Some athletes go beyond stardom and being seen as a hero in the eyes of the fans. Mickey Mantle was one of those athletes. Mantle’s presence and moonshot home runs made him more of a Greek God than a baseball player.
Could he have cheated at a time in his career? No, I’m not talking about his excessive amounts of drinking, but Mantle supposedly corked his bat at least once.
While x-raying a game-used 1964 Mantle bat, evidence of Mantle trying to find a way to gain an advantage in his barrel was found.
John Taube, PSA/DNA authentication expert explained the findings as follows:
“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.”
Taube has also examined a corked bat used by Pete Rose in the past. Both bats were used at the end of the stars careers.
Mantle will never be able to explain the situation with his passing, but the findings are sad and unfortunately can change some baseball fans minds about Mantle.
The corked bat may come as a surprise, because Mantle has never been accused of such acts. He has always been seen as a country strong hitter that would never dare to cheat the game of baseball.
Athletes have done whatever they can to get an advantage from Ty Cobb sharpening his spikes to Alex Rodriguez kissing himself in the mirror. Do not let this bat change your mind about the legend of Mickey Mantle. He is still one of the greatest baseball players of all-time and more facts will need to be found.
And if you think cheating is something new in baseball, think again. Read the book Crazy ’08, by Cait Murphy about the 1908 baseball season.
I completely agree. Cheating has been around for ages, and this incident does not surprise me at all. Thanks for the suggestion too, I’ll have to check it out.
Here is a question – and perhaps it was answered during the examination and inquiry. What exactly has been the chain of ownership of this bat post 1964? And can we rule out that the bat was not tampered with “after” Mantle gave up possession. Don’t mean to go all “CSI” on everyone, just curious.