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Family defends Mantle's integrity in statement

Alleged corked bat in online auction sparks response from HOFer's kin

The family of Yankees Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle was not pleased with the attempted sale of a supposedly corked bat at an online auction, and retained legal counsel to have the item removed.

The New York Post reported earlier this month that the website Grey Flannel Auctions was auctioning the Hillerich & Bradsby Co. bat, which was studied by PSA/DNA authenticator John Taube, who deemed it to be the first corked bat of Mantle's that he had seen or heard of.

On Monday, Mantle's family issued a statement through Mantle I.P. Holdings, Ltd. that said the family had retained the law firm of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP to advise the family of its rights, interests and remedies.

"The statements and suggestions that Dad used a corked bat more than 49 years ago to cheat at the game he worshipped are false," the Mantle family said in a statement. "Let us be clear: Dad didn't need and never used a corked bat. Mickey Mantle was honest about the way he played the game that he loved and to which he devoted his professional life. He was one of the best who ever played the game because of his natural talents and abilities -- and his heart. Our Dad's legacy must be protected and the injury to his reputation must be corrected -- he does not deserve to be the subject of these outrageous fabrications."

A statement from Jonathan Halpern, a partner at the legal firm, said that the online marketer had removed the bat and all mention of it from the website, but made no public mention of the removal from the site or auction sale. Despite the family's "several straightforward, common sense authenticity requests, including the right to review the purported bases for the claim," the family has received no response to the requests.

"We will continue to pursue a correction of the false claims and suggestions, vindication of Mickey Mantle's integrity in the game and restoration of his rightful legacy," Halpern's statement said.

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak.‬ This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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