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Mickey Mantle - Historie

Mickey Mantle - Historie

Mickey Mantle

1931- 1995

Amerikansk atlet

Baseballstjernen Mickey Mantle blev født i Spavinaw Oklahoma den 20. oktober 1931. Han kom til Yankees i 1952 og spillede hele sin 18-årige karriere med det hold.

Hans formidable statistik inkluderer at slå over .300 på ti sæsoner, slå 536 hjemmeløb og spille i 12 World Series.

Mantle var en fremragende midtbanespiller, og trak sig tilbage i 1969 og blev efterfølgende valgt til Hall of Fame.

I sine senere år udviklede han leverkræft og kunne få en levertransplantation, men han døde af leversvigt i 1995, kort efter transplantationen.


Mickey Charles Mantle blev født den 20. oktober 1931 i Spavinaw, Oklahoma. Opkaldt af sin baseball-elskede far efter Detroit Tigers-fangeren Mickey Cochrane, blev Mantle fra en ung alder uddannet til at være en switch-hitter. En spejder i New York Yankees så ham spille, mens han var i gymnasiet, og Mantle meldte sig derefter til to år hos mindreårige, før han sluttede sig til major league -holdet i en alder af 19 år.

Mantle spillede sit første spil for Yankees i 1951 og erstattede til sidst Joe DiMaggio i midterfeltet. I løbet af sin 18-årige karriere med Yankees ramte den switch-hitting slugger 536 hjemmeløb og blev kåret til American League & aposs Most Valuable Player tre gange (1956 �, 1962). I 1956 vandt han American League triple crown med 52 hjemmeløb, 130 løb slået ind og et .353 slaggennemsnit.

I hele sin karriere var Mantle plaget af skader og bensmerter forårsaget af osteomyelitis, men alligevel holdt han ud for at forlade en af ​​de største baseball -arv nogensinde.


Udforske

Uden tvivl den mest betydningsfulde Oklahoman i major league baseball, Mickey Mantle slog 536 hjemmeløb med et .298 slaggennemsnit og 1.509 løb-batted-in i løbet af sin bemærkelsesværdige atten år lange karriere som switch-hitter med New York Yankees. Han startede sin karriere, da fjernsynet voksede og begejstrede millioner af fans med en rekord på hele tiden på atten hjemmebane i tolv World Series. Født 20. oktober 1931 i Spavinaw, Oklahoma, voksede Mantle op i handel og blev kendt som "Commerce Comet" og "The Mick". Han blev optaget i National Baseball Hall of Fame i 1974.

Han blev opkaldt efter Mickey Cochrane, Hall of Fame Philadephia As fanger, der var idol for Elvin Mantle, Mickeys far. Elvin Mantle var en ildkugle amatørkande, der også sled i føringen og zinkminerne i det nordøstlige Oklahoma. Mantle lærte at skifte-hit ved at lege med tennisbolde kastet af hans højrehåndede far og venstrehåndede bedstefar.

Den aften, hvor han tog eksamen fra Commerce High School i 1949, spillede Mantle for Baxter Springs Whiz Kids i en Ban Johnson League mod Coffeyville, da den legendariske spejder Tom Greenwade fra Yankees første gang så ham. Mantle ramte to hjemmeløb og to singler og lavede tre fejl ved shortstop. To dage senere, i en bil efter et spil blev afblæst for regn, tilbød Greenwade ham en bonus på tusind dollars.

I 1949 ramte Mantle .313 for uafhængighed i K-O-M League og derefter .383 for Joplin i Class C Western Association i 1950 med 199 hits, inklusive 26 hjemmeløb. Yankees kaldte ham op til deres før-lejrskole i februar i 1950, men han havde ingen penge til at tage turen til Phoenix, Arizona. Yankees fandt ud af det og kørte ham pengene til.

Mantle sluttede sig til Yankees som en shortstop i løbet af det forår 1950, da Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio stadig spillede centerfelt. Mantle ramte .402 i forårstræningen med ni hjemmeløb og flyttede til udebanen. Han avancerede så hurtigt, som Yankee Manager Casey Stengel fortalte Sport blad, at han var forvirret af den unge rookie fra Commerce. "Jeg ved, at han ikke er en storliga-outfielder endnu," sagde Stengel, "og at han skulle have et år med Triple-A under sit bælte. Det er det eneste logiske. Men denne knægt er ikke logisk. Han er en stor ligahitter og baseløber lige nu. "

Cliff Mapes, der boede i Pryor, Oklahoma, bar nummer syv det forår. Efter at Mantle blev sendt til Kansas City of the American Association, handlede Yankees Mapes til Detroit. Mantle vendte tilbage sent den sæson og fik sit varemærke nummer syv. Han erstattede DiMaggio som den almindelige Yankee centerfelder i 1951 og slog .267 i seks og halvfems kampe med tretten hjemmeløb, der spillede i to World Series-kampe. I 1952 slog han .311 med 23 hjemmeløb og blev en World Series-stjerne for første gang. Han slog .345 under Series -sejren over Brooklyn Dodgers og ramte to hjemmeløb.

I løbet af sin atten-årige karriere blev han kåret til mest værdifulde spiller i American League tre gange og blev udnævnt til tyve All-Star-hold. Han vandt American League tredobbelt krone i 1956 med et .353 slaggennemsnit, tooghalvtreds hjemmeløb og 130 RBI'er, og han ramte en hjemmebane på 565 fod i Washingtons Griffith Stadium, hvilket førte til udtrykket "målebånd" hjemmeløb . Fem gange var han næsten den første til at ramme en fair bold ud af Yankee Stadium. Ud over atten hjemmeløb har Mantle World Series-rekorder på fyrre RBI'er, scoret 42 løb, treogfyrre ture, seksogtyve ekstra basishits og 123 baser i alt. Han slog fire og halvtreds hjemmeløb i 1961, året som Yankee Roger Maris slog enogtres hjemmeløb for at slå Babe Ruths tidligere rekord på tres. Mantle slog ofte bag Maris det år, og det blev betragtet som en af ​​grundene til, at Maris fik de pladser, han havde brug for for at slå rekorden. Mantle ramte .333 og tre homers i sin sidste World Series i 1964.

Uden for baseball blev Mantle, anden baseman Billy Martin og kande Whitey Ford kendt for deres eskapader uden for banen og uden for sæsonen og praktiske vittigheder. Mantle fortalte en historie om at forsøge at klatre ind på et hotel gennem et vindue efter holdets udgangsforbud for at undgå at blive fanget af Stengel. De klatrede oven på skraldespande, og Mantle hjalp Martin gennem vinduet. Så lukkede Martin vinduet og forlod Mantle udenfor. Mantle sagde, at han rev en dragt på to hundrede dollars op i processen.

I løbet af 1960'erne fungerede Martin som træner og derefter manager for Minnesota Twins. Mantle kom til Minnesota i løbet af en kold januaruge til Minnesota baseball -middagen. De inviterede Max Nichols, en Oklahoman, der derefter skrev baseballkommentarer til Minneapolis Star, at gå med dem for at jage ænder på en vildtgård. Det var fem minusgrader med sne på jorden, og ænderne fløj lavt. Mantle lagde emner i Martins haglgevær, og Martin begyndte at blusse væk på ænder lidt over hovedet, uden held. Mantle holdt et lige ansigt, så længe han kunne, men rullede til sidst i sneen og grinede.

Efter sin pensionering fra baseball i 1968 havde han en kort periode som Yankee -baseballtræner, arbejdede som baseball -tv og arbejdede for et forsikringsselskab i Dallas og for Claridge Hotel i Atlantic City, New Jersey. Han var også delejer af Mickey Mantle's Restaurant på Fifty-ninth Street i New York City. Han døde 13. august 1995 i Dallas, efter at have boet der siden 1956.

Bibliografi

Baseball encyklopædi (10. udgave New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1996).

Bob Burke, Kenny A. Franks og Royse Parr, Glory Days of Summer: The Baseball History i Oklahoma (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Heritage Association, 1999).

