Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 5/13/13

Mickey 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.

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