January 16, 1974 (38 Years): Mickey
is elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY in his first year of eligibility.
In addition to Mickey, his close friend Whitey Ford is also elected, along with
Negro League star Cool Papa Bell and umpire Jocko Conlan. The induction ceremony
is scheduled for August 12, 1974.
(Mickey's Hall of Fame plaque is shown in the picture on the right. It reads,
"Mickey Charles Mantle New York
A. L. 1951 - 1968 Hit 536 home runs, won league homer title and
slugging crown four times. Made 2415 hits. Batted .300 or over in each of ten
years with top of .365 in 1957. Topped A. L. in walks five years and in runs
scored six seasons. voted Most Valuable Player 1956-57-62. Named on 20 A. L.
All-Star Teams. Set World Series Records for Homers, 18; Runs, 42; Runs Batted
In, 40; Total Bases, 125; and Bases on Balls, 45.")
March 1, 1969 (43 Years): Mickey
announces his retirement from baseball at a press conference at Yankee
Stadium in New York. Mickey played 18 seasons for the Yankees, from
1951-1968. He played a total of 2,401 games, the most games of any Yankees
player. (Photo on the right.)
1956 (56 Years): In a spring training game in St.
the St. Louis Cardinals Mickey crushes a
spectacular home run over the left-field
bleachers, across a street and into
(The path of this home run is shown by the middle arrow in the photo on the
left. Photo of the field was taken after the bleachers were removed.)
March 12, 1956 (56
up for what will be his Triple Crown winning season, Mickey clouts
a second formidable home run against the Cardinals in St.
Petersburg, a one-hopper
into Tampa Bay.
(The path of this home run is shown by the broken arrow on the right in the
photo on the left.)
1960 (52 Years): Mickey's fourth son, Danny, is born.
March 20, 1961 (51 Years): In
his first spring under manager Ralph Houk, Mickey crushes a high home run
off Roger Craig against the Dodgers at Dodgertown in Vero
Beach, Florida. Mickey's left-handed drive goes completely out of the park
over the rightfield fence and disappears into the distance.
(The red arrow in the in photo on the right shows the path of Mickey's
March 20, 1956 (56
a tear for what will be his finest spring training since 1951, Mickey -
facing the Cardinals in St. Petersburg yet again - unleashes
another tremendous tape-measure home run, this one high over the centerfield
barrier at Al Lang Stadium, at least 500 feet long. Cardinals'
centerfielder Bill Virdon (Yankees manager from 1974-75) says it's the
longest homer he ever saw.
(The path of this home run is shown by the arrow on the left in the photo
above on the left.)
March 24, 1956 (56
Mickey hits yet another historic home run, this
time at Miami Stadium in Miami against the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The ball goes over the 35-foot centerfield wall at the 400-foot mark.
It's the first time ever a ball has gone out of Miami Stadium over the centerfield wall. The next day the homer is reported as a
500-footer by the Associated Press.
March 26, 1951 (61 Years): Mickey
crushes two monster home runs in an exhibition game played at Bovard Field at
the University of Southern California (USC). The first goes out of the park, across
the street bordering the field, and hits the second-story porch of the third
house down. Mickey's second homer - a moon shot if ever there was one - left the park in
right-centerfield and crossed a football field adjacent to the baseball diamond.
It may the longest home run ever hit, traveling 656 feet!
(The red arrows show the paths of both homers in
the photo on the above left.)
1965 (47 Years): Mickey hits the first home run
ever in the Houston Astrodome in an exhibition game against the
Houston Astros. Leading off the sixth inning, Mickey crushes a high
drive off Astros' pitcher Turk Farrell that lands in centerfield near
the 406 foot marker. Mickey also got the first hit in the Astrodome,
a single to center to lead off the first inning.
(In the photo on the right Mickey waits for the pitch from Astros' pitcher
Turk Farrell that he slammed into the centerfield seats for the first home
run ever hit at the Astrodome in Houston.)
1962 (50 Years): Mickey hits his last Opening
Day home run. It goes some 425 feet into the right-centerfield bleachers at
Yankee Stadium as the Yankees nip Baltimore 7-6.
1953 (59 Years): Mickey's first son, Mickey
Jr., is born.
1955 (57 Years): Mickey homers on Opening Day
for the first time.
1951 (61 Years):
makes his Yankees debut against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee
Stadium before nearly 45,000 fans. Whitey Ford, on leave from the Army,
throws out the first pitch. Mickey gets his first hit, a single in the sixth
inning that drives in his first run, as the Yankees shut out the
Red Sox 5-0. Mickey goes 1-for-4 with an rbi and a run scored.
1953 (59 Years): Mickey, batting right-handed, blasts a monster
565-foot homer out of Griffith Stadium in Washington, DC. Yankees PR director
Red Patterson coins the term "tape measure home run" by
measuring the homer during the game. It may be the most famous home run ever
hit. The Guinness Book of World Records lists it as the longest home run
to be measured at the time it was hit.
