What happens when you X-ray a Hall of Famer's bat? Well, you never know what you might find. Check out this high-dollar item from an auction site:
Offered here is the first corked bat linked to Mickey Mantle and is accompanied by an X-ray of the bat showing the aforementioned cork at the barrel end. As noticed and documented by John Taube of PSA/DNA, "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...this is the first corked bat of Mantle that we have seen or heard of".
In his autobiography, then Minnesota Twins equipment manager Ray Crump admitted that he had corked some bats for Mickey. Until now, none of these bats have surfaced…taking nothing away from the icon and legend of Mickey Mantle, this is indeed a one of a kind piece of NY Yankees and baseball history…a Mantle corked gamer.
There's something really shocking in there.
No, not that Mickey Mantle probably used a corked bat. Babe Ruth and half the other guys in the Hall of Fame probably used corked bats, too. Nobody really cares, and especially now that we know corked bats probably don't even help much (if at all). What's shocking is a Minnesota Twins equipment manager has an autobiography?
Yup, he sure does.
Oh, and speaking of shocking, here's what seems to me an obvious question ... Why would someone who works for the Minnesota Twins be corking bats for someone who works for the New York Yankees? Let me just say right now that when I own the Kansas City Royals someday and you're working for me, if I catch you corking bats for Mason Williams, you're fired. No warning, no severance pay, no referral, no nothing and don't let the clubhouse door hit your ass on the way out.
Hat Tip: USAToday.com's Ted Berg