Mickey Mantle

Mickey Charles Mantle (October 20, 1931 – August 13, 1995) was an American baseball player, regarded as one of the best of all time. He played his entire professional career for the New York Yankees.

Youth

This person is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Mickey Mantle was born in Spavinaw, Oklahoma. He was named in honor of Mickey Cochrane, the Hall of Fame catcher from the Detroit Tigers, by his father, who was an amateur player and fervent fan. Apparently his father was not aware that Cochrane's real name was Gordon. In later life, Mickey Mantle expressed great relief that his father had not known Cochrane's real first name, as he would have hated to be named Gordon. Mantle always spoke warmly of his beloved father and said he was the bravest man he ever knew. "No boy ever loved his father more," he said. Sadly, his father died of cancer at the age of 39, just as his son was starting his career. Mantle said one of the great heartaches of his life was that he never told his father he loved him.

When Mantle was four years old, the family moved to the nearby town of Commerce, Oklahoma. Mantle was an all-around athlete at Commerce High School, playing basketball and football in addition to his first love, baseball. It was his football playing that nearly ended his athletic career, and indeed his life. Kicked in the shin during a game, Mantle's leg soon became infected with osteomyelitis, a crippling disease that would have been incurable just a few years earlier. A midnight ride to Tulsa enabled Mantle to be treated with newly available penicillin, saving his leg from amputation. He would suffer from the effects of the disease for the rest of his life, and it would lead to many other injuries that hampered his accomplishments. Additionally, Mantle's osteomyelitic condition exempted him from military service, a fact which caused him to become very unpopular with fans, as his earliest days in baseball coincided with the Korean War. This unpopularity, mainly with older fans, would dramatically reverse after he finished second to Roger Maris in the pursuit of Babe Ruth's home run record in 1961. He spent the last years of his career as a wildly popular icon of the entire sport.

Playing career

"Mutt" Mantle taught his son how to be a switch-hitter. Mickey had played shortstop in the minor leagues, but on arrival at the Yankees, he became the regular right fielder (playing only a few games at shortstop and third base in 1952 to 1955). He moved to center field in 1952, replacing Joe DiMaggio, who retired at the end of the 1951 season after one year playing alongside Mantle in the Yankees outfield. He played center field until 1967, when he was moved to first base. Among Mantle's many accomplishments are all-time World Series records for home runs (18), runs scored (42), and runs batted in (40).

Mantle also hit some of the longest home runs in Major League history. On September 10, 1960, he hit a ball that cleared the right-field roof at Tiger Stadium in Detroit and, based on where it was found, was estimated years after the fact to have traveled more than 600 feet, though it probably was closer to 500 feet. Another Mantle homer at Griffith Stadium in Washington on April 17, 1953, was said to have traveled 565 feet. Years later William J. Jenkinson, who specializes on information of long distance homeruns, said that the actual distance was probably 510 feet.

In 1956, Mantle won the Hickok Belt as top professional athlete of the year. This was his "favorite summer," a year that saw him win the Triple Crown, leading the majors with a .353 batting average, 52 HR, and 130 RBI on the way to his first of three MVP awards. Though the American League Triple Crown has been won twice since then, Mantle remains the last man to win the Major League Triple Crown.

On January 16, 1961, Mantle became the highest-paid baseball player by signing a $75,000 contract. DiMaggio, Hank Greenberg and Ted Williams, who had just retired, had been paid over $100,000 in a season, and Ruth had a peak salary of $80,000. But Mantle became the highest-paid active player of his time.

Retirement

Mantle announced his retirement on March 1, 1969, and in 1974, as soon as he was eligible, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame; his uniform number 7 was retired by the Yankees. (He had briefly worn uniform number 6, as a continuation of Babe Ruth's 3, Lou Gehrig's 4, and Joe DiMaggio's 5, in 1951, but his poor performance led to his temporary demotion to a minor league in mid-season. When he returned, Bobby Brown, who had worn number 6 before Mantle, had reclaimed it, so Mantle was given number 7. Nowadays, certain future number-retiree manager Joe Torre wears 6, and the 8 belonging to catchers Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra has already been retired - Derek Jeter's 2 may very well also join the list of consecutive retired numbers.) When he retired, the Mick was third on the all-time home run list with 536.