Ralph Houk, Boldspillere er også mennesker (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1962).

"Mickey Mantle," Vertical File, Arkiver, Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City.

Arch Murray, "Mickey Mantle: Gold Plated Rookie" Sport Magazine (Juni 1950).

Ingen del af dette websted må tolkes som offentligt tilhørende.

Ophavsret til alle artikler og andet indhold i online- og printversionerne af Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History ejes af Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS). Dette inkluderer individuelle artikler (ophavsret til OHS ved forfatteropgave) og virksomhedslige (som et komplet stykke arbejde), herunder webdesign, grafik, søgefunktioner og liste/browsingmetoder. Ophavsret til alle disse materialer er beskyttet i henhold til amerikansk og international lov.

Brugere accepterer ikke at downloade, kopiere, ændre, sælge, lease, leje, genoptrykke eller på anden måde distribuere disse materialer eller at linke til disse materialer på et andet websted uden tilladelse fra Oklahoma Historical Society. Individuelle brugere skal afgøre, om deres brug af Materialerne falder ind under amerikansk ophavsretslovgivning & quotFair Use & quot -retningslinjer og ikke krænker ejendomsrettighederne til Oklahoma Historical Society som den juridiske ophavsretindehaver af Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History og helt eller delvist.

Fotokreditter: Alle fotografier præsenteret i de publicerede og online versioner af Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture ejes af Oklahoma Historical Society (medmindre andet er angivet).

Citation

Det følgende (som pr Chicago Style of Manual, 17. udgave) er den foretrukne henvisning til artikler:
Max Nichols, & ldquoMantle, Mickey Charles, & rdquo Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=MA016.

© Oklahoma Historical Society.

Oklahoma Historical Society | 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73105 | 405-521-2491
Webstedsindeks | Kontakt os | Fortrolighed | Presserum | Websted forespørgsler


En gang skraldespand, nu skat: Historien bag Topps Mickey Mantle -kortet fra 1952

Det er en af ​​de bedste historier i sportsindsamlingshistorien. Og det er det, der fik 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle til at blive baseballkortens "hellige gral".

Tilbage i 1952 var Mickey Mantle en ung stjerne, der spillede for New York Yankees, holdet, der vandt World Series det år (og de tre år før). Hjemmeløbets Mantle -hit i den 8. inning af spil 6 var den første af hans rekord 18 karriere -hjemløb i World Series.

Mantle og de andre Yankees var repræsenteret af Jerry Coleman, en mand den 29-årige Sy Berger søgte at blive ven med. I 1951 var Berger begyndt at arbejde som sommerpraktikant hos Topps Company, der blot et år før havde besluttet at forsøge at øge tyggegummisalget ved at pakke tyggegummiet sammen med handelskort.

Fotos med tilladelse fra www.1952toppsbaseballcards.com

”Jeg var bare et ungt barn, da jeg sluttede mig til Topps -familien, og de vidste, at jeg var en sportsnød, og de lod mig bare gå. Ingen strygere, ingen bindemidler, bare gør det, ”sagde Berger, der til sidst blev vicepræsident for licenser, til Sports Collectors Digest i 2010.“ De lod mig udtrykke mig, designmæssigt, hvad vi lagde i kortene. For så vidt angår forholdet uden for kortene, hvordan man forhandler med boldspillerne, har ingen nogensinde fortalt mig, hvordan jeg skulle gøre det, de sagde bare, 'Gå gør det.' "

Så Berger hang ud i storligaer og blev venner med hundredvis af boldspillere og underskrev dem eksklusive Topps-kontrakter. ”Mickey Mantle og Whitey Ford var unge fyre dengang, og jeg trak lidt til dem. Det var en god oplevelse. De havde deres navne i boksen scorer hver dag, og nu går du rundt blandt dem. Senere blev jeg fast inventar. ”

Bergers arbejde gav pote. ”Topps -kortene fra 1952 solgte, som om vi gav guld. Jeg gik til J.E. Shorin (en af ​​Topps ’grundlæggende brødre) og sagde:’ Hvad synes du om en anden serie? ’Han spurgte, om jeg hurtigt kunne få den ud.” De fik den næste, meget mindre serie hurtigt ud (især da ryggen inkluderede statistik) - men kortene stoppede med at sælge.

»Højserien fra 1952 gik over hele landet, alle var glade for at købe den, men da den ikke solgte, var det, da vi fandt ud af, hvad afkast betød. Det tilstoppede dette lager i Brooklyn, ”huskede Berger. Dette var på et tidspunkt, hvor baseballkort ikke blev behandlet som samlerobjekter, de var rent forbrugsvarer. Så i slutningen af ​​året slap de med kortene for at give plads til de næste års.

Syv eller otte år senere forsøgte Berger sig med salget i håb om at pantsætte dem engros til karneval til en rimelig pris på 10 for en krone. Men han havde stadig 300 til 500 sager, herunder kort med Mantle, Willie Mays og Jackie Robinson, der simpelthen var usælgelige.

”Jeg kunne ikke give dem væk. Så vi sagde, lad os slippe af med dem. Jeg fandt en af ​​mine venner, der havde en skraldespand, og vi læssede de tre lastbiler værd på prammen. ” En slæbebåd trak dem fra New Jersey -kysten, og de dumpede kortene i Atlanterhavet for aldrig at blive set igen.

Selvfølgelig, hvis de ikke havde gjort det, ville de få, der blev tilbage, ikke blive betragtet som den "hellige gral."


“Mickey Mantle ’s 535th ” 19. september 1968


Detroit Tigers infielder Don Wert ser, hvordan Mickey Mantle cirkulerer baserne efter at have ramt sit hjemmebane i 535. karriere, 19. september 1968.

I slutningen af ​​januar chokerede Tet -offensiven i Vietnam, der ramte mere end 100 byer i Sydvietnam, de amerikanske og sydvietnamesiske hære. To måneder senere, sidst i marts 1968, meddelte præsident Lyndon B. Johnson, der var fast i Vietnamkonflikten, at han ikke ville stille op til genvalg. I april blev borgerrettighedslederen Martin Luther King skudt og dræbt af en snigmorder, og i juni blev Bobby Kennedy, der derefter stillede op til den demokratiske præsidentnominering, slået ned af en bevæbnet mand i Californien.

I august knuste tropper fra Sovjet- og Warszawa -pagten Tjekkoslovakiet og foråret i Prag. ” Tilbage i staterne den måned blev Demokraterne ’ Nationalkonference i Chicago et skue af politisk grimhed, både inde i hallen og på gaden , med sammenstød og konfrontationer over Vietnam og nationens fremtid.

Men så, midt i alt dette, var der stadig baseball, det nationale tidsfordriv den eneste konstante ting en oase af forudsigeligt tempo og fortrolighed bortset fra uroen. Baseball var der i de mørke dage, måske i baggrunden, men gjorde sit for at spille sit spil, dag efter dag, fra april til oktober.

En af spillets gamle løver på det tidspunkt, Mickey Mantle fra New York Yankees, var ved at være ved at være slut på sin store karriere. Den 19. september, da den normale sæson var ved at blive afviklet, spillede Yankees mod Detroit Tigers i Detroit. Tigre havde allerede vundet American League vimpel det år, drev der til dels af essekande Denny McLain og var på vej til World Series. Men i dette spil ramte Mantle sit 535. hjemmeløb og satte ham derefter på all-time homer-listen på nr. 3, bag kun Babe Ruth og Willie Mays. Mantle ramte denne homer ud for Denny McLain, der stadig hentede sin fantastiske 31. sejr det år, da Detroit slog Yanks, 6-2. Det var Mantle ’s 17. hjemmeløb i sæsonen 1968 — ikke de 30 eller flere, han normalt ville ramme hvert år i løbet af sin prime. Mantle ’s sidste karriere homer — No.536 — kom den næste dag den 20. september 1968 ved Boston ’s Jim Lonborg. Mantle i disse kampe, med hans sæsonafslutende hjemmeløb, var i de sidste dage af hans karriere, selvom hans officielle pensionistmeddelelse først ville komme året efter, den 1. marts 1969. Det var hans sidste kampe.


