You'll recall that earlier this month, news broke of a Mickey Mantle bat that was going to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. The hook, of course, was that this was not your garden-variety Mickey Mantle bat. No, it was a corked Mickey Mantle bat. Grey Flannel Auctions provided an X-ray and everything ...
Now, though, FoxSports.com reports that plans for said auction have been canceled after the Mantle family threatened legal action. Here's the statement that the family released:
"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."
Little room for interpretation there. All of this doesn't mean that the bat or X-ray were doctored (although that's possible, of course). Rather, it's possible that the auction house saw the costs of a legal entanglement as outweighing the possible benefits of a sale of the bat in question.
As always, score one for the attorneys.