Despite being among the best-paid players of the pre-free agency era, Mantle was a poor businessman, having made several unlucky investments. His lifestyle would be restored to one of luxury, and his hold on his fans raised to an amazing level, by his position of leadership in the sports memorabilia craze that swept the USA beginning in the 1980's. Mantle was a prize guest at any baseball card show, commanding fees far in excess of any other player for his appearances and autographs. This popularity continues long after his death, as Mantle-related items far outsell those of any other player except possibly the unmatched Babe Ruth, whose items, due to the distance of years, now exist in far smaller quantities.

Despite the failure of Mickey Mantle's Country Cookin' restaurants in the early 1970s, Mickey Mantle's Restaurant & Sports Bar opened in New York at 42 Central Park South (59th Street) in 1988. It became one of New York's most popular restaurants, and his original Yankee Stadium Monument Park plaque is displayed at the front entrance. Mantle let others run the business operations, but made frequent appearances. But his drinking led radio show host Don Imus to joke, "If you get to Mickey Mantle's restaurant after midnight, you win a free dinner if you can guess which table Mickey's under."

In 1983, Mantle and Willie Mays took jobs promoting Atlantic City casinos, and were suspended from baseball by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn. They were reinstated in 1985 by Kuhn's successor, Peter Ueberroth.

Troubled family

On December 23, 1951, he married Merlyn Johnson in their hometown of Commerce, Oklahoma; they had four sons. In an autobiography, Mantle said he married Merlyn not because he loved her, but because his domineering father told him to. While his drinking became public knowledge during his lifetime, the press kept his many marital infidelities quiet.

The couple had four children, all sons: Mickey Jr. (born in 1953), David (1955), and Billy (1957, whom Mickey named for Billy Martin, his best friend among his Yankee teammates), and Danny (1960). Like Mickey, Merlyn and the sons all became alcoholics, and Billy developed Hodgkin's disease as several previous Mantle men had. This led to him developing a dependence on prescription painkillers.

Mickey Mantle has four grandchildren. Mickey Jr. had a daughter, Mallory. David and his wife Marla have a daughter, Marilyn. Danny and his wife Kay have a son, Will, and a daughter, Chloe. Danny and Will played a father and son watching Mickey, played by Thomas Jane, hit a home run in the 2001 film 61*.

Mickey and Merlyn had been separated for 15 years when he died, but neither ever filed for divorce. Mantle lived with his agent, Greer Johnson. Johnson was taken to federal court in November 1997 by the Mantle family to stop her from auctioning many of Mantle's personal items, including a lock of hair, a neck brace and expired credit cards.

He loved cherry pie and slept with his socks on inside out. During the final years of his life, Mantle purchased a luxury condominium on Lake Oconee near Greensboro, Georgia, near Greer Johnson's home, and freqently stayed there for months at the time. He occasionally attended the local Methodist church, and sometimes ate Sunday dinner with members of the congregation. He was well-liked by the citizens of Greensboro, and seemed to like them in return. This was probably because the town respected Mantle's privacy, refusing either to talk about their famous neighbor to outsiders or to direct fans to his home. In one interview, Mickey stated that the people of Greensboro had "gone out of their way to make me feel welcome, and I've found something there I haven't enjoyed since I was a kid."

Mantle's last days

Well before he finally sought treatment for alcoholism, Mantle admitted that his hard living had hurt his playing and his family. His rationale was that the men in his family had all died young, so he expected to as well. "I'm not gonna be cheated," he'd say. As the years passed, and he realized he had outlived the men in his family -- not realizing that working in mines and inhaling lead and zinc dust aided Hodgkin's and other cancers as much as heredity did -- he frequently used a line popularized by elderly comedian George Burns: "If I'd known I was gonna live this long, I'd have taken a lot better care of myself."

Mantle's wife and sons all completed treatment for alcoholism, and told him he needed to do the same. He checked into the Betty Ford Clinic on January 7, 1994, after being told by a doctor that his liver was so badly damaged, "Your next drink could be your last."

Shortly after completing treatment, his son Billy died on March 12, at age 36, of heart trouble, brought on by years of substance abuse. Despite the fears of those who knew him, who feared that this tragedy would send him back to drinking, he remained sober. Mickey Jr. would also die of liver cancer on December 20, 2000, at age 47. Danny would later battle prostate cancer.