'Mickey Mantle: Born for The Majors', omslagshistorie, Time, 15. juni 1953.

Mantle havde været en baseball-sensation, da han først kom op i begyndelsen af ​​1950'erne, en spiller med en sjælden kombination af hastighed og switch-hitting power, spillet ikke havde set i år. Gennem 1950'erne og begyndelsen af ​​1960'erne blev han en af ​​baseball ’s mest frygtede hitters, og hans hastighed på basestierne og i udebanen gjorde ham til en all-round spiller, især i sine tidlige år. Mantle spillede hele sin 18-årige karriere med Yankees og vandt tre American League MVP-titler. Han blev også valgt til at spille på 16 American League All-Star-hold. Med Yankees spillede Mantle på 12 vimpelvinder og 7 World Series -mestre. Fra 2007 havde han stadig rekorder for de fleste World Series-hjemmeløb (18), RBI'er (40), løb (42), ture (43), ekstra-basishits (26) og samlede baser (123).

“ The Kid From Joplin ”
(Fra David Halberstam ’s Oktober 1964)

Mantel-legenden, der begyndte med hans underskrivelse, voksede under en særlig rookie-lejr, som Yankees havde … i 1950. Der fik nogle af de ældre i organisationen en fornemmelse af, at de så noget sjældent en sand diamant i ru. Mantles potentiale, hans rå evne, hans hastighed, hans kraft fra begge sider af pladen var næsten uhyggelige. Hvis hans talent blev finpudset ordentligt, troede de muligvis, at de kiggede på en, der kunne blive den største spiller i spillets historie. Der var nogle hurtige spillere i den lejr, og en dag besluttede nogen, at alle de hurtigere spillere skulle samles og have et løb. Mantle, hvis sande hastighed endnu ikke var blevet forstået, løb simpelthen væk fra de andre. Det, der havde gjort nogle af historierne til at komme ud af lejren så ekstraordinære, var budbringeren selv, Bill Dickey — den tidligere Yankee-catcher, en Hall of Fame-spiller og en hård, usentimental oldtimer, der havde spillet meget af sin karriere med Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio og [Tommy] Henrich. Han blev ikke let givet til hyperbole. Dickey begyndte at tale om Mantle til Jerry Coleman, den veteran anden baseman, med superlativer, der var ukendte for ham: Jerry, han kan slå med power righty, han kan slå med power lefty, og han kan overgå alle her. ” . . .
Han vil blive den største spiller, jeg nogensinde har set, og#8221 tilføjede Dickey. Et par dage senere greb Dickey sin gamle holdkammerat Tommy Henrich. Tom, du skulle se denne kid Mantle, der spillede på Joplin. Jeg har aldrig set sådan strøm. Han rammer bolden, og den forbliver ramt. Han kommer virkelig til at være noget. Selv lyden af ​​hans hjemmeløb, sagde Dickey, var anderledes, hvilket afspejlede noget Ted Williams ville sige år senere: revnen af ​​bolden mod bolden, når Mantle var forbundet, var som en eksplosion . Henrich rystede simpelthen på hovedet — det var én ting at høre om en kommende stjerne fra en begejstret journalist, men en helt anden at høre det fra en som Bill Dickey.

Med to gode ben?

Nogle af Mantle ’s holdkammerater og konkurrenter, såvel som sportsskribenter og fans, har ofte spekuleret på, hvordan han ville have været, hvis han ikke havde været plaget af skader i hele sin karriere — især benskaderne. Mantle havde indsamlet nogle af sine skader tidligt i livet, begyndende med en beninfektion som en high school fodboldspiller, der næsten resulterede i en amputation. Alligevel, da han nåede de store ligaer i 1951, var hans løbehastighed blandt de bedste inden for baseball, og hans magt var simpelthen fantastisk. I sin tidlige karriere troede nogle ham som en sjælden slags baseballgud, der havde både kraft og fart.

I 1951, da Mantle først kom med Yankees, var hans dygtighed fuldt ud tydelig. I et udstillingsspil på University of Southern California i løbet af sin rookie-forårstræningssæson samme år, slog han med venstrehåndet, han ramte en hjemmebane, der forlod Bovard Field og krydsede en tilstødende fodboldbane, der rejste anslået 656 fod. Nogle nævner det som det længste hjemmebane i baseballhistorien. Mantle, faktisk, ramte to hjemmeløb i det spil — et andet, højrehåndet skud rensede venstre feltmur og landede oven på et tre-etagers hus langt over 500 fod væk. Gennem hele sin karriere ville Mantle ramme andre mindeværdige skud — inklusive et hjemmeløb på 565 fod på Griffith Stadium i Washington i april 1953 (siges at have opfundet udtrykket “båndmål hjemmeløb ”) en 643 fods homer på Detroit ’s Tiger Stadium i september 1960 og en, der næsten forlod Yankee Stadium, hvilket ingen hitter nogensinde har gjort. Men dem, der så Mantle ramme i løbet af hans rookie -forårstræningsår 1951, husker flagermusens karakteristiske revne, da han rev i baseballet, de vidste, at der var noget særligt ved dette “hayseed fra Oklahoma, ” som nogle kaldte ham.


Mickey Mantle, 1950'erne. Foto af Bob Olen.

Alligevel formåede Mantle selv med sine skader og forringede præstationer at udarbejde en rekord, som de fleste professionelle spillere kun kan drømme om.

I løbet af sin karriere med Yankees spillede han flere spil som Yankee end nogen anden spiller (2.401), vandt tre mest værdifulde spillerpriser (󈧼, 󈧽 og 󈨂). I 1956 vandt han baseball ’s Triple Crown med et .353 slaggennemsnit, 52 homers og 130 RBI'er. Han ledte hele major league baseball det år i alle tre kategorier. Da han trak sig tilbage i 1969, var hans 536 hjemmeløb i karriere den tredje højeste nogensinde, og placerede sig kun bag Babe Ruth (714) og Willie Mays (587), og den mest nogensinde af en switch-hitter.


Mickey Mantle med den amerikanske senator Robert F. Kennedy (D-NY) den 18. september 1965, 'Mickey Mantle Day', da Mantle spillede sit 2.000. spil. Foto, Martin Blumenthal, magasinet SPORT.

Faktisk kunne Mickey Mantle med to gode ben have været et godt bud på at have slået Babe Ruths enkelt-sæsonrekord på 60 hjemmeløb, og måske før end 1961, da Roger Maris gjorde det. Mantle har muligvis også samlet en karriere hjemmeløb i alt tættere på, hvis ikke mere end 600. Hans karrierebatgennemsnit ville sandsynligvis også have forbedret .300 med flere scoringer og RBI'er også, og måske en guldhandske eller to til fielding. Alle spekulationer selvfølgelig, og hvad der kunne have været. ” Alligevel ville mange af hans beundrere ønske, at det kunne have været sådan, at den lyshårede knægt fra Oklahoma måske havde haft lidt mere held med benenes helbred.

Andre historier om Mickey Mantle på dette websted inkluderer: “Mantle's Griffith Shot, april 1953, ” om et monsterhus drevet af Mantle i den gamle Griffith Stadium -park i Washington, DC “Mickey Mantle Day, september 1965, &# 8221, da Mantle blev hædret for sin karriere på Yankee Stadium og, “Keeps on Ticking, ” med blandt andet Mantle i Timex -reklamer.

Historier om Babe Ruth, Jimmie Fox, Christy Mathewson, Honus Wagner, Yogi Berra og Sandy Koufax findes også på dette websted. Ud over dem kan du finde flere historier på kategorisiden “Annals of Sport ”, arkivet eller startsiden.

Tak for dit besøg —, og hvis du kan lide det, du ser her, kan du give en donation til at støtte forskningen og skrivningen på dette websted. Tak skal du have. – Jack Doyle.