(The photo on the above right illustrates the path of Mickey's homer. Mickey is shown
batting left-handed but he hit the home run right-handed. The yellow arrow in
the diagram below the photo shows how far it went after it left Griffith Stadium.)
17, 1956 (56 Years):
belts two tremendous Opening Day
homers against the Washington Senators at
Griffith Stadium in
Washington, DC. President Eisenhower cheers Mickey from
his seat behind the Senators dugout. Both homers are searing line drives
hit left-handed off Camilo Pascual. Each
goes over 500 feet, clearing the 31-foot wall in centerfield. The first
homer lands atop a house across from the park. The second homer ricochets off
a tree growing in a clump of
trees outside the park. It caroms out and onto adjacent Fifth Street. Only Babe Ruth had ever hit a ball into the
trees outside Griffith Stadium, and he only did it once.
(In the diagram on the left Mickey's two
Opening Day homers are shown in red. The red arrow in the center shows the path
of Mickey's first home run that landed atop a house across Fifth Street. The red
arrow on the left shows the path of his second home run that ricocheted off a
tree behind the centerfield wall and then caromed out onto Fifth Street. For
comparison, the yellow arrow shows the path of his 565-foot homer hit on April
17, 1953, exactly two years earlier.)
1951 (61 Years): Mickey plays his first major
league game at Yankee Stadium.
May 1, 1951 (61 Years):
hits his first major league home run at Comiskey Park in Chicago. The ball
travels nearly 500 feet.
May 1, 1956
Mickey begins the scoring with a first-inning solo home run to right-field that
just clears Al Kaline’s glove, who makes a leaping stab at the ball in an
attempt to take Mickey’s homer away from him, and the Bombers go on to beat the
Tigers 9-2 at Yankee Stadium.
May 2, 1961
In the Yankees’ first game ever in Minnesota, Mickey hammers a tenth-inning
grand slam over the 402-foot sign on the screen in center-field to give them a
6-4 win over the Twins. It’s only the sixth extra-inning grand slam in Yankees’
history. The Yankees are 10-5, and seven of their ten wins are due to Mickey’s
clutch hitting. How sweet it is!
May 3, 1956
Mickey goes 2-for-2 with 2 runs, 2 rbi and his first right-handed homer of the
year, a titanic 440-foot blast deep into the left-field seats, giving him seven
homers and 18 rbi on the year. Despite three Yankees’ homers they’re nipped by
the A’s in the ninth by a bunt and a sacrifice and lose 8-7 to the Kansas City
Athletics at Yankee Stadium.
May 4, 1951
Mickey’s second career home run is an historic and formidable 500-plus-foot
blast that flies over the roof and completely out of Sportsman’s Park in St.
Louis as the red hot Bronx Bombers’ win their sixth straight game.
May 4, 1961
Mickey wins a case of beer by hitting a home run directly into the teeth of a
25-mph wind in a 5-2 win in Minnesota after the Twins’ pitcher, Ted Sadowski,
bets The Mick a case of beer that he can’t homer with the wind blowing in at
him. While rounding third base Mickey yells to Sadowski, on the mound in shock
after witnessing Mick’s amazing feat, “I’ll take Budweiser!”
5, 1956 (56 Years): Mickey hits his first
home run to strike the façade at Yankee Stadium. It's off righty Moe
Burtschy of the Kansas City
and his second homer of the game as the Yankees win
5-2. It's his first homer to nearly go out of Yankee Stadium. A's broadcaster
Merle Harmon says, "If not for the roof, it would have hit the subway
across the street!" (The path
of Mickey's first façade shot at Yankee Stadium is diagramed in the photo on the right.)
May 5, 1957 (55
Mickey goes 3-for-3 with a walk, a run, 2 rbi, a stolen
base and a two-run homer into the top deck in left-field at Comiskey Park in
Chicago for a 5-2 win over the White Sox.
May 5, 1962 (50
Mickey goes 2-for-4 with 2 runs scored, a run-batted-in, and a two-run homer
deep into the third deck in right-field as the Yankees nip the Washington
Senators 7-6 at Yankee Stadium.
May 6, 1962 (50
Mickey goes 4-for-8 with 3 runs, 5 rbi and 3 homers in a doubleheader split
against the Senators at Yankee Stadium. His tape-measure shot in the first game
goes 460-feet into the last row of the right-field bleachers. In the second game
Mickey switch-hits homers for the ninth time in his career – only one player in
the American League had done it before, and only once.
