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1958 Mickey Mantle Pro Model Bat Confiscated by Umpire Ed Hurley with Letter From Hurley
Starting Bid - $7,500.00, Sold For - $17,400.00
Offered here is undoubtedly the most unique Mickey Mantle game-used bat in existence. This bat is accompanied by a fascinating story and the extraordinary provenance of originating directly from the personal collection of former American League umpire Ed Hurley. Bat collectors will immediately note that the bat itself, a 1958-1960 white-letter Adirondack model 206A, is special in a number of ways. The first important facet of this piece is the block-letter barrel stamping, which reads "Mickey Mantle." That particular stamping, featuring Mantle's full name, is the rarest of the three different Mantle barrel stampings used by Adirondack during that era, the other two being simply "Mantle" or "Mantle Style." The second and most important aspect of its unique nature is the fact that Mantle himself physically altered the bat. When the barrel is rotated, one can easily observe hundreds of tiny perforations (resembling the dimples on a golf ball) upon both the left and right-handed hitting surfaces. It was the presence of those perforations that led umpire Ed Hurley to confiscate the bat from Mantle during a game. The full history of the bat is best left to Hurley, who, in his accompanying letter, writes: "I, Ed Hurley, was a Major League baseball umpire in the American League from 1947 until 1965. It was during the 1958 season that I confiscated this 'Mickey' Mantle white letter Adirondack bat, model 206A, that was being used by Mantle. While at bat, I noticed the Mick's bat revealed pock marking, forming a grid of perforations on the barrel in an area thick enough to cover both sides of the sweet spot for a switch hitter. Apparently Mantle believed the waffle-iron effect would provide more traction and harder contact. I had no choice but to remove it from the game because this practice is against the rules of baseball. Evidently Mantle was able to sneak the bat into previous games, as there is clear evidence of game use. I obtained the bat at that time and it has been in my possession ever since." As Hurley mentions, the bat displays evidence of light use, including ball marks. The lack of heavy use, of course, is due only to the fact that Hurley took the bat away from Mantle, and it makes one wonder just how many times Mantle was able to use this bat before it was eventually confiscated. In addition to its singular nature, this bat also ranks among the most visually appealing of all Mantle pro model bats. White letter Adirondack bats have long been highly prized by collectors for their stunning aesthetics. This bat is no exception and features well-defined manufacturer's stampings throughout. The bat is not cracked and remains in virtually the same state as when Mantle handed it over to Hurley nearly fifty years ago. This is one of the finest and most unusual Mantle bats ever to surface and one that also makes for a spectacular conversation piece. Length: 35 inches. Weight: 32 ounces. Graded A10 by Mears. LOA from Dave Bushing & Troy Kinunen/MEARS. Reserve $7,500. Estimate $15,000/$25,000. SOLD FOR $17,400.00
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