Venligst support
dette websted

Dato indsendt: 18. juni 2008
Sidste ændring: 2. september 2019
Kommentarer til: [email protected]

Henvisning til artikel:
Jack Doyle, “Mickey Mantle ’s 535th –September 19, 1968, ”
PopHistoryDig.com, 18. juni 2008.

Kilder, links og yderligere oplysninger


Mickey Mantle - her i sin unge “græske gud” -krop - fanget af magasinet Life under en festlig garderobe, oktober 1952.


Life -magasins forsidefortælling, 25. juni 1956: "The Remarkable Mickey Mantle", med historien indeni: "Prodigy of Power: Mickey Mantle Comes of Age As a Slugger." Klik for at kopiere.


Unge Mickey Mantle vist her med kone Merlyn og deres to unge drenge. De ville have fire sønner.


1965 Life magazine foto af Mantle, der kaster battinghjelm i frustration - men tjek disse underarme!


Mickey Mantle på forsiden af ​​Life magazine, 30. juli 1965, derefter i en alder af 33 og i sin 15. sæson med NY Yankees. "Mantle's Misery," lød omslagets tagline, "Han står over for fysiske smerter og en svindende karriere." Klik for at kopiere.


Mickey Mantle vinder af smerter under slagtræning ved forårstræningen, 1967.

Maury Allen, Minder om Mick, Taylor Publishing: Dallas, Texas, 1997, 183 s.

David Halberstam, Oktober 1964, Villard Books, New York, 1994, 380 s.

“The Remarkable Mickey Mantle, ” cover photo, and story: “A Prodigy of Power: Mickey Mantle Comes of Age As a Slugger, ” Liv, 25. juni 1956, s. 99-102, 105-107.

“Mickey Mantle: My Knee Injury i 1951 World Series, ” YouTube.com.

John R. McDermott, “ Sidste innings af storhed: Spil på bum knæ og mod, Mantle falmer efter 14 strålende år, ” Liv, 30. juli 1965, s. 46-53.

Douglas Duncan, “Mantle ’s Breaks — and Yours, ” Populær videnskab, Oktober 1964, s. 100-103.

Roger Kahn, “Remembering Mickey ” (cover story), De sportslige nyheder, 21. august 1995.

Shirley Povich, “Mantle ’s Critics Swing, Miss, ” Washington Post, 19. juni 1995.

Bemærk: Mange af nyhedshistorierne nedenfor omtaler Mickey Mantle -skader i deres overskrifter og understreger hans hårde tider med skader, der ofte tog ham ud af spillet.

“Mantle to Miss Finale in Boston and Yanks ’ Game Here Tomorrow, ” New York Times, Mandag den 26. maj 1952, Sport, s. 28.

“Mantel afvist for udkast igen Yanks ’ Outfielder dømt uegnet på grund af skade på knæ, der led i 󈧷 -serien, ” New York Times, Tirsdag den 4. november 1952, Sport, s. 34.

Joseph M. Sheehan, “Mantle Is Lost for Final Drive Skowron Også sidestillet af Skade påført fredag. . ., ” New York Times, Søndag, 18. september 1955, Sport, s. 2.

John Drebinger, “Ford ’s 5-hitter standser Boston, 7-1 Mantle Clouts 3-Run Homer for Yanks, inden han forlader spillet med benskade. . ., ” New York Times, Lørdag den 21. april 1956, Sport, s. 12.

Deans McGowen, “Mantle Skade holdes ikke alvorlig, men han vil være ude 2 eller 3 dage forstuvet knæbånd Forstyrrende Yank Slugger Lægeordre New Brace Mickey ’s All-Star Roll in Doubt, ” New York Times, Fredag ​​den 6. juli 1956, s. 24.

“Mantle indlagt fem dage til behandling af skinneben, ” New York Times, Lørdag den 7. september 1957, Sport, s. 27.

John Drebinger, “Braves Have Health and Hitting Yanks Face Series, med tvivl om Mantle, Skowron og#8221 New York Times, Mandag den 30. september 1957, Sport, s. 49.

Louis Effrat, “Bombere står over for udsigten til at miste kappe til femte seriekonkurrence Handicap for skulderskade til stjernemantel og#8217s manglende evne til at kaste med sædvanlig styrke fører til fjernelse i tiende, og#8221 New York Times, Mandag den 7. oktober 1957, s. 31.

Louis Effrat, “Mantle for at holde sig ude af World Series -åbneren, medmindre hans tilstand forbedrer Yankee Slugger Svag og i smerte Club Doctor siger, at han tror, ​​at kappen kan spille, men Houk også sikker, ”New York Times, Tirsdag den 3. oktober 1961, s. 47.

“Mantel ’s lårskade forventet at sidelinjen ham 2 til 4 uger Star Center Fielder hviler komfortabelt, men bombefly er ubehageligt skadet mantel ude 2 til 4 uger, ” New York Times, Søndag den 20. maj 1962, Sport, s.1.

“Mantle on Bench With Knee Injury Yankee Star ved ikke, hvornår han kan spille igen, ” New York Times, Tirsdag den 31. juli 1962, Sport, s. 21.

Louis Effrat, “Mantle er tvunget til at afslutte i tredje skade Hobbles Still Bombers Få 14 hits fra 4 Hurlers Lopez Excels, ” New York Times, Lørdag den 4. august 1962, Sport, s. 13.

John Drebinger, “Mantle Is Hurt in 6-to-1 Victory Yank Ace Reinjures Muscle in Side, ”New York Times, Søndag den 14. april 1963, Sport, s. 167.

Gordon S. White Jr., “Mantle Fractures Left Foot in Yank Victory at Baltimore 4-3 Game Marred by Star ’s Injury Mantle Crashes into Fence Chasing Oriole Homer and will be out a Month, ” New York Times, Torsdag den 6. juni 1963, Sport, s. 56.

Leonard Koppett, “Mantle sidestillet på ubestemt tid med knæskade Yanks bue til engle, 5-0 stjerne kan savne resten af ​​sæsonen løst brusk i kappe ’s knæ sandsynlig efterfølgende fodskade den 5. juni Skader Pestkarriere, ” New York Times, Fredag ​​den 26. juli 1963, Sport, s. 17.

Leonard Koppett, “ Ny rolle til kappe? Fuldtid som Pinch-Hitter opfordres til Yilinges skrækkelige slugger, ” New York Times, Søndag, 23. januar 1966, Sport, s. 182.

Leonard Koppett, “Mantle Suffers Pulled Muscle efter at have ramt sin 475. Homer Yankees Bow, 4-2 Mantle Injured, ” New York Times, Søndag den 15. maj 1966, Sport, s.1.

Joseph M. Sheehan, “Mantel lider skade på venstre ben, da Yankees bliver slået af Red Sox, 5-2 Bomber Slugger er skadet Glidende skade betegnes som ikke alvorlig, men første baseman savner et par spil, ” New York Times, Torsdag den 23. marts 1967, Sport, s. 41.

“Mantle slutter 18-årig, skadebaseret baseballkarriere, ” New York Times, Søndag den 2. marts 1969, s.1.


En grafik over Mickey Mantles skader fra: "Mantle 's Breaks — and Yours", Popular Science, oktober 1964, s. 100-103.

Indhold

Mickey Mantle sluttede sig til Yankees i 1951. [5] Roger Maris sluttede sig til Yankees og blev Mickey Mantles holdkammerat i 1960, da Kansas City Athletics handlede Maris med Kent Hadley og Joe DeMaestri i bytte for Marv Throneberry, Norm Siebern, Hank Bauer og Don Larsen. [6] [7] Mantle spillede midterfelt, mens Maris spillede højre felt.