May 6, 1962 (50
Mickey goes 4-for-8 with 3 runs, 5 rbi and 3 homers
in a doubleheader split against the Senators at Yankee Stadium. His tape-measure
shot in the first game goes 460-feet into the last row of the right-field
bleachers. In the second game Mickey switch-hits homers for the ninth time in
his career – only one player in the American League had done it before, and only
May 6, 1963 (49
Mickey goes 3-for-3 with a walk, a run, 3 rbi, a sacrifice fly and a bazooka
shot home run to the upper deck in left-field to beat the Tigers 10-3 at Tiger
Stadium in Detroit.
May 6, 1964 (48
Mickey goes 3-for-8 with a walk, 2 runs, 5 rbi and his first two homers of the
year, one in each game of a doubleheader split against the Senators at DC
Stadium in Washington.
May 6, 1968 (44
Mickey passes Ted Williams for fourth in the all-time career home runs with
#522, a two-run shot into the lower deck in right off Indians’ lefty Sam
McDowell in a 3-2 loss in NY. McDowell, who breaks the AL record this day for Ks
in consecutive games with 30, later says it “was a change-up in which I knew
that I had him fooled, yet he hit it out to the opposite field.”
May 6, 1998 (14
WCBS-TV in New York reports that the FBI maintains a 29-page file on Mickey.
They say it contains a report that an unidentified blackmailer tried to extort
$15,000 from Mickey after he was caught in a “compromising situation” with a
married woman, that he received calls from a known gambler in 1963 and letters
threatening to shoot him.
May 7, 1954 (58
Mickey’s sky-high howitzer blast over the 402-foot sign in left soars over 425
feet, past the double rows of box seats, and leads the Bombers to a 2-0 win over
the Philadelphia Athletics at Yankee Stadium.
May 7, 1955 (57
Mickey launches a towering solo home run in the eighth deep to dead center-field
in Fenway Park to put the Yankees ahead for good as the Bombers beat the Red Sox
May 7, 1998 (14
confirms that it kept a 29-page file on Mickey. 24 pages concern a blackmail
attempt and letters threatening to shoot him. Five pages are their response to a
1969 White House request that Mickey’s name be checked to see if it turned up in
other files. Says the FBI, “By no stretch of the imagination was Mickey Mantle
ever the subject of an FBI investigation.”
May 8, 1956 (56
Mickey, despite a painful muscle spasm in his left thigh and fouling a ball off
his right big toe in batting practice, still manages to knock a homer into
Yankee Stadium’s lower right-field seats for a 4-3 win. Mickey’s dinger came off
Indians’ right-hander Early Wynn, Mickey’s favorite pitcher for career home
runs. Wynn gave up 13 to The Mick, the most of any pitcher.
May 8, 1957 (55
Mickey belts a 440-foot three-run home run to deepest center-field in
Cleveland's cavernous Municipal Stadium, adding to his total of career home runs
hit off Early Wynn, but the Yankees lose 10-4.
May 8, 1964 (48
Despite tornado warnings and stormy skies, Mickey rips a homer through the winds
over the right-field fence at Cleveland’s cavernous Municipal Stadium as the
Yankees crush the Indians 10-3.
May 9, 1953 (59
Mickey catapults a tremendous home run off the light-tower above the net in
left-field and is later robbed of a homer when Jimmy Piersall makes a leaping,
back-hand catch above the wall in deep center near the 420-foot sign as the
Bombers beat Boston 6-4 at Fenway Park.
9, 1958 (54 Years): Mickey hits the first
of three inside-the-park home runs in less than a month,
a 450-ft drive into the monuments in center-field at Yankee Stadium. The Mick
turns on the after-burners and flies around the bases for an inside-the-park
home run. He goes 3-for-5, scoring 2 runs and driving home an rbi, and steals
third as part of a double steal as the Bombers beat the Senators 9-5 in NY. This one is against
the Senators at Yankee Stadium.
May 9, 1964 (48
Mickey hits his 12th and final career homer off left-handed pitcher
Pedro Ramos (his second favorite pitcher for hitting home runs) as the Bronx
Bombers beat the Indians 6-2 at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland.
May 9, 1966 (46
Slowed by major shoulder surgery in the off-season, Mickey finally hits his
first homer of the year in the 23rd game of the season. It’s the latest he’s
homered in any year of his career, but it comes at a good time as it enables the
Bombers nip the Minnesota Twins 3-2 at Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis.
May 10, 1959 (53
In a doubleheader sweep over the Senators at Yankee Stadium, in the first game
Mickey smacks a 410-foot homer into the left-field bullpen and scores two runs.
In the second game he singles and scores the winning run in the bottom of the
May 10, 1965
goes 3-for-4 with a run, 2 rbi, a long homer to right and a double. The Mick’s
double comes with two out in the ninth, a long, hard hit ball that caroms high
off the left-center-field wall, missing being a homer by two feet. Mickey's
pinch runner is stranded at second and the Yankees lose 3-2 at Fenway Park. It
is pitcher Jim Lonborg’s first big league win.