Mantle spoke with great remorse of his drinking in a Sports Illustrated article, "My Life In A Bottle." He said that he was telling the same old stories, and realizing how much of them involved himself and others being drunk, and he decided they weren't funny anymore. He admitted he had often been cruel and hurtful to family, friends, and fans because of his alcoholism, and sought to make amends. He became a born-again Christian due to his former teammate Bobby Richardson, an ordained Baptist minister, sharing his faith with him. After the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, he joined with fellow Oklahoman and Yankee legend Bobby Murcer to raise money for the victims.

Mantle received a liver transplant at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, on June 8, 1995, after his liver had been damaged by years of chronic alcoholism, cirrhosis, and hepatitis C. In July, he had recovered enough to deliver a press conference at Baylor, and noted that many fans had looked to him as a role model. "This is a role model: Don't be like me," he said. He also established the Mickey Mantle Foundation to raise awareness for organ donations. Soon, he was back in the hospital, where it was found that his liver cancer spread throughout his body.

Mickey Mantle died on August 13, 1995, at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. He was 63 years old. He was interred in the Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery in Dallas. Mantle had asked country singer Roy Clark, his good friend, to perform his favorite song "Yesterday, When I Was Young" at his funeral:

In eulogizing Mantle, Bob Costas described the legend as "a fragile hero to whom we had an emotional attachment so strong and lasting that it defied logic. In the last years of his life, Mickey Mantle, always so hard on himself, finally began to appreciate the difference between a role model and a hero. The first, he often was not. The last, he forever will be. And, in the end, people got it kid."

Honors

On Mickey Mantle Day, June 8, 1969, in addition to the retirement of his uniform number 7, Mantle was given a plaque that would hang on the center field wall at Yankee Stadium, near the monuments to Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Miller Huggins. The plaque was given to him by Joe DiMaggio, and Mantle then gave DiMaggio a similar plaque, telling the crowd, "His should be just a little bit higher than mine." When Yankee Stadium was reopened in 1976 following its renovation, the plaques and monuments were moved to Monument Park, behind the left-center field fence. Shortly before his death, Mantle videotaped a message to be played on Old-Timers' Day, which he was too ill to attend. He said, "When I died, I wanted on my tombstone, 'A great teammate.' But I didn't think it would be this soon." The words were indeed carved on the plaque marking his resting place at the family mausoleum in Dallas. On August 25, 1996, about a year after his death, Mantle's Monument Park plaque was replaced with a monument, bearing the words "A great teammate" and keeping a phrase that had been included on the original plaque: "A magnificent Yankee who left a legacy of unequaled courage."

Mantle and former teammate Whitey Ford were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame together in 1974, Mantle in his first year of eligibility, Ford in his second. In 1999, The Sporting News placed Mantle at number 17 on their list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players. That same year, he was one of 100 nominees for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team, and was chosen by fan balloting as one of the Team's outfielders. While most fans who remember them both tend to rate Willie Mays as a better player than Mantle, Mantle remains the most popular player of the 1950s and 1960s, even as Mays, Hank Aaron and others outlived him by many years.

In 2006, Mantle will be featured on a United States postage stamp [1]. The stamp is one of a series of four honoring Baseball Sluggers.


Present

Mickey Mantle has some decendents in Wichita, Kansas. The decendents own Campbell Castle or The Castle Inn.


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The decendents own Campbell Castle or The Castle Inn. He was ranked as the #1 Factory Driver for Nissan for 7 years, as well as two IMSA GTS Driving Championships and two IMSA GTS Manufacturer's Championships. Mickey Mantle has some decendents in Wichita, Kansas. From 1990 to 1995, the 300ZX (Z32), who was campaigned by Clayton Cunningham Racing was championed by Steve Millen in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and its GT and GTS classes.
. The VG30ET was making upwards of 800HP, with a power band that extended from 4000 to 9000 RPM. The stamp is one of a series of four honoring Baseball Sluggers. The new Electramotive (later to become NPTI) chassis was easier to work on, more robust and technically superior to the T810.