I løbet af sæsonen 1960 ledte Mantle American League (AL) med 40 hjemmeløb, mens Maris sluttede med 39. [6] Maris førte AL med 112 løb slået ind (RBI) og en .581 slugningsprocent. Han havde også et .283 slaggennemsnit, det højeste i sin karriere, og vandt en Gold Glove Award. [6] Maris vandt 1960's Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award [8] med 72% af stemmerne, mens Mantle blev nummer to i afstemningen og placerede lige bag Maris med 71%. [9]

Nær begyndelsen af ​​sæsonen besluttede New York Yankees -manager Ralph Houk at skifte Mantle og Maris rundt i slagordren, idet Maris bat tredje og Mantle -oprydning i stedet for omvendt. [10] Dette nævnes som en fordel for Maris, da oppositionskande var tilbageholdende med at kaste omkring ham, da dette ville resultere i at Mantle kom op til tallerkenen for at slå. [10] Som et resultat gav kander Maris bedre pladser at ramme af frygt for at gå ham. [10] I første omgang så det ud til, at skifteordrekontakten havde ringe effekt på Maris, der kun ramte et hjemmeløb i april. [6] Han fik dog fart i hjemmeløbsløbet i maj og juni og slog henholdsvis 11 og 15 hjemmeløb. [6] På den anden side startede Mantle sæsonen stærkt og ramte 14 hjemmeløb i slutningen af ​​maj og 11 homers i juni. [11] I slutningen af ​​juni blev det klart, at både M & ampM Boys var i fart med at udfordre Babe Ruths single-season rekord i 1927. [11] Imidlertid blev deres chancer for at slå Ruths rekord et hårdt slag den 17. juli, da Ford Frick, baseballkommissæren, fastslog, at en spiller skulle slå mere end 60 hjemmeløb i 154 kampe [b] for at at slå Ruths rekord. [10] [11] [12] Frick, som var en god ven af ​​Ruth og tjente som hans spøgelsesforfatter, [10] [11] tilføjede, at der skulle tilføjes et "særpræg", hvis rekorden blev slået efter 154 kampe . [11] [12]

Da presset intensiverede over det nyfundne behov for at slå rekorden inden for tidsfristen, [10] Maris passerede Mantle den 15. august for sidste gang det år og ledte hjemmeløbsløbet for resten af ​​sæsonen. [11] Maris blev derefter den første spiller i historien, der sluttede sig til 50 home run -klubben i slutningen af ​​august. [6] I starten af ​​september var løbet om enkelt-sæsonrekorden stadig ekstremt tæt, idet Maris havde ramt 56 hjemmeløb til Mantles 53. [10] Mantle blev dog tvunget til at trække sig ud af løbet efter at have bukket under for en byld i hofteleddet [12] forårsaget af en injektion, der skulle helbrede ham for en influenza. [10] Selvom de fleste fans støttede Mantle [12] og højlydt rodfæstede mod Maris, [13] [14] [15] var det sidstnævnte spiller, der nu var tilbage til at slå Ruths rekord alene.

Maris havde i alt 58 hjemmeløb, da Yankees spillede deres 154. kamp i sæsonen mod Baltimore Orioles. [10] Han homerede bare en gang i spillet, og manglede to for at sætte en ny og anerkendt single-season hjemmeløbsrekord. Ironisk nok ramte Maris sit 60. hjemmebane i færre tallerkenoptrædener (684) end Babe Ruth (689). [11] [12] Dette gjorde Fricks herredømme useriøst, da spil spillede "mindre betydning" end antallet af muligheder, der blev givet for en batter. [11] Den 1. oktober, sæsonens sidste dag, var der kun 23.154 mennesker til stede på Yankee Stadium for at se Maris slå sit 61. hjemmebane i sæsonen mod Tracy Stallard fra Boston Red Sox. [6] Fricks afgørelse tilbage i juli, kombineret med Yankees 'uvilje mod at fremhæve begivenheden, nævnes som årsager til det overraskende lave fremmøde. [6]

Sal Durante, manden, der fangede Maris '61. hjemmebane -bold, tilbød at returnere den til Maris. [6] Maris afviste høfligt og opfordrede endda Durante til at sælge memorabiliaerne for at tjene nogle penge. [6] Durante solgte bolden for $ 5.000 til en restauratør, som gav bolden til Maris. Maris donerede bolden til National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum i 1973. [16]

Mantle vendte tilbage fra skade senere samme sæson, hvilket gjorde det muligt for både M & ampM Boys at deltage i 1961 World Series. Selvom Maris og Mantles slaggennemsnit i hele serien kun var .105 [6] og .167, var [17] Yankees i stand til at besejre Cincinnati Reds, [6] 4 kampe til 1. [17] I slutningen af sæson vandt Maris AL MVP -prisen for andet år i træk. Stemmepunkterne og procentdelen af ​​stemmerne for M & ampM Boys var nøjagtig det samme som i 1960, hvor Maris opnåede 202 point til Mantles 198 point. [9]

Mantle blev valgt til Hall of Fame i 1974 ved sin første stemmeseddel. [18] På den anden side opfyldte Maris aldrig den tærskel på 75%, der kræves for indførelse i salen, og blev elimineret fra fremtidig BBWAA -afstemning i 1988, hans 15. og sidste gang på stemmesedlen, hvor han opnåede 43,1% af stemmerne ( den højeste stemmeprocent, han modtog). [19] [20] Nevertheless, the Yankees honored both Mantle and Maris by retiring their numbers and presenting them with plaques that hang in Monument Park. [21] [22]

In 1991, thirty years after Maris hit 61 home runs, commissioner Fay Vincent ruled that there be only one single-season home run record and that any notation beside Maris' record (denoting that he hit 61 home runs in a 162-game season) be eliminated. [23] Maris died six years earlier in 1985. [24] Thus, he never knew the record was his.

During their record-breaking season of 1961, the M&M Boys became the only teammates to join the 50 home run club in the same season, hitting a combined 115 home runs to break the single-season record for home runs by a pair of teammates. [3] [4] This record was previously held by Yankee sluggers Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, who hit 60 and 47 home runs, respectively, in 1927. [4] In addition, Mantle and Maris combined to record 269 RBI. [4]

Contrary to popular belief, the M&M Boys were actually close friends and no hostility existed between the two of them. [6] [12] [25] The two shared an apartment in Queens with fellow outfielder Bob Cerv during the 1961 season [6] and when Mantle suffered an injury towards the end of the season, he openly rooted for Maris from his hospital bed in the latter's quest to break Ruth's single-season home run record. [12] [25] The stories of a feud developing between the M&M Boys during the 1961 season were inspired due to the media hype surrounding their quest to break Ruth's record. [6]

Mantle and Maris engaged in a business partnership. The two endorsed Mantle–Maris wear, a line of clothing apparel for men and boys. [26] They appeared in Safe at Home!, a movie released in April 1962. [27]

The M&M Boys are viewed as one of the greatest offensive pair of teammates in the history of the game. [4] Furthermore, the combined 115 home runs between the two during the 1961 season is considered a "bona fide untouchable" record. [4] This is due to the fact that the likelihood of two teammates performing exceptionally well in a season is "surprisingly rare." [4]

Nøgle
Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
Yankee team leader
American League record
# Position in the lineup
AB At-bats
H Hits
HR Home runs
RBI Runs batted in
BA Batting average
OBP On-base percentage
SLG Slugging percentage
# Spiller Position Games AB H HR RBI BA OBP SLG Ref
3 Roger Maris Right fielder 161 590 159 61 141 .269 .372 .620 [1]
4 Mickey Mantle Center fielder 153 514 163 54 128 .317 .448 .687 [2]

Filmen 61* was directed by avid Yankees fan Billy Crystal and released in 2001, the 40th anniversary of Maris' record-breaking season. It recounts both Mantle (portrayed by Thomas Jane) and Maris' (depicted by Barry Pepper) journey during the 1961 season in their quest to break Babe Ruth's single-season home run record of 60. [28]

Kevin McReynolds and Carmelo Martínez, starting outfielders for the 1984 San Diego Padres, were dubbed the "M&M Boys" after the Yankees duo. [29] [30] [31] The Padres that season reached the World Series for the first time in the franchise's history, with McReynolds sharing the team lead with 20 home runs and Martinez adding 66 RBIs. [32]

The usage of the nickname has resurfaced and has been utilized by broadcasters, analysts, and the print media to refer to the Minnesota Twins 3 and 4 hitting tandem of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, [33] who won the American League MVP Award in 2009 and 2006, respectively. [8] Mauer's batting prowess (uncharacteristic of a catcher) earned him three batting championships (2006, 2008 and 2009) [34] and four Silver Slugger Awards (2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010), [35] while his stellar defense enabled him to win three consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 2008 to 2010. [36] This has been complemented with the power of Morneau, which has earned him a spot at the 2008 Home Run Derby (which he subsequently won) [37] and runner-up in the 2008 American League MVP voting. [38] The success of both Mauer and Morneau has begun to garner comparisons for the two teammates to the old Yankees tandem. However, Morneau has expressed some minor disdain for the term, feeling the comparison is being applied too soon. [39]

Victor Martinez and J. D. Martinez starting for the 2014 Detroit Tigers were dubbed the "M&M Boys" by Tigers broadcaster Rod Allen. [ citat nødvendig ]


MICKEY MANTLE INJURIES

Mickey Mantle hit 536 – many of them gargantuan – home runs in 18 seasons.

