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Thread: Mantle Bat was Corked
05-04-2013, 11:00 AM #1
Mantle Bat was CorkedAccording to Barry Petchesky at Deadspin.com, an authentication expert concluded that a 1964 game-used Mickey Mantle bat that was going up for auction contained cork in the barrel.
After frantically searching the interwebs for a different Mickey Mantle, we have to confirm, sadly, that this can only be the legendary Yankees outfielder standing before the court of public opinion tonight.
In a modern era defined by genetically enhanced sluggers and clouds of accusations hanging over some of today's best players, this one hurts.
We know that cheating, in some capacity, is an unspoken tradition of sorts in baseball, dating back to the spitballers in the first half of the 20th century. But most of these cases are attached to guys who are already unlikable. Pete Rose—whose game-used bat was also the victim of this same expert's DNA scanner a few years ago—immediately springs to mind.
But this is entirely different. This is an accusation against a man and a player whom aspiring athletes worshiped and baseball junkies enshrine as the gold standard of sluggers. Mantle is a unanimous selection for the Mt. Rushmore of Yankees, which is no small task considering their storied history.
Surely, a situation like this calls for reflection upon the accused's career. Granted, this was a bat used in Mantle's age-32 season, so he was on the downswing of his prime. But he still hit .303 with 35 home runs and 111 RBI that season and finished second in the MVP voting.
So make what you will of the time frame that this bat was used in and feel free to draw your own conclusions about the seasons (or games, even) prior and beyond. But the suspicion lingers when the proof is there and the numbers are huge.
It's been theorized that cork in a wooden bat doesn't actually help the ball to go any farther and might actually deaden the impact. But many players who have corked likely did so in order to achieve the use of a lighter, longer bat that allowed them to swing harder and reach more areas of the plate.
Regardless of the actual effectiveness of bat corking, the fact remains that it is illegal, both in baseball law and moral code.
Rose won't get a second chance, despite never betting against his own team, because he broke a cardinal sin in baseball.
But it's easier to write off a guy who was classified as a jerk than someone who everyone aspired to be like. Mantle will forever be a legend, no matter what short cuts he may or may not have taken, and there is something inherently wrong with that.
Of course, Mantle has been dead for nearly two decades. But does this mean we grant the Yankee great a waiver? Does he get a free pass for being one of the best for over 60 years (the days from his debut as a rookie until the news broke today)?
It may be wrong, but it may be all we have.
Mantle may have stuck his loyal fans with the burden of knowledge that he wasn't who we perceived him to be. It's up to the ones who care to discuss the issue of whether Mantle's legacy is tainted. Do we give The Mick the benefit of the doubt? Do we carve an asterisk into his plaque at Cooperstown?
Probably, and definitely not, respectively. It doesn't mean that's the right outcome, but it's the only one.
To the outside observer, the name "Mickey Mantle" will forever echo glory and stand for all that is right in sports. To the diehard fans, the name may now catch in your throat. Or, if you so choose, it may continue to ring clear. (Do we know it wasn't a one-time fluke? Do we know this isn't a hoax?)
Mantle isn't here to defend himself, and he never will be again. In the sense that Mantle is one of the greatest players to ever grace a baseball diamond, he will remain immortal.
And the ultimate decision of whether or not this incident taints his legacy is ours to carry, individually, and unfortunately, forever.
05-04-2013, 11:22 AM #2
well if you believe the tv show myth busters a corked bat actually hurts a hitter more than it helps him... now as for it being illegal in baseball well yes it is but like in life there is degrees of crime and a corked bat does not rank as high as betting on baseball (Rose), fixing the World Series (White Sox) or even for that matter using steroids
so my opinion is it will be big news for a short time but in the long run it wont tarnish his legacy much if at all
05-04-2013, 11:34 AM #3
If what Rose says is true and he only bet on his own team, who cares. I'd think that was a far less of a "crime" than using corked bats or steroids. Obviously nothing gets worse than intentionally throwing a game.
05-04-2013, 11:34 AM #4
Using a corked bat isn't as bad as throwing the World Series, but how is it not as bad as betting on baseball? Betting on games has no direct impact on the actual games, whereas using a corked bat does (Doesn't necessarily make the ball go farther, but it makes the bat lighter, letting you swing faster, therefore getting more power and the ability to reach more areas of the plate)
05-04-2013, 11:35 AM #5
05-04-2013, 01:42 PM #6
As a Yankees fan, this puts me in a tough spot. There are so many ways to go with this. He may have actually used it, or somebody else drilled the bat and filled it with the cork. Am I denying he used it? No. There is a great possibility that somebody else got a hold of the bat and did this. Cause honestly, can you imagine the publicity of this, not to mention the fact that it may fetch even more at auction than a normal bat because it's the first of its kind to come on the market. I just find it hard to believe that it has taken this long for a "corked Mantle bat" to hit the market. Now there is the other possibility and that is that he used it. If this is the case, I doubt he used it for it for the majority of his career. You have to remember that by the time he was 30 or so, he probably had the body of a 45 year old. If he did use it, it was simply because his body was so beat it was the only way he could still be an effective hitter at the plate. I am in no way justifying it, I'm just being honest. There is 0 chance he used it his entire career.
05-04-2013, 02:07 PM #7
Just a couple instances of people being suspicious/unhappy with this company's services. This is, once again, why I wouldn't be shocked if this bat is a load of balogna.
05-04-2013, 03:20 PM #8
05-05-2013, 12:17 AM #9
05-05-2013, 01:17 AM #10
Oh please. Mantle was built like a Greek God. He didn't need a cork in his bat to hit the ball a country mile. He was hitting bombs when he was in the minors. Did he have a corked bat then, too?
This is an example of "any idiot with a computer can write a stupid article". If you have an agenda, and time to kill, you can besmirch a player if you really want to. The bat in question has been out of his hands for how long now? Who knows what somebody might have done to it.
Here, sell me a Babe Ruth game used bat. I'll stick some cork in it, and write a book about how Ruth cheated, too. Ridiculous.
I put absolutely zero credence into this. None.Collecting pre-war, vintage and modern baseball cards.
Currently working on the T206 set, 1975 Topps, master collections of Roberto Clemente and Robin Yount.