In 2006, Mantle will be featured on a United States postage stamp [1]. Additional factory endorcement, combined with a new chassis, gearbox and more reliable Good Year tires contributed to the team's success. While most fans who remember them both tend to rate Willie Mays as a better player than Mantle, Mantle remains the most popular player of the 1950s and 1960s, even as Mays, Hank Aaron and others outlived him by many years. From 1988 to 1989, the Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo dominated in IMSA GTP racing. That same year, he was one of 100 nominees for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team, and was chosen by fan balloting as one of the Team's outfielders. A series of crashes attributed to tire blowouts combined with difficulty of working on the T810 chassis caused less than stellar performance both seasons. In 1999, The Sporting News placed Mantle at number 17 on their list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players. From 1985 to 1987, the Electramotive-developed GTP ZX-Turbo was raced in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) GTP class using a Lola T810 Chassis and a production-based VG30ET engine.

Mantle and former teammate Whitey Ford were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame together in 1974, Mantle in his first year of eligibility, Ford in his second. The car scored their only Trans Am win in 1986 at Lyme Rock by Paul Newman for Bob Sharp Racing. On August 25, 1996, about a year after his death, Mantle's Monument Park plaque was replaced with a monument, bearing the words "A great teammate" and keeping a phrase that had been included on the original plaque: "A magnificent Yankee who left a legacy of unequaled courage.". In 1984 to 1985 showroom stock racing, the 300ZX (Z31) was a potent competitor and captured wins on numerous occasions. He said, "When I died, I wanted on my tombstone, 'A great teammate.' But I didn't think it would be this soon." The words were indeed carved on the plaque marking his resting place at the family mausoleum in Dallas. From the year it was introduced, it won many comparison tests against similar Japanese sports cars such as the Mitsubishi 3000GT/Dodge Stealth and the Mazda RX-7, as well as the Chevrolet Corvette and the Porsche 968. Shortly before his death, Mantle videotaped a message to be played on Old-Timers' Day, which he was too ill to attend. It was critically acclaimed by many magazines as being a complete turnaround from the Z31, which many critics felt was a sloppy-handling GT, far from the agile, sporty 240Z of years past.

The plaque was given to him by Joe DiMaggio, and Mantle then gave DiMaggio a similar plaque, telling the crowd, "His should be just a little bit higher than mine." When Yankee Stadium was reopened in 1976 following its renovation, the plaques and monuments were moved to Monument Park, behind the left-center field fence. The Z32 Turbo was also Motor Trend's Import Car of the Year for 1990. On Mickey Mantle Day, June 8, 1969, in addition to the retirement of his uniform number 7, Mantle was given a plaque that would hang on the center field wall at Yankee Stadium, near the monuments to Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Miller Huggins. The Z32 300ZX Turbo was on Car and Driver magazine's annual Ten Best list every year it was available, from 1990 through 1996. And, in the end, people got it kid.". Production of the Z32 continued in Japan until 1999 through a major redesign in 1998, in naturally aspirated 2-seater, 2+2 seater, and "R" versions, which were 2+2 twin turbo models (as pictured above). The last, he forever will be. The price of a Twin Turbo 300ZX rose to US $45,000 that year, too high for many consumers and far from the US $27,000 price it had started with.

The first, he often was not. The Z32 was discontinued in 1996 in North America due to dwindling sales figures, heightened smog regulations, and rising production costs. In the last years of his life, Mickey Mantle, always so hard on himself, finally began to appreciate the difference between a role model and a hero. These cars had features such as flamboyant bodywork and paint and extensive performance upgrades, resulting in 460 bhp (343 kW) 1991 edition and 365 bhp (272 kW) 1995 edition. In eulogizing Mantle, Bob Costas described the legend as "a fragile hero to whom we had an emotional attachment so strong and lasting that it defied logic. In 1991, as well as in 1995 for the Z's 25th anniversary, Steve Millen, a famous race-car driver from New Zealand, built a limited-edition run of 300 tuned 300ZXs, known as the SMZ, through his company Stillen. Mantle had asked country singer Roy Clark, his good friend, to perform his favorite song "Yesterday, When I Was Young" at his funeral:. Twin Turbo models featured electronically adjustable shock absorbers, and Nissan's all-wheel-steering system SUPER HICAS (Super High Capacity Actively Controlled Suspension), which could turn the rear wheels a full two degrees at speed.