He drove in 1,509 runs. And scored 1,677 runs.

As great as Mantle was – as legendary as he remains – injuries robbed The Mick of a Ruthian standing in baseball’s history.

With bulging shoulders and arms and Popeye-like forearns, Mantle hardly looked the part of an injury-prone player. As teammate Jerry Coleman once observed, The Mick had “the body of a god. Only Mantle’s legs were mortal.”

As a youth, Mantle suffered from a form of infantile paralysis that weakened his legs.

In 1947, four years before his freshman season with the Yanks, Mantle was diagnosed with Osteomyelitis – an acute or chronic, and extremely painful, bone infection of his ankle and shin.

Then, in Game 2 of the 1951 World Series, the rookie Mantle – playing right field in deference to Joe DiMaggio in center – took off after a fly ball off the bat of fellow rookie Willie Mays of the Giants, caught one of his spikes in a drainpipe covering, and ripped up his right knee.

He would never play another pain-free game.

There were pulled muscles and sprains, fractures and abscesses. He even had a tonsillectomy in 1956.

The frequent surgeries robbed him of his blazing speed. Mantle legged 49 triples in his first seven years in the majors – and just 23 in his last 11. He stole 124 bases before the age 30, and just 29 bases until his retirement at 36.

But he never stopped hitting. Indeed, his Triple Crown year and his 54 HR season came well after his legs failed him. And he remains the Yanks’ career leader in games-played with 2,401.

“He is,” manager Casey Stengel once marveled, “the best one-legged player I ever saw play the game.”


Del All sharing options for: Mickey Mantle’s Pyrrhic career: Winning the battle but losing the WAR

JAWS (Jaffe WAR Score system), as explained by Baseball Reference, is a career-rating metric derived from, “…their career WAR averaged with their 7-year peak WAR.” This metric is particularly useful for evaluating Hall of Fame candidates from a historical perspective by enabling the game’s brightest stars to rise above the more ubiquitous, steady workmen. While WAR does an excellent job of telling you exactly how valuable a player was over the course of his career, averaging it against his WAR7 weights the number towards his peak performance.

Roger Maris’ Hall of Fame candidacy is a non-conversation from a WAR perspective, but he did post 14.4 WAR over a two-year stretch. While even that, along with his long-held home run record might not be enough to vault him into the hall, it’s a clear demonstration that some players reach a level of greatness that few players, even those enshrined in the Hall, never even sniff. When Maris was in the midst of his peak, posting back-to-back MVPs in 1960 and ’61, his inferred rival and greatest slugging teammate, Mickey Mantle, was putting up arguably even better statistics, and was at the tail end of one of the greatest multi-year offensive tirades of any batter in the history of baseball.

Though he put up an obscene 110.2 career WAR, great enough for 21st all-time, Mickey Mantle’s dominance was particularly pronounced during the ten-year stretch between 1952 and 1961. During those years, he compiled 83.2 WAR, or 75.5% of his total WAR in just 55.5% of his 18-year career. Before his declining defense began to eat up his superior offense, Mickey Mantle amassed a few of the greatest seasons in baseball history, including the 14th, 17th, and 36th all-time greatest seasons by WAR. During the aforementioned decade, he posted a cumulative OPS and OPS+ of 1.017 and 179 while batting over .300, recording over 1600 hits, slugging over 300 homers, and clubbing nearly 1000 RBI.

Surely, a decade like this must be among the greatest in baseball history. However, I wanted to know if it was the very best. Without a WAR10 metric to rely on, I had to start with WAR7 and extrapolate outwards.

Here’s where Mantle’s seven-year stretch ranked on the all-time WAR7 leaderboard:

Mantle jumps from 21st to tenth when looking at players’ seven best seasons as opposed to their entire career, but could he take another leap into the game’s ultimate tier when considering the game’s greatest ten-season stretches? Though he certainly couldn’t pass the Babe, as his 84.8 WAR in seven years topped even Mantle’s ten-year mark, spots two through nine remained up for grabs.

Theoretically, someone ranked below Mickey Mantle in WAR7 could jump him in WAR10. To pass the Mick in WAR10, that player would have to have accumulated more than the 18.5 WAR Mickey added in his three additional years, a huge obstacle to jump for someone already ranked behind him in WAR7. However unlikely that is, there’s no way for me to definitively prove that didn’t happen without counting out every WAR10 on the nearby WAR7 leaderboards, or developing my own WAR10 database and algorithm, two activities beyond my grasp at this very moment. Moving forwards under the presumption that Mickey’s only contention comes from above, let’s see how many spots he can rise:

(1900-1909) Honus Wagner’s 65.3 WAR7 increases to an 85.8 over ten years, just eclipsing Mickey’s mark of 84.8. However, as a shortstop in the dead-ball era, a sizable portion of Wagner’s value was derived from his defense, whereas Mantle never posted more than 1.1 dWAR, and ended up finishing his career nearly ten wins in the red. With the defensive edge, Wagner maintained his WAR advantage over Mantle despite his slight oWAR deficit.

(2011-2020) Having played just eight years in the bigs in addition to a pre-rookie campaign and a pandemic shortened season, Mike Trout is at an unfair disadvantage, but nonetheless falls about ten wins short of Mantle’s mark (74.6 WAR10). However unfair, Mantle eclipses Trout on this list.

(1939-1951) Ted Williams’ ten best consecutive seasons, even when allowing for the gap between ’42 and ’46 due to WWII, amounts to 82.6 WAR, also shy of Mantle’s total. Williams’ oWAR actually edges Mantle’s, but was even worse on defense, leading to the overall deficit. Mantle leapfrogs Williams, gaining more ground on the WAR10 board.

(1927-1936) Despite his defensive disadvantage, being a first baseman, Gehrig’s gargantuan offensive output carried him to a 90.9 WAR10, holding off Mantle by a full high-level All-Star season’s worth of production.

(1909-1918) Ty Cobb’s ten best consecutive seasons, like Mantle, contained three years of double-digit WAR, leading to a slightly superior mark (87.8 WAR). During those years, he led the American League in batting average in each season except one, when Tris Speaker’s .386 outpaced his own obscene .370 average.

(1995-2004) While he had two distinct peaks, at first in Pittsburgh and then towards the tail-end of his career as a Giant, Barry Bonds’ best consecutive ten years all came in the orange and black, leading to an 88.4 WAR10. Barry holds off Mantle in the ten-year department, but also posted one of the greatest four-year stretches in baseball history between 2001 and 2004, when he accumulated 43.4 WAR, more than all but 38 left fielders in the history of baseball.

(1957-1966) Willie Mays just barely skims past Mickey’s oWAR mark by less than a win, but blows him out of the water on defense, as arguably the greatest defender at the same position in the history of the game. In total, Willie’s 96.9 WAR10 dwarfs any modern player’s best ten seasons on this list.

