A link to this auction was posted on Pat Neshek’s forum. The item is supposed to be a game-used, corked bat used by Brewers legend and Hall of Famer Robin Yount. I for one won’t pass any sort of judgement based on this one piece of evidence suggesting Yount was a “cheater”. For one, even though they have very good reason to believe the bat was used by Yount extensively, it’s still not like they took the bat right out of his hands and caught him red-handed. I don’t know much about the process of corking a bat, but theoretically couldn’t it have been done after he retired the bat? I’m not saying I think that’s the case either. I’m just saying their are too many possibilities to brand Yount a cheater.
I’ll include the text in it’s entirety due to the fact that this is from an auction site and the page may expire.
This is a 1983-85 Robin Yount Louisville Slugger Professional Model Game Used Corked Bat. This bat dates to the 1983-85 period based on the Louisville Slugger centerbrand period, and the Louisville Slugger factory records, which indicate that Yount ordered the P72C 35″ no finish model bat during the entire 1983-85 centerbrand period. There are several orders of this model bat, made by Baseball Promotions, but based on the distinct ball marks and grain separation present along the top of the barrel, this bat has been attributed to one of the orders, which was sent to Yount himself. This P72C (Cupped Barrel) model bat currently weighs 34.4 ounces and measures 35 inches in length.
This bat exhibits heavy use with ball marks present on all sides of the barrel, but the majority of use visible along the top of the barrel as evidenced by the compressed grains. Blue ball marks, black bat rack marks adorn the barrel of this bat. Yount’s jersey number, 19, appears in black marker on both the knob and barrel end of the bat. The very interesting part of this bat, and what makes it special is the apparent corking, a trait banned by MLB rules, visible inside of the cupped barrel end, which slightly distorts the jersey number 19. The knob of this bat also has 1992 written on it in red ink, which indicates the date that this bat was obtained by a local Milwaukee collector.
Yount was a lifelong Brewer beginning his career with the Brewers in 1974, only a season after being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers out of High School. Young ended up playing 20 years for the Milwaukee Brewers organization racking up 3,142 and 251 Home Runs during his career while hitting .285. Yount obtained many accolades during his career including 3 All-Star Game Selections, 1 Golden Glove Award, 3 Silver Slugger Awards, 2-time American League MVP, and an American League Championship. He was a first ballot Hall of Fame selection in 1999 with 77.5% of the vote. He now appears in the Hall of Cooperstown along with some of other greatest in Major League Baseball history.
This bat grades out at the MEARS A9 grade with five points for the base grade, three points for heavy use, one point for the documented uniform number on the knob, and no point deductions.
This should be a reminder to everyone that cheating in baseball has been around since baseball began. Guys hid baseballs in tall outfield grass to “get to the ball” quicker. Guys ran from first to third when the ump wasn’t looking. Guys were taking greenies in the 70s.That’s not to say that the steroid era is ok for the game and it’s not to say that we should give up on baseball and it’s history of cheating. It’s just to say, it is what it is. Take it or leave it. Certainly everyone who can should do their part to stop cheaters from being successful, but we shouldn’t demonize cheaters. This whole steroid era shouldn’t be looked at as a dark age for baseball. It’s an era with an ugly side. But some wonderful baseball has also been played over the last 15 years. A lot of fond memories come from players who were on PEDs. Sadly we’ll probably find out that some of those memories from clean players… aren’t from clean players at all. It is what it is. We can hate it, we can fight it. But we shouldn’t let it change our perception of the game of baseball.