He was interred in the Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery in Dallas. The platform was new, with a longer 97-in wheelbase and sophisticated multi-link suspension front and rear. He was 63 years old. One major difference between the VG30E(T) in the Z31 and the VG30DE(TT) placed in the Z32 was the dual overhead cam design and variable valve timing system (which was removed in 1996 to meet smog regulation). Mickey Mantle died on August 13, 1995, at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. It also featured larger 245/45-16 and 16x8.5 wheels in the back as opposed to the 225/50-16 tires in front and on the NA version. Soon, he was back in the hospital, where it was found that his liver cancer spread throughout his body. They also came with the requisite "Twin Turbo" badging in the rear and a subtle tail spoiler, which was enlarged and redesigned in 1994.

He also established the Mickey Mantle Foundation to raise awareness for organ donations. The twin-turbo Z32s can be spotted with a different front bumper featuring three vents for supplying air to the dual intercoolers, as opposed to the naturally aspirated (NA) models. "This is a role model: Don't be like me," he said. Twin Turbo models were not offered as a 2+2 or convertible in the United States. In July, he had recovered enough to deliver a press conference at Baylor, and noted that many fans had looked to him as a role model. A naturally aspirated convertible model was also introduced in 1993. Mantle received a liver transplant at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, on June 8, 1995, after his liver had been damaged by years of chronic alcoholism, cirrhosis, and hepatitis C. It featured a naturally aspirated engine rated at 222 hp, and a top-of-the-line Twin-Turbo version rated at 300 hp (224 kW) at 9.5 lbf/in² (66 kPa) of boost through two intercoolers.

Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, he joined with fellow Oklahoman and Yankee legend Bobby Murcer to raise money for the victims. The Z32 was a complete redesign. After the bombing of the Alfred P. Nissan replaced this very successful car with an upgraded (and much more expensive) version in 1990, dubbed the Z32 but also called 300ZX because it kept the same 3.0L of displacement. He became a born-again Christian due to his former teammate Bobby Richardson, an ordained Baptist minister, sharing his faith with him. The Z31 was in production until 1989 and sold more cars than any other Z car made to date. He admitted he had often been cruel and hurtful to family, friends, and fans because of his alcoholism, and sought to make amends. The Z31 was slightly restyled in 1987 due to its quickly aging design.

Mantle spoke with great remorse of his drinking in a Sports Illustrated article, "My Life In A Bottle." He said that he was telling the same old stories, and realizing how much of them involved himself and others being drunk, and he decided they weren't funny anymore. There were no stellar differences setting the SS apart from a regular 1988 model 300ZX Turbo except for the pearl white paint, front air dam, wheels, suspension and a viscous limited-slip differential in place of the clutch type. Danny would later battle prostate cancer. In 1988 Nissan released a pearl white 300ZX "Shiro Special" (AKA SS) with stiffer springs, matched shocks and no available options. would also die of liver cancer on December 20, 2000, at age 47. In 1984, the 300ZX 50th Anniversary Edition was released in celebration of the company's 50th anniversary. Mickey Jr. There were also two special models produced.

Despite the fears of those who knew him, who feared that this tragedy would send him back to drinking, he remained sober. All turbo charged models featured 3-way electronically adjustable shock absorbers. Shortly after completing treatment, his son Billy died on March 12, at age 36, of heart trouble, brought on by years of substance abuse. The chassis remained somewhat similar to the 280ZX, with the same 91.3 in (2319 mm) wheelbase and MacPherson strut/trailing arm independent suspension, however the 300ZX both handled and accelerated better than the 280ZX it replaced. He checked into the Betty Ford Clinic on January 7, 1994, after being told by a doctor that his liver was so badly damaged, "Your next drink could be your last.". In Japan, the turbo version became the highest horsepower available in a consumer vehicle on the JDM market. Mantle's wife and sons all completed treatment for alcoholism, and told him he needed to do the same. Later versions of the same engines were rated at 165 and 205 horsepower.