(1920-1929) Rogers Hornsby’s decade of excellence led to 93.5 WAR, again outpacing Mickey’s mark. During Hornsby’s decade of dominance, he led the National League in OPS in every season minus one.

(1919-1928) The greatest batter of all time, Babe Ruth, posted 103.4 WAR in his best ten seasons. Despite posting just 3.5 WAR during an injury-shortened 1925, Ruth more than made up for it by finishing seven of his ten seasons with greater than ten WAR, including the preposterous 14.1 he posted in 1923. Sorry Mickey, this one was over before it even started.

The final WAR10 leaderboard of selected contenders looks like this:

Due to defensive deficiencies too great to overcome anyone above him in the prior ranking without wartime service (Williams) or lacking service time (Trout), Mickey Mantle climbed just two spots from tenth to eighth between the WAR7 and WAR 10 leaderboards. Though his hitting actually improved beyond the end of his best decade, his fielding, along with his general health, rapidly declined. With a predilection for copious drinking, it’s anybody’s best guess as to what Mantle could have maintained for even longer had his off-the-field habits not unnaturally shortened his peak.

While I expected a bigger jump from Mantle’s best ten, my biggest takeaway from this list, aside from Babe Ruth’s predictably comic offensive statistics, is Willie Mays’ complete dominance over anyone remotely near his era of play. The only more recent player on the list, Mike Trout, has already fallen short of Mays on either side of the ball, and has already fallen off towards average on defense while Mays was a positive contributor on defense until his age-38 season.

Mays didn’t lead the league in any one category as often as some of his all-time great peers like even Mantle, Williams, Hornsby, or Cobb, but he finished in the top-six of MVP voting in 11 out of his 12 best consecutive seasons, and finished four straight seasons with at least 10.5 WAR. With variance being such an essential piece of the pie that is baseball, true greatness is the ability to outperform any regression with unwavering elite performance, something Mays was able to do better than any of the ten men I examined, including Mantle.


Yankees History: Mickey Mantle an American Icon and Hero

This August will mark 25 years since Mickey Mantle passed away. Those who never got to see him play and are unaware of his achievements on the diamond will be surprised to find out just how terrific a baseball player he was.

Before we delve into Mickey Mantle’s record and baseball career, here is some background information on the Yankees legend.

Mantle’s early years

Mantle was born in 1931 in Spavinaw, Oklahoma and moved to Commerce, Oklahoma as a young child. When he was a little boy, his father and grandfather forced him to bat righthanded and lefthanded depending on which one of them was pitching the ball to him in the backyard. As a consequence, he became a natural switch hitter at a very early age.

Although his main passion was baseball (he grew up rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals), the Commerce Comet was an all-around athlete in high school, playing football, basketball, and baseball. He excelled at football, and he received a scholarship from the University of Oklahoma to play halfback. However, he was seriously injured in his left shin during his sophomore year and said adios to football.

The Mick played in the minor leagues between 1948 and 1950. He initially played shortstop for the Yanks’ Class-D Independence Yankees team. During a bad slump, he called his dad to tell him he wanted to quit baseball and go home. His father immediately jumped in his car, drove to Independence, Kansas, and convinced his son to hang in there and keep playing, which he did.

He hit his first professional home run well over the center-field fence in June 1949, which was 460 feet from home plate. He was only 17 years old at the time. Those attending the minor league game were astonished to witness so much power from such a young player.

In 1950 the Mick was promoted to the Class-C Joplin Miners of the Western Association. While he hit extremely well for both power (26 home runs) and average (.383) and drove in 136 runs, he had difficulty playing shortstop.

After an outstanding spring training, Yankees manager Casey Stengel immediately promoted him to the majors and put him in right field. Catcher Bill Dickey said the Mick was “the greatest prospect I’ve seen in my time, and I go back quite a ways.” Stengel remarked, “He’s got more natural power from both sides than anybody I ever saw.”

Once again, the Mick hit a slump and was sent down to the minors. His slump continued, and he quickly grew frustrated. He once again called his dad and said he wanted to quit baseball and go home.

And once again his father jumped in his car and drove up to Kansas City to talk to his son. He told his son that he was a coward after he arrived. He also told him that if he wasn’t going to play baseball, he would have to come home and work in the mines like his dad. Presented with that alternative, Mantle decided to be patient and give baseball another chance.


The Legend of Mickey Mantle

History professors Roberts and Smith recently co-authored A Season in the Sun: The Rise of Mickey Mantle (Basic Books), from which this essay is adapted. The book traces Mantle's ascendance as an icon of the 1950s and baseball's place in American culture.

Mickey Mantle on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Look at the determination on Mickey Mantle’s face—the resolve in his fierce blue eyes, his flexed jaw, and the hardness around his mouth. Look at the power—the prizefighter’s cheekbones, the bull’s neck, and the hint of a slugger’s shoulders. Is it the face of weakness, the look of a man fragile enough to crack into a million pieces?

Mantle’s chiseled physique looked like the ideal body of a power hitter, a creation of Michelangelo sculpted out of marble. Wonderstruck by his muscled, compact frame, sportswriters and teammates tried not to stare when he ambled through the locker room, nearly naked, wearing only a towel, his perfectly V-shaped torso, barreled chest, hard stomach, and wide back on display. Built like a lead miner, with broad, sloping shoulders, bulging biceps, and Popeye forearms, Mantle was, in baseball parlance, country strong.

Hy Peskin’s 1956 Sports Illustreret cover photo reveals the intensity and rugged strength of baseball’s most famous player. In that season—branded the “Year of the Slugger” by the magazine—his career held only great possibilities baseball immortality itself was within his reach. His physical gifts—power, speed, and agility—made it seem like there were no limits to what he could do on a baseball field.

Yet, for all of his attributes, Mantle’s biographers have emphasized his overriding weakness. Too often they have presented his life as seen darkly through a rearview mirror, interpreting many events during his baseball career as a way station along the road to alcoholism. “Mickey Mantle’s life was spent waiting for a death that seemed just around the corner,” biographer David Falkner wrote. Similarly, in her fine biography, Jane Leavy observed, “Mantle fit the classical definition of a tragic hero.”

The Colorado History Center recently displayed the "Holy Grail" of baseball cards, a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle valued at more than $10 million, as part of a baseball memorabilia exhibit in Denver.

By the summer of 1995, alcohol-induced cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis C, and cancer had left him a shell of the man he had been in the 1950s, when, strong and tanned, he had graced the cover of American magazines and thrilled baseball fans on the diamond. Only later would his heavy drinking define the arc of his life.

This focus ignores much of the joy of his life—the joy he discovered in the game and the joy spectators experienced watching him play. To fully understand the man, his impact on baseball, and what he meant to America, it is necessary to look at his life as he lived it, not as a study in retrospection. That means returning Mantle to the 1950s, when he became the most celebrated athlete in the country and reigned as the king of the National Pastime.

In 1956, only injuries stood between Mickey Mantle and greatness. The Mantle the fans knew—the one they saw at Yankee Stadium, watched on television, and read about in Sports Illustreret—was not a drunk. He was a latter-day legend. In the lore of Mickey Mantle, it is an often-told tale. As well it should be. It’s a story of two of the greatest players—and arguably the two most iconic—of the early post–World War II era, set against the backdrop of the excitement and pageantry of a Subway Series between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers, at a time when baseball was still the king of all American sports. It is fitting that virtually every book on Mantle pays homage to “the play.”

Before the 1952 World Series, Yankees manager Casey Stengel cornered his young center fielder for a lecture on the wily habits of Dodgers star Jackie Robinson. Jackie, Stengel explained, was the most aggressive base runner in the game. He was known for stretching a single into a double or blazing around second to turn a double into a triple. In a primal sense, he challenged the manhood of outfielders, calling into question whether they had the talent and the nerve to throw him out. Mickey listened, knowing he had the arm. But the nerve . . . that was another matter.