May 11, 1963 (49
Mickey goes 2-for-4 with a walk, 3 runs, 3 rbi and a homer off Milt Pappas in a
13-1 massacre of the Orioles at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. Roger Maris
homers too, the first time M&M homered in the same game this season.
May 11, 1965 (47
After Mickey hurt his hands hitting a hard sinker off the end of his bat,
pitcher Arnie Earley sees Mickey set-up in the back of the batter’s box. On a
3-2 pitch Earley fires another hard sinker well outside. Rather than walk,
Mickey reaches out and smashes it 430-feet into the seats beyond the Red Sox
bullpen in right-center-field and the Yankees win 5-3 at Fenway.
May 12, 1957 (45
Mickey belts a game-winning homer deep into the right-field seats with two out
in the eighth inning to lead the Yankees to a 4-3 win over the Orioles at
Municipal Stadium in Baltimore.
May 12, 1959
Mickey hits a tremendous drive all the way to the 457-foot sign in
left-center-field at Yankee Stadium then races around the bases for an
inside-the-park homer, but the Bombers lose 7-6 to the Indians in NY.
May 12, 1962 (50
Mickey crushes a 450-foot ninth inning blast into the bullpen in right-field to
help seal a 9-6 victory over the Tribe at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland.
May 13, 1951 (61
Mickey’s first right-handed major league home run is overshadowed by the
Philadelphia Athletics sweep of a doubleheader from the Yankees at Shibe Park.
With a runner on third Mickey popped out trying to bunt to end the first game.
In the second game he made a rookie running mistake and missed touching second
base. Game two was called after 8 innings due to a curfew.
13, 1955 (57 Years): Mickey has the only
three-homer game in his career and first switch-hit homer game – one righty
and two lefty – goes 4-for-4 and drives in all five runs to beat the Detroit
in New York. All three homers are hit to the right-centerfield bleachers. Each
is well over 400 feet.
May 13, 1960 (52
Mickey, batting second for one of the few times in his career, bashes a
tremendous opposite-field homer over the 31-foot high wall in right-field,
completely out of Griffith Stadium – a rare feat for a right-handed hitter - and
the Yankees beat the Senators 7-3 in Washington.
May 14, 1966 (46
Mickey mauls a monster mash of a homer - over 500 feet - that clears the
outfield fence in deepest right-center-field and continues rocketing to the base
of a second, outer fence - something never before accomplished - but the
Athletics go on to win 4-2 in Kansas City.
May 14, 1967 (45
On a two out full count Mickey smokes Orioles’ pitcher Stu Miller’s “pitcher’s
pitch” (low & away) deep into the lower seats in right for career homer #500.
It's the difference in the Bombers' 7-6 win at Yankee Stadium. Only the 6th
player ever to hit 500 career homers, Yankees’ 3rd base coach Frank Crosetti
breaks tradition by shaking The Mick’s hand as he rounds 3rd.
May 15, 1957 (55 Years):
While celebrating Billy Martin’s birthday, Mickey,
Billy, Yogi Berra and Hank Bauer are involved in a brawl at the Copacabana
nightclub. When the players ask a drunk bowling team to stop yelling racial
slurs at Sammy Davis during his performance, they challenge the Yankees to a
fight in the cloak room. The highly publicized incident gives GM George Weiss an
excuse to trade Billy to Kansas City. One of the bowlers sues Hank Bauer for
$1,000,000. The judge throws out the case.
1951 (61 Years): Mickey hits his first major
league home run at Yankee Stadium.
20, 1958 (54 Years): Mickey hits the second of
three inside-the-park home runs in less than a month. This one is against the
White Sox at Comiskey Park.
1963 (49 Years):
Mickey goes 2-for-4, scoring 2 runs with 5 rbi. Both of his hits are home runs
to right (one goes into the lower seats, the other soars into the bullpen) to
help the Yanks beat the Kansas City A's 7-4 at Yankee Stadium in NY.
1962 (50 Years): Mickey hits what he calls "the hardest
ball I ever hit" at Yankee Stadium off Bill Fischer of the
Kansas City A's. The ball
hits the façade inches from the top and bounces back to the infield. It wins
the game in the bottom of the tenth inning.
(The diagram in photo on right shows the
location where Mickey's home run off Bill Fischer hit the façade at
May 23, 1959
Mickey breaks a personal slump and a team
slump with a great game by going 3-for-3 with 2 walks, 3 runs scored, an rbi
double in the first followed by a steal of third - when the catcher's throw gets
away Mickey races home to score, plus a hefty home run in the fifth belted deep
over the barrier in right to give the Yankees a 13-5 win at Memorial Stadium in
May 24, 1956
Mickey has a great day, going 5-for-5 with a long home run into the stands in
right in the second inning, plus a walk, 3 runs, and 3 rbi as the Yankees pound
Detroit 11-4 at Tiger Stadium. Mickey's performance raises his average to .421,
with 17 homers and 39 rbi - the best in the majors, and speculation about Mickey
winning the Triple Crown begins!
