Joe Pepitone is suing the Baseball Hall of Fame for $1 million and ownership of the bat that his former Yankees teammate, Mickey Mantle, used to swat his 500th career home run.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court in New York, Pepitone claims the bat that has been on display at the Hall of Fame for 54 years was only on loan under the condition that it be returned to him if he ever requested, according to a report in The Athletic. Pepitone reportedly asked for the bat on Sept. 1, 2020, and the Hall of Fame has resisted, countering that he has no rights to the artifact.
The Brooklyn-born Pepitone, 80, claims in the suit that the bat, a “Joe Pepitone” model that includes a facsimile of his signature, was his through an endorsement deal with Louisville Slugger, and that Mantle borrowed it to make history on May 14, 1967.
An interesting point on ownership