In the eighth inning of Game Three, with the Dodgers leading the Yankees 2–1, Robinson ripped a low line drive into center field. Charging down the first base line, he reached full speed in three strides. Rounding first, his spikes kicking dust, he challenged Mantle, who fielded the ball on one hop. Suddenly the game became a chess match, a test of wits between the young outfielder and an experienced, daring base runner.

Mickey Mantle poses for a photo circa 1951. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia

Holding the ball shoulder high, Mantle eyed Robinson, who had slowed to a dance between first and second. Mickey cocked his arm as if he were going to fire it toward first, daring Jackie to make a move. Robinson hesitated, then streaked toward second. Mantle had conned him into running for the extra base and then threw him out by what seemed like half a city block. When it was over Jackie smiled and tipped his cap. Mickey grinned. He had outsmarted the great Jackie Robinson.

On the game’s greatest stage, Mantle demonstrated that he had the intelligence, instincts, and ability to make “the play.” No wonder he recalled it as one of his most treasured memories. No wonder his biographers and a legion of sportswriters have fondly recounted the episode. Some consider it one of his greatest World Series plays. As much as his tape-measure home runs, it signaled the arrival of Mickey Mantle, the Wonder Boy of the 1950s.

It’s a marvelous story. There is only one small problem with the tale. It never happened. Mickey did not bait and trap Jackie. Robinson did not attempt to reach second. In fact, he advanced to third base on a single by Roy Campanella and then scored on a hit by Andy Pafko. The Dodgers won the game and took a 2–1 lead in the series. Anyone reading the New York newspapers the next day on October 4, 1952, would have seen it recorded that Robinson crossed home plate. The following spring, writing a magazine profile of Mantle, Milton Gross, an eyewitness reporter, noted that after Robinson hit the ball into center field and rounded first base, he “stopped, stumbled, got to his feet again, and then scrambled back to first.”

The significance of “the play” is not that it didn’t happen but that it is remembered as if it did. Years later, Mantle confidently recalled throwing out Robinson. “I’ll never forget it,” he said. Perhaps Mickey confused the play with a similar one in another game. But a close inspection of every Yankees and Dodgers World Series contest that Mantle and Robinson played in 1952, 1953, 1955, and 1956 reveals that Mickey never threw Jackie out at second. It turns out that Mantle was an indifferent student of his own career. In that regard he was like his teammate Yogi Berra, who once commented, “I never said most of the things I said.”

Journalists and biographers have retold Mickey’s tale, perpetuating a mythology that started with his own hazy memories. Discerning the truth of Mickey’s world, especially during the 1950s, demands casting a skeptical eye on his many ghostwritten autobiographies and the popular reminiscences of the era. According to the conventional baseball narrative, Mantle played during a more innocent time. After he died in 1995, Sports Illustrated’s Richard Hoffer wrote, “Mantle was the last great player on the last great team in the last great country, a postwar civilization that was booming and confident, not a trouble in the world.” In the introduction to Mantle’s memoir of the 1956 season, coauthor Phil Pepe wrote of the era that it was “a wonderful time in this country when everyday life was much less complicated.”

Yet romanticizing Mantle’s place in the “golden age” of baseball and the “happy days” of the 1950s distorts reality. Only when we ask how the Cold War and the culture of New York shaped American attitudes toward Mantle can we begin to understand why baseball needed a hero like him. In the making of Mickey Mantle, context was as important as his outsized talent.

With the help of the very best sportswriters in New York—the capital of baseball—he emerged as an American icon. In the decade after World War II, when New York’s three major league teams dominated baseball, the city was still very much a newspaper town. The papers connected baseball fans to Mantle throughout the day. Drinking their morning coffee, sports fans read Arthur Daley and Gay Talese at the Times or Red Smith of the Herald-Tribune the Daily News’s Dick Young and the Daily Mirror’s Walter Winchell entertained readers on their subway rides to work the Post’s great columnists, Jimmy Cannon and Milton Gross, absorbed their attention during the ride home and Frank Graham at the Journal-American or Dan Daniel of the World-Telegram and Sun helped them relax after dinner, offering the latest gossip and baseball news. The most influential New York scribes shaped Mickey’s popular image through their writing in Sports Illustrated, Sport, The Sporting News, Baseball Digest, Saturday Evening Post, Newsweek, Time, and Look. In 1956 Mickey Mantle became baseball’s cover boy, publicized and photographed from one coast to another.

Yet the writers did more than report feats they fabricated baseball’s myths and produced American heroes. “Most mythology,” David Halberstam wrote, “is manufactured in New York about American virtues thus the mythologists are from New York, but the mythologized are preferably from Commerce, Oklahoma, or”—in the case of Joe DiMaggio, the son of Italian immigrants—“Fisherman’s Wharf.”

If Mickey Mantle had not existed, sportswriters and Yankees publicists would have invented him. And in a quite literal sense, they forged the Mickey Mantle Americans adored. Since 1920 sportswriters had helped create New York baseball legends. They transformed George Herman Ruth, a loud, boorish man, into the Babe, a jovial idol who loved children, candy, and soda pop as much as he did hitting home runs. They turned a distant, laconic DiMaggio into the incomparable Yankee Clipper, a reserved, classy paragon of excellence. They made Lou Gehrig, the reclusive son of German immigrants, into “the Pride of the Yankees,” a sentimental favorite who battled a debilitating and ultimately terminal disease with unmatched and unwavering courage.

Mickey Mantle signs the baseball card of an adoring fan, Preston Mesarvey, in Marietta, Georgia in 1988. Photo Courtesy of Preston Mesarvey

The Yankees and their supporters in the press promoted baseball stars because New Yorkers demanded excellence from the team that embodied the city’s competitive values. In 1968, Mantle’s final season, historian Bruce Catton recognized as much, writing, “The Yankees perfectly represented what might be called the New York Idea, which held that New York had and was the best of everything. No matter what line of work a man was in—finance, industry, communications, the arts, sports, or fashion—he was not really in unless he was in New York. New York made the pace it led the way, and everybody else had
to follow and like it.”

Mickey Mantle, the ball player from rural Oklahoma, was next in the assembly line of New York creations. It was all planned from his first glorious spring training camp when he began knocking the ball prodigious distances. That was in 1951, but his anointment was premature.

Over the next four seasons, he struggled to fulfill the expectations thrust upon him by the city’s hero makers. Instead of a wunderkind, he was an enigma. Fans questioned his character and determination. Then, in 1956, it all came together. After years of disappointments, frustration, and a variety of injuries, in 1956 he confirmed his greatness. It was his best season ever. He performed magnificently, pounding tape-measure home runs into the bleachers of Yankee Stadium, making crucial plays during the World Series, and winning the Triple Crown, a rare achievement that marked his ascendance as the best player in the game.

That season Mantle joined Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig, and Ted Williams as the only players who had led both leagues in home runs, batting average, and runs batted in (RBIs) in a single season. During their Hall of Fame careers Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial, and Willie Mays failed to qualify for this elite club. This shortlist represents something more significant than the answer to a trivia question. The Triple Crown is at the very heart of baseball’s hold on America. A testament of his greatness, Mantle’s statistical feat garnered his permanent place in history. More than other sports, baseball, Halberstam observed, depends on statistics because they give meaning to the game’s mythology. A player’s “performance is not fulfilling enough,” he wrote. “It must be shown in quantified heroics, records to be set and broken, new myths and heroes to replace the old.”

And in 1956 Mantle stepped out of the shadows of Ruth, Gehrig, and DiMaggio. For the first time in his career, the sun-bathed stage of Yankee Stadium truly belonged to him. There may have been a player who had a year close to Mickey Mantle’s perfect season, but none had a more euphonious name or better looks or was so well suited for the television age. He was unlike any other baseball star in America, the realization of Bernard Malamud’s protagonist in The Natural, a blue-eyed, blond-haired boy from the heartland whose raw power and mythical purity made him a hero.

Of course, there were always two Mickey Mantles—the man and the image—and New York’s celebrity-making culture shaped and eventually eroded both.


Se videoen: Mantle hits the longest home run in Baseball History (November 2021).