May 25, 1954
Mickey goes 3-for-4 with a walk, 2 runs, 1 rbi, uses his
blazing speed to beat-out two infield singles, and then in the eighth inning
catapults a homer well over Griffith Stadium’s 31-foot high wall in right-field
to help the Yankees beat the Senators 9-3 in Washington.
May 25, 1957 (55
Mickey goes 2-for-4 with a run and 2 rbi, then in the
fifth inning picks on home run favorite Pedro Ramos again by hitting another
homer off him, a sharp drive into the lower seats in right-field, as the Yankees
beat the Senators 8-1 at Yankee Stadium.
May 25, 1966
Mickey has his first two-homer game since Aug. 12, 1964.
He goes 3-for-3 with 2 walks, 3 runs, 5 rbi and 2 homers. He hits one homer into
the back of the bullpen in right-field, and the other homer he slices to the
opposite-field stands in left, helping the Yankees knock the halos off the
Angels 11-6 at Yankee Stadium.
May 26, 1957
Mickey’s towering “eye-opening” homer disappears through a runway opening in the
top tier in right, bringing the Yankees back to even from a 6-0 deficit, but the
Senators manage to eke out a 9-6 win anyway in the first game of a twin-bill
split with Washington at Yankee Stadium.
May 26, 1963
This game against the Senators is a tense pitcher’s
duel until the 6th inning when Mickey kites an opposite-field homer
that sails into the lower deck in right-field, giving the Yankees a 2-1 lead.
That opens the floodgates and the Bombers go on to win 7-1 at Yankee Stadium.
May 27, 1959 (53
Mickey wins this game with his speed rather than his bat.
He stretches a line single into a double, steals a base and gets 3 walks. After
Mickey walks in the 8th Bosox hurler Murray Wall, mindful of his speed, tries a
half-dozen pick-off attempts. When he finally pitches to Moose Skowron it’s a
gopher ball. Moose parks it in the right-field seats for a 3-2 win in NY.
May 28, 1960 (52
Mickey breaks a scoreless tie (and an 0-for-20 slump) in the 6th inning with a
lead-off opposite-field homer that travels over 400 feet into the bleachers in
right to lead the Yankees to a 5-1 win over the Senators at Yankee Stadium. New
right-fielder Roger Maris – traded for in the off-season - also homers, the
first time the “M&M Boys” both homer in the same game.
May 29, 1960
right-handed, lifts an opposite-field drive into the bleachers in right-field
for a home run to start a three-run rally in the sixth inning, leading the
Yankees to a 6-4 win over the Senators at Yankee Stadium.
It’s his third righty homer of the year, and all have been hit to the opposite
May 30, 1956 (56 Years):
In a Memorial Day doubleheader at Yankee Stadium Mickey
launches his first façade shot off Pedro Ramos in game 1. It misses
going out by 18 inches and
reporters estimate it would’ve gone at least 600 feet! In game 2 he clouts a
450-footer off Camilo Pascual that goes half-way up the bleachers in right to
lead the Yankees to a twinbill sweep over the Senators.
(The façade home run hit the
façade a little to the right of the home run shown in the "hardest ball"
photo diagram just above this entry.)
May 30, 1961
The Yankees turn on the power and hit 7 homers. Mickey & Roger Maris hit two
each - two back-to-back and each of the four over 400 feet - as NY clobbers the
Bosox 12-3 at Fenway Park.
May 30, 1965
Mickey, playing left-field, goes 2-for-4 and homers in the fourth for the first
run as the Yankees beat the Chisox 3-1 at Comiskey Park.
May 30, 1968 (44
In his finest game as a first-baseman, Mickey has his fourth and last 5-hit game
and third 5-for-5 game, with 2 homers, a double, 2 singles, 3 runs and 5 rbi to
beat the Senators 13-4 in game 1 of a twinbill sweep in NY.
May 31, 1954 (58
Though his 11-game hitting streak ends in game 1, Mickey goes 3-for-3 with a
run, 2 rbi & a triple in the nightcap to give the Yanks a twinbill split with
the Senators in NY. Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie is in attendance.
May 31, 1960 (52
The NY Times reports Mickey’s face and jaw are bruised by fans running on the
field, clawing and grabbing him after the Memorial Day twinbill.
Stadium security is beefed up due to the incident. Mickey later says “I learned
to throw the ball one way, my cap the other way, and then to run like hell for
May 31, 1956
Arthur Daley devotes his NY Times column primarily to tape measure homers at
Yankee Stadium due to Mickey’s tremendous homer off the façade on May 30.
