Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 7/8/13
Back in May, one of the more interesting pieces of memorabilia you’re ever likely to find went up on the auction block — a corked bat allegedly used by Mickey Mantle. Dating back to the latter part of his career, there had been whispers that Mantle used a corked bat, and this item seemed to definitively prove that theory. Well, the family of Mantle didn’t take too kindly to the suggestion that their beloved cheated, so they hired a lawyer and issued a vaguely threatening statement in response to the auction. Thus, the bat was withdrawn, and the mystery persists. However, on Sunday, another item an eBay seller claims was signed by Mantle was sold, and it may be way more entertaining than a corked bat — if your sense of humor is a little blue, at least. A bat that eBay member 87montecarlols put up for auction and claims was signed by Mantle contains the greeting “Merry Christmas [expletive]” before his signature. The auction closed Sunday night, and the bat went for $650. Of course, memorabilia is notoriously hard to authenticate, and there isn’t much to go on here. In fact, the seller notes that he does not have any way to authenticate the bat beyond he “was told it was authentic.” So, perhaps take this item with a heavy grain of salt. That being said, as Deadspin points out, this isn’t the first time that an item supposedly signed by Mantle has contained that very same expletive. So, that’s certainly one piece of corroborating, if circumstantial, evidence. Check out a photo of the bat below. We’ve blurred the expletive, but if you really must know, check out the eBay link above or head over to Deadspin, to whom we’ll give a hat tip. Photo via Twitter/@Deadspin
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