As the years passed, and he realized he had outlived the men in his family -- not realizing that working in mines and inhaling lead and zinc dust aided Hodgkin's and other cancers as much as heredity did -- he frequently used a line popularized by elderly comedian George Burns: "If I'd known I was gonna live this long, I'd have taken a lot better care of myself.". It offered V6 engines (the earilier Z-cars were all powered with an I6) for the first time in the Z chassis: a naturally-aspirated VG30E and turbocharged VG30ET, which initially produced 160 and 200 horsepower (127 and 172 kW), respectively. "I'm not gonna be cheated," he'd say. After 1984, the 300ZX was sold under the Nissan name. His rationale was that the men in his family had all died young, so he expected to as well. The Z31 chassis designation was first introduced in 1983 as a 1984 model and the third-generation Datsun Z-car. Well before he finally sought treatment for alcoholism, Mantle admitted that his hard living had hurt his playing and his family. .

In one interview, Mickey stated that the people of Greensboro had "gone out of their way to make me feel welcome, and I've found something there I haven't enjoyed since I was a kid.". It comprises the third and fourth generations of Nissan's Z-car line-up, respectively given the chassis designations Z31 and Z32. This was probably because the town respected Mantle's privacy, refusing either to talk about their famous neighbor to outsiders or to direct fans to his home. The Nissan 300ZX, also known as the Nissan Fairlady Z is a sports car produced by Nissan Motor Company. He was well-liked by the citizens of Greensboro, and seemed to like them in return. He occasionally attended the local Methodist church, and sometimes ate Sunday dinner with members of the congregation.

During the final years of his life, Mantle purchased a luxury condominium on Lake Oconee near Greensboro, Georgia, near Greer Johnson's home, and freqently stayed there for months at the time. He loved cherry pie and slept with his socks on inside out. Johnson was taken to federal court in November 1997 by the Mantle family to stop her from auctioning many of Mantle's personal items, including a lock of hair, a neck brace and expired credit cards. Mantle lived with his agent, Greer Johnson.

Mickey and Merlyn had been separated for 15 years when he died, but neither ever filed for divorce. Danny and Will played a father and son watching Mickey, played by Thomas Jane, hit a home run in the 2001 film 61*. Danny and his wife Kay have a son, Will, and a daughter, Chloe. David and his wife Marla have a daughter, Marilyn.

had a daughter, Mallory. Mickey Jr. Mickey Mantle has four grandchildren. This led to him developing a dependence on prescription painkillers.

Like Mickey, Merlyn and the sons all became alcoholics, and Billy developed Hodgkin's disease as several previous Mantle men had. (born in 1953), David (1955), and Billy (1957, whom Mickey named for Billy Martin, his best friend among his Yankee teammates), and Danny (1960). The couple had four children, all sons: Mickey Jr. While his drinking became public knowledge during his lifetime, the press kept his many marital infidelities quiet.

In an autobiography, Mantle said he married Merlyn not because he loved her, but because his domineering father told him to. On December 23, 1951, he married Merlyn Johnson in their hometown of Commerce, Oklahoma; they had four sons. They were reinstated in 1985 by Kuhn's successor, Peter Ueberroth. In 1983, Mantle and Willie Mays took jobs promoting Atlantic City casinos, and were suspended from baseball by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn.

But his drinking led radio show host Don Imus to joke, "If you get to Mickey Mantle's restaurant after midnight, you win a free dinner if you can guess which table Mickey's under.". Mantle let others run the business operations, but made frequent appearances. It became one of New York's most popular restaurants, and his original Yankee Stadium Monument Park plaque is displayed at the front entrance. Despite the failure of Mickey Mantle's Country Cookin' restaurants in the early 1970s, Mickey Mantle's Restaurant & Sports Bar opened in New York at 42 Central Park South (59th Street) in 1988.

This popularity continues long after his death, as Mantle-related items far outsell those of any other player except possibly the unmatched Babe Ruth, whose items, due to the distance of years, now exist in far smaller quantities. Mantle was a prize guest at any baseball card show, commanding fees far in excess of any other player for his appearances and autographs. His lifestyle would be restored to one of luxury, and his hold on his fans raised to an amazing level, by his position of leadership in the sports memorabilia craze that swept the USA beginning in the 1980's. Despite being among the best-paid players of the pre-free agency era, Mantle was a poor businessman, having made several unlucky investments.