May 31, 1961
Mickey hits the key blow, a 400+-foot home run to center-field with Roger Maris
on base (Maris also homered earlier) to give the Yankees a 7-6 win over Boston
at Yankee Stadium.
May 31, 1964
Sitting out due to a leg injury that prevents him from running, Mickey is called
on to pinch-hit. Batting right-handed, he hits a shot that scores two-runs. It
would normally have been a double but The Mick has to jog to first and stop
there because of his injury. Thus far in the season his average batting
right-handed is .559, with 18 rbi in 34 at-bats!
May 31, 1965 (47
Mickey singles, steals second base, races to third on a ground ball, then scores
on a passed ball. His daring base running makes the difference, giving the
Yankees a doubleheader split with Detroit at Yankee Stadium.
June 5, 1958 (54 Years):
the third of three inside-the-park home runs in less than a month. This one is
against the White Sox at Yankee Stadium.
June, 1949 (63 Years):
signs with the Class "D" Independence Miners of the Yankees organization
on the day he graduates from high school.
June 6, 1955 (57 Years):
hits the first home run ever to go over the centerfield screen at Briggs
Stadium in Detroit.
June 8, 1969 (43 Years):
Mantle Day" - the third day honoring Mickey - is held at Yankee Stadium. 70,000 people attend.
(Mickey is overcome with emotion on "Mickey Mantle Day" in
photo on the right.)
June 15, 1957 (55 Years):
Mickey’s best friend, Billy Martin, is traded by Yankees' General Manager George
Weiss to the Kansas City A's after the Copacabana nightclub incident on
May 15. Weiss thought Martin was a bad influence on Mickey and was looking for a
reason to trade him. Mickey, Billy and Whitey Ford were inseparable friends, and
Mickey was devastated at losing his best pal.
June 18, 1956 (56 Years):
Batting left-handed with two on in the eighth
inning and the score tied at 4-4, Mickey crushes a game winning homer that
clears the right-field roof in Detroit - only Ted Williams had done it before.
Detroit Manager Bucky Harris said, "That would bring tears to the eyes of a
June 19, 1951 (61 Years):
homers in both games of a doubleheader for the first time.
June 20, 1956 (46 Years): Mickey
hammers two historic home runs left-handed against Billy Hoeft in Detroit. Both
homers rocket into the upper deck in centerfield - the first into the
right-centerfield seats, the second into the left-centerfield
seats. It's never been done, and Mickey does it twice in one game.
June 21, 1955 (57 Years):
Mickey clobbers the first home run ever into the centerfield "black seats" at Yankee Stadium. It's
measured to have traveled 486 feet.
(Point where Mickey's homer landed indicated by red arrow in photo on right.)
July 6, 1953 (59 Years):
slams his first pinch-hit home run, over 500 feet out of Shibe Park in
July 9, 1955 (57 Years):
has his first five-hit game with a double and five singles.
July 10, 1956 (56 Years):
and Ted Williams hit back-to-back homers in the All-Star Game at
Griffith Stadium in Washington. The Mick's homer is hit
right-handed off Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn.
(In the photo on the left Mickey poses with teammate Yogi Berra - on the left -
and Red Sox legend Ted Williams
- center - at the All-Star Game in Washington.)
13, 1951 (61 Years): After striking out four
times in a doubleheader in Boston, Casey Stengel sends Mickey down to the
triple-A Kansas City Blues.
23, 1957 (55 Years): Mickey hits for the
"cycle" (hitting a single, double, triple and home run in the same game) for his first and only time. He goes 4-for-5, scoring two runs and
driving in four. His homer flies 465 feet into the rightfield bleachers to
beat the White Sox 10-6 in New York.
(In the photo on the right Mickey slams his home run as part of his "cycle"
against the White Sox on July 23, 1957.)
26, 1952 (60 Years): Mickey belts his first
career grand slam into the upper deck in left-centerfield at Briggs Stadium
It's career home run #28.
July 28, 1952 (60 Years):
Just two days after hitting his first career grand slam, Mickey hits his second
career grand slam, this one at Comiskey Park in
Chicago. This one's
career home run #29.
4, 1968 (44 Years):
Mantle Banner Day" - the second day honoring Mickey - is held at
August 5, 1954 (58 Years):
Mickey smashes the
famous "Joe Collins" home run, one of two home runs Mickey
hit that day, leading the
Yankees to a 5-2 win over the Indians in Cleveland. After Joe
hit a home run into the upper deck, he challenged Mickey to "go chase that
one, big boy." In his next at-bat Mickey clouted a longer home run into the
upper deck. (In the photo on the right
the red arrow on the left shows the approximate path of Joe Collins' home run at
Cleveland Municipal Stadium. The red arrow on the right shows the approximate
path of Mickey's home run.)
