The family of Mickey Mantle has applied a corkscrew to Grey Flannel Auctions.
On May 3, the auction house announced it would be auctioning an authentic Mantle bat at the end of May.
Oh, and it said there was something special about this particular bat: It was corked.
The auction announcement was accompanied by a statement from John Taube, a professional bat authenticator, which said, "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."
A Mantle corked bat? What would Roger Maris have said?
On Monday, Mantle's family spoke out.
"Our Dad loved, revered and dedicated his whole life and professional career to the game of baseball," the Mantle family said in a statement released by Mantle I.P. Holdings, Ltd. "… 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."