Former Yankee Joe Pepitone sues Baseball Hall of Fame over Mickey Mantle bat

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Former New York Yankees first baseman Joe Pepitone is suing the Baseball Hall of Fame over the bat Mickey Mantle used to hit his 500th home run, according to Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic.

The bat belonged to Pepitone, but Mantle borrowed it when he hit the 500th home run of his career. Pepitone's lawsuit states he loaned the bat to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but it came with the condition that the bat would be returned if Pepitone wanted it back. 

Pepitone reportedly asked for the bat last September, but the Hall of Fame has not given it back, according to The Athletic.

"Pepitone unequivocally demanded that the Museum return the Bat on September 1, 2020, as promised," the lawsuit alleges. "The Museum has unreasonably and unlawfully refused Pepitone's demand to return the Bat and continues to possess the Bat without legal cause or justification over Pepitone’s objection."

The Baseball Hall of Fame believes it owns the bat after the Yankees donated it to the museum in 1967. 

Pepitone claimed he was told by a Yankees executive the bat would be loaned to the Hall of Fame. Pepitone also said he's visited the Hall of Fame multiple times, and was told the bat would be returned to Pepitone if he requested it. 

Mickey Mantle hit 500th home run in 1967

Mantle hit his 500th career home run during a game against the Baltimore Orioles in 1967.

Mantle played just one more year before retiring from baseball. He finished his career with 536 home runs. That figure ranks 18th on the all-time list.

Yankees' batter Mickey Mantle blasts his 500th career home run off Stu Miller in the 7th inning of the May 14th game with Baltimore. Mantle was the 6th player in the major leagues to have hit 500 homers.
Yankees' batter Mickey Mantle blasts his 500th career home run off Stu Miller in the 7th inning of the May 14th game with Baltimore. Mantle was the 6th player in the major leagues to have hit 500 homers.

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