Paul Kafasis, writing at One Foot Tsunami:
I’ve actually heard this hilariously vulgar story before, but I
had no idea there was a physical artifact written in Mantle’s own
hand. Now, incredibly, it’s available for sale. The
current bid, at time of publication, is $24,826. Despite the sum
involved, I hope whoever wins this auction donates the letter to
the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, where it can be
displayed publicly. That belongs in a museum!
As a result of this auction, additional details have come out.
However, I’m undecided if I believe them. Give the following a
read, and decide for yourself.
Baseball collector Keith Olbermann describes the Mantle letter as the second-most obscene piece of memorabilia in the sport’s long (and sordid) history. First place — in Olbermann’s mind — goes to the 1898 “Special Instructions to Players” memo, which, as Letters of Note describes, “was in fact so expletive-laden and obscene as to be “unmailable” to its intended audience via the postal service, and so was delivered by hand to each of the League’s 12 clubs and their foul-mouthed players.”
It’s a close call.