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X-ray on bat used by Yankee great Mickey Mantle show it was cork - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Did Mickey Cheat?

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The late Mickey Mantle is one of the greatest Yankees of all time and may have used a cork bat, according to an authentication expert. The late Mickey Mantle is one of the greatest Yankees of all time and may have used a cork bat, according to an authentication expert.
Mickey Mantle hit 536 homers before retiring in 1968. How many of those were hit with a corked bat? Mickey Mantle hit 536 homers before retiring in 1968. How many of those were hit with a corked bat?
Mantle, who died in 1995 at age 63, was a celebrity of Derek Jeter-caliber during his heyday. Mantle, who died in 1995 at age 63, was a celebrity of Derek Jeter-caliber during his heyday.
The famed 1964 Mickey Mantle bat is up for auction with Grey Flannel Auctions. An expert says it's corked, which is illegal in Major League Baseball. The famed 1964 Mickey Mantle bat is up for auction with Grey Flannel Auctions. An expert says it's corked, which is illegal in Major League Baseball.

The famed 1964 Mickey Mantle bat is up for auction with Grey Flannel Auctions. An expert says it's corked, which is illegal in Major League Baseball.

The Mick may have used a corked bat in the waning days of his Hall of Fame career.

An auction house says they've gotten their hands on a doctored Mickey Mantle bat — and they're selling it to the highest bidder starting at $5,000.

It's a 35-inch long, 32.6-ounce Hillerich & Bradsby Co. ash baseball bat manufactured in 1964 with "a light coat of pine tar at the mid handle," according to the description on the Grey Flannel Auctions website.

But on closer inspection, authentication expert John Taube noticed a tell-tale spot on the barrel.

"The finish in the area has also been touched up to mask the circular area," Taube reported. "Alterations of this nature indicate the barrel has been drilled and filled with cork."

And an X-ray confirmed it.

There have long been rumors that the Yankee slugger sometimes used a corked bat, but up till now "none of the bats have surfaced," the site claims.

Corking a bat, which supposedly makes it lighter thus enabling the batter to swing faster, is illegal in Major League Baseball.

But Mantle, who hit 536 homers before retiring in 1968, isn't the first hitter to be accused of that.

Chicago Cubs star Sammy Sosa was suspended for eight games in 2003 for using a doctored bat. And last month, a cork-filled Pete Rose bat was sold for $8,000 at auction.

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