Historic Mickey Mantle Bat Focus Of Landmark Case In Albany Court
With hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, a U.S. District Court presided over a court case involving a historic piece of sports memorabilia.
The piece involved in the lawsuit was a baseball bat, a Louisville Slugger-branded bat that belonged to legendary New York Yankee, Mickey Mantle. That bat was swung, connected with a baseball, and sent Mantle's 500th career home run over the fence.
Another former New York Yankees player, Joe Pepitone, was the one who owned the bat in question. According to the story published by ESPN, Pepitone had lent the bat to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and had decided that he wanted it back.
An agreement could not be reached, and this landmark case went to trial.
As you follow the timeline further, the story gets a bit murkier. According to the Hall of Fame, Pepitone donated this bat more than 50 years ago, and it had lived in Cooperstown uninterrupted ever since. Pepitone's attorneys alleged that their client had signed an agreement where Pepitone could retain the bat at a moment's notice with no issue.
Now, how much money is at stake? Check this out:
"Pepitone had filed the suit in July, seeking compensatory damages of at least $1 million. The bat is currently valued at over $500,000, he claimed." - ESPN
That is a lot of money for, in essence, a piece of wood. One would have to imagine that Pepitone may have wanted to have a bit of that money for himself, and the Hall of Fame may not have wanted the bat to end up in the wrong hands.
All in all, however, the suit that was brought about by Pepitone was dropped on Monday, and the assumption is the bat will remain at the Baseball Hall of Fame.