6, 1954 (58 Years):
slams his first pinch-hit home run, over 500 feet out of Shibe Park in
1953 (59 Years): Mickey hits his first
inside-the-park home run as the Yankees beat Chicago 6-1 at Yankee Stadium.
11, 1954 (58 Years):
has his first two-homer game in a 7-0 win over the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
12, 1964 (48 Years):
Mickey crushes a sky-high fly ball to centerfield. Mickey
thinks he's flied out. But the ball continues to carry until it finally lands 15
rows deep in the centerfield bleachers at Yankee Stadium. Distance: 502
feet. It's only the second home run ever to land in the centerfield "black
seats" at Yankee Stadium. The first: Mickey's home run on June 21, 1955.
August 12, 1974 (38 Years):
Mickey is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame with friend and teammate
Whitey Ford. (In the photo on the
right Mickey poses with fellow Hall of Fame inductees - from left to right -
standing: Mickey and close friend Yankees' pitcher Whitey Ford, seated: Cool
Papa Bell next to umpire Jocko Conlan.)
August 13, 1995 (17 Years):
Mickey passes away in Dallas at age 64.
August 10, 2009 (3 Years):
Mickey's wife, Merlyn Mantle, passes away in Dallas at age 77.
August 13, 1996 (16 Years):
"Mickey Mantle Day" - the fourth day honoring Mickey -
is held at Yankee Stadium one year after his death.
1951 (61 Years): Casey Stengel keeps his word
and brings Mickey back up to the Yankees from the minor leagues.
1, 1963 (49 Years):
hits the famous "hangover" home run in Baltimore after unexpectedly
being taken off the disabled list a day early and
being called upon to pinch-hit.
1961 (51 Years): Mickey wallops a tremendous
home run over the rightfield roof at Tiger Stadium in Detroit. The ball crosses
Trumbull Avenue and lands in the Brooks Lumber Yard. It was measured years later and found
to have gone 643 feet! The Guinness Book of World Records lists it as the
longest home run ever measured (after the fact) in baseball history.
(In the photo on the left the red arrow shows the path of Mickey's historic
643-foot home run hit into Brooks Lumber Yard across the street from Tiger
Stadium in Detroit.)
17, 1952 (60 Years):
clouts a prodigious opposite-field home run off the upper deck football press box in right-centerfield, just below the
roof, to beat the
Tigers in Detroit. The ball bounced back onto the field almost to
second base. At the time Mickey called it, "the hardest ball I ever hit."
That, of course, would change as Mickey racked up more tape-measure blasts later
in his career.
17, 1958 (54 Years):
batting left-handed against
Tigers' pitcher Jim Bunning,
belts a mammoth homer down the rightfield line that goes over the roof and out of
Briggs Stadium (later renamed Tiger Stadium) in Detroit. The ball
crosses adjacent Trumbull Avenue and hits the second story of a building across
from the Stadium. It's recovered by taxi driver Bob Gilbert.
(In the photo on the right Mickey crushes his mammoth home run that went over
the right-field roof of Briggs Stadium in Detroit and struck the second
story of a building on the opposite side of Trumbull Ave. In the photo of
Tiger Stadium on
the right above, the shorter upper red arrow shows the path of this home run and
where it struck the
building across the street from the Stadium. It's above Brooks
Lumber Yard in the photo.)
18, 1965 (47 Years):
Mantle Fan Appreciation Day" - the first day honoring Mickey - is
held at Yankee Stadium with Robert F. Kennedy in attendance. Mickey
plays his 2000th game for the Yankees. Among the gifts
Mickey receives are two quarter horses, and more than $32,000 is raised in
Mickey's name for research in the fight against Hodgkin's Disease.
(In the photo on the left Mickey greets Bobby Kennedy on Mickey Mantle Fan
Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium in New York, September 18, 1958.
Kennedy was a Senator for New York at the time.)
23, 1961 (51 Years):
Mickey - in the starting line-up for the first time in six days due to a severe
viral infection - hits a three-run home run into the rightfield bullpen in his
first at-bat. It's home run #54 for his career-best season high. The Mick's
helps pal Whitey Ford win his 25th
game of the season, Whitey's career high for wins in a season.
(In the photo on the right Mickey blasts home run #54 - his career season high -
on September 23, 1961.)
1968 (44 Years): Mickey plays his last game –
number 2,401, the most ever for the Yankees – in Boston. Andy Kosco
substitutes for Mickey after his first at bat.
30, 1956 (56 Years):
beats out Ted Williams in the batting title race on the last day of the season
to win baseball's Triple Crown. His numbers: .353 average, 52 home
runs, 130 rbi, leading both leagues in each category. He is only the twelfth player in
history to win the Triple Crown. Mickey hit the most home runs of any
Triple Crown winner, and is the only switch-hitter to win it.
(Casey Stengel crowns Mickey with the Sultan of Swat Award crown at
Yankee Stadium in 1956 in the photo on the left. Mickey holds three bats with his winning numbers
written on each one.)
