Tags: corked | mantle | bat | xray

Corked Mantle Bat (With X-ray To Prove It) To Be Sold at Auction

Image: Corked Mantle Bat (With X-ray To Prove It) To Be Sold at Auction Mickey Mantle in 1966.

Friday, 03 May 2013 12:00 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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Yankees legend Mickey Mantle apparently had some help getting his 536 career home runs, and now the player's corked bat is hitting the auction blocks this summer.

Bat expert and authenticator John Traube analyzed the Hillerich & Bradsby Co. bat and noticed alterations at the top of the barrel. X-rays revealed that the barrel had been drilled and filled with cork.

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"This is the first corked bat of Mantle that we have seen or heard of," Taube wrote in his report.


Cork is sometimes used to create an advantage for hitters, though it's illegal in Major League Baseball and is punishable by suspension. Cork makes the bat lighter without sacrificing power. A lighter bat can give a hitter a quicker swing and, perhaps, better timing. Among those who have been caught using a corked bat are Sammy Sosa, Graig Nettles, and Wilton Guerrero.

The bat will go to auction through Grey Flannel Auctions on June 5.

"Mickey Charles Mantle was a hero to millions of boys and men across the country, spanning generations," the Grey Flannel site description of the bat reads. "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."

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Last month, a game-used Pete Rose bat that also featured a hidden cork panel sold for $8,000 at auction, according to the New York Post.

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