Nowadays, certain future number-retiree manager Joe Torre wears 6, and the 8 belonging to catchers Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra has already been retired - Derek Jeter's 2 may very well also join the list of consecutive retired numbers.) When he retired, the Mick was third on the all-time home run list with 536. When he returned, Bobby Brown, who had worn number 6 before Mantle, had reclaimed it, so Mantle was given number 7. (He had briefly worn uniform number 6, as a continuation of Babe Ruth's 3, Lou Gehrig's 4, and Joe DiMaggio's 5, in 1951, but his poor performance led to his temporary demotion to a minor league in mid-season. Mantle announced his retirement on March 1, 1969, and in 1974, as soon as he was eligible, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame; his uniform number 7 was retired by the Yankees.

But Mantle became the highest-paid active player of his time. DiMaggio, Hank Greenberg and Ted Williams, who had just retired, had been paid over $100,000 in a season, and Ruth had a peak salary of $80,000. On January 16, 1961, Mantle became the highest-paid baseball player by signing a $75,000 contract. Though the American League Triple Crown has been won twice since then, Mantle remains the last man to win the Major League Triple Crown.

This was his "favorite summer," a year that saw him win the Triple Crown, leading the majors with a .353 batting average, 52 HR, and 130 RBI on the way to his first of three MVP awards. In 1956, Mantle won the Hickok Belt as top professional athlete of the year. Jenkinson, who specializes on information of long distance homeruns, said that the actual distance was probably 510 feet. Years later William J.

Another Mantle homer at Griffith Stadium in Washington on April 17, 1953, was said to have traveled 565 feet. On September 10, 1960, he hit a ball that cleared the right-field roof at Tiger Stadium in Detroit and, based on where it was found, was estimated years after the fact to have traveled more than 600 feet, though it probably was closer to 500 feet. Mantle also hit some of the longest home runs in Major League history. Among Mantle's many accomplishments are all-time World Series records for home runs (18), runs scored (42), and runs batted in (40).

He played center field until 1967, when he was moved to first base. He moved to center field in 1952, replacing Joe DiMaggio, who retired at the end of the 1951 season after one year playing alongside Mantle in the Yankees outfield. Mickey had played shortstop in the minor leagues, but on arrival at the Yankees, he became the regular right fielder (playing only a few games at shortstop and third base in 1952 to 1955). "Mutt" Mantle taught his son how to be a switch-hitter.

He spent the last years of his career as a wildly popular icon of the entire sport. This unpopularity, mainly with older fans, would dramatically reverse after he finished second to Roger Maris in the pursuit of Babe Ruth's home run record in 1961. Additionally, Mantle's osteomyelitic condition exempted him from military service, a fact which caused him to become very unpopular with fans, as his earliest days in baseball coincided with the Korean War. He would suffer from the effects of the disease for the rest of his life, and it would lead to many other injuries that hampered his accomplishments.

A midnight ride to Tulsa enabled Mantle to be treated with newly available penicillin, saving his leg from amputation. Kicked in the shin during a game, Mantle's leg soon became infected with osteomyelitis, a crippling disease that would have been incurable just a few years earlier. It was his football playing that nearly ended his athletic career, and indeed his life. Mantle was an all-around athlete at Commerce High School, playing basketball and football in addition to his first love, baseball.

When Mantle was four years old, the family moved to the nearby town of Commerce, Oklahoma. Mantle said one of the great heartaches of his life was that he never told his father he loved him. Sadly, his father died of cancer at the age of 39, just as his son was starting his career. "No boy ever loved his father more," he said.

Mantle always spoke warmly of his beloved father and said he was the bravest man he ever knew. In later life, Mickey Mantle expressed great relief that his father had not known Cochrane's real first name, as he would have hated to be named Gordon. Apparently his father was not aware that Cochrane's real name was Gordon. He was named in honor of Mickey Cochrane, the Hall of Fame catcher from the Detroit Tigers, by his father, who was an amateur player and fervent fan.

Mickey Mantle was born in Spavinaw, Oklahoma. . He played his entire professional career for the New York Yankees. Mickey Charles Mantle (October 20, 1931 – August 13, 1995) was an American baseball player, regarded as one of the best of all time.

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