Monday, February 23, 2009
Tell us how you really feel, Mick
Can this possibly be real? I have no reason to believe it isn't, but this has got to make Lil' Bob Costas awful sad. It's one thing to be a raging alcoholic and known womanizer, but dropping a "Eff Yogi" is basically like a punch in the balls to the honorary grandpa of all Yankees fans.
According to Darren Rovell of CNBC's "Sports Biz" blog, "Mantle and Yogi got along just fine. But some collectors have said that when Mantle wasn't in his best form, you could get him to write almost anything." I guess this isn't that far-fetched...maybe. People have certainly been convinced to do much more asinine shit while drunk than scribbling an F-Bomb on a baseball. Still though, I find it hard to believe that nobody was sitting next to Mickey during the autograph session watching what he was doing, especially if I'm to assume that he spent his morning pounding scotches at breakfast before the signing event. From what I know about autograph signings and Mickey Mantle, I have to assume that it went down something like this:
Some time circa 1985, a middle-aged dude with a beer gut and an adjustable-back Yankees cap approaches the table at the front of the Airport Hilton conference room after an hour or more in line, eager to meet his boyhood idol. When it's finally his turn to approach the legendary Yankee, he stammers for the right words.
"It's a true honor, Mr. Mantle. I'm a huge fan. What was it like playing in all those World Series with Yogi Berra?"
Mantle, having momentarily fallen into a drunken snooze, awakens with a sharp upward head-snap.
"Yogi Bear!? That sumbitch stole my pic-a-nic basket. I had a whole case 'a Natty Lights in there!"
"No, not Yogi Bear, Yogi Berra, you know, your teammate. He played catcher."
"FACK that guy, man. Gimme this dang ball already."
"Umm, okay Mickey, whatever you say. Do you think you could sign it, '536 HRs?'"
Mickey scribbles something on the ball, slurs something unintelligible, possibly "I'll git that varmint," then passes out face-first on the table. The beer-bellied fan looks down in dismay at the inscription on the ball, not realizing that in roughly 25 years another fanboy with a beer gut will be willing to shell out $2,500 at auction for a baseball with an F-Bomb scrawled on it despite the worst economic recession since World War II.
Like everything else, this will spawn spinoffs. The Shelley Duncan "Red Sox Suck" autograph from '07 is a favorite of mine - making little Sawx kids cry, HILARIOUS! - but it doesn't feature teammate-on-teammate aggression. I'm thinking that the next logical progression in F-Bomb-inscribed baseballs would be a ball signed "Fack Youk, Manny Ramirez." If Mickey Mantle can be duped while drunk, how difficult can it possibly be to fool Manny (who already hates the Youkah as much as I do, and appears to me to be reefed up at pretty much all times)? Drunken defacers of property, I'm looking in your direction. Let's make this happen.
Hat tip to [IT IS HIGH, IT IS FAR, IT IS...Caught]