hearts for The Commerce Comet. For those and many others, this may be a hard one to swallow…but the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Offered here is the first corked bat linked to Mickey Mantle and is accompanied by an X-ray of the bat showing the aforementioned cork at the barrel end.”
According to Grey Flannel, Minnesota Twins equipment manager Ray Crump admitted that he had corked some of Mickey Mantle’s bats in his autobiography. There has never been any proof to support Crump’s claim. Well, at least until now.
Do you think Mickey Mantle really used a corked bat? The memorabilia will hit the auction block on June 5.