September, 1949 (63 years):
wins his first championship with the Yankees Organization as the Independence
Miners capture the K-O-M (Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri) league title.
October 4, 1951 (61 Years):
Mickey plays his first World Series game
against the New York Giants and rookie Willie Mays at
Yankee Stadium in New
October 4, 1953 (59 Years):
Mickey crushes a tremendous first pitch grand
slam into the upper deck in left-centerfield as the Yankees beat the Dodgers
11-7 at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. It's only the fourth grand slam in World
Series history. (In the photo on
the right Mickey is greeted by Yogi Berra as he crosses the plate after belting
his grand slam off Russ "Monk" Meyer in Game 5 of the 1953 World Series.)
October 5, 1951 (61 Years):
Mickey gets his first
World Series hit but is
seriously injured when his spikes get caught in a sprinkler head while
down a fly ball hit by Willie Mays in Game 2. His right knee is never the same
afterward. Mickey's knee injury is the first of many career injuries
Mickey suffers. (In the photo on the
left Mickey is examined by a doctor at Lennox Hill Hospital in New York after
injuring his knee.)
5, 1953 (59 Years):
The Yankees with their fifth consecutive World
Series championship led by Mickey's best pal and World Series MVP Billy
Martin, batting .500 with 12 hits and 8 rbi. Mickey, while batting only
.208, has five hits, seven rbi, and wins two games with home runs, one of them a
grand slam. It's the only time in history that a team wins five world
championships in a row.
October 8, 1956 (56 Years):
Don Larsen pitches the
only perfect game in World Series history
as the Yankees beat the Dodgers 2-0
in game five of the 1956 World Series. Mickey hits
home run in the fourth inning for the first Yankees' run (the only
run they'll need, as it turns out), then makes a spectacular game-saving catch in
the fifth inning to rob Gil Hodges of an extra-base hit. Hodges drive would have
gone into the upper deck had the game been played at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn,
but Mickey's tremendous speed enabled him to make the catch at Yankee Stadium.
(Mickey's game-saving catch of Gil Hodges' bid for extra bases in Don Larsen's
Perfect Game is shown in the three-panel sequence on the above right.)
October 10, 1951 (61 Years):
Mickey wins his first
World Series championship
as the Yankees beat the Giants in six games. He watches it from his hospital
bed at Lennox Hill Hospital in New York, where he is recovering from his
knee injury in the World Series five
October 10, 1964
crushes the first pitch from Cardinals' relief pitcher Barney Schultz into
the third deck at Yankee Stadium for career World Series homer number 16,
breaking Babe Ruth's record. It's The Mick's "called shot" - he predicted
the homer to Elston Howard in the on-deck circle while Schultz warmed
up. Mickey's walk-off home run wins the game for the Yankees in the
bottom of the ninth inning. (Mickey's
swing for his walk-off home run in Game 3 of the 1964 World Series - his
record-breaking World Series home run #16 - hit off knuckleball pitcher Barney
Schultz, is shown in the photo on the right.)
12, 1955 (57 Years): Mickey
and the Yankees
their tour of Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines with a 12-1 win over the Hawaii
12, 1960 (52 Years): Mickey
and the Yankees win Game 6 of the 1960 World Series against the
Pittsburgh Pirates 12-0. Whitey Ford pitches a complete game shutout to
tie the Series at 3 games each.
October 12, 1964 (48
Years): The St.
Louis Cardinals beat Mickey and the Yankees in Game 5 of the 1964
World Series on Tim McCarver's three-run home run in the tenth inning to
take a 3 game to 2 lead in the Series. Tom Tresh's two-run home run tied the
game for the Yankees in the ninth inning. Bob Gibson strikes out 13 for
October 13, 1960 (52 Years):
In one of the most dramatic games in World Series history, the Pittsburgh
Pirates beat Mickey and the Yankees in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series
10-9 on Bill Mazeroski's walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning in
Pittsburgh to win the Series 4 games to 3. The Yankees tied the
game in the top of the ninth due to Mickey's remarkably intuitive base-running.
With the score 9-8 and one out, Mickey on first and Gil McDougald on third, Yogi
Berra grounded to Pirates' first-baseman Rocky Bridges in what appeared
to be a game-ending double-play ball. Bridges stepped on first to force Berra
but Mantle, instead of running to second, distracted Bridges from throwing home
to get McDougald, then dove around him - avoiding the tag - sliding safely back
into first. It allowed the tying run to score and took the game to the bottom of
the ninth. It's the sort of play that perhaps 1 in 1000 players might make. The
Yankees outscored Pittsburgh 55-27 in the Series. Mickey was so upset by
losing the Series that he cried on the plane trip home. He called it,
"The greatest disappointment of my career."
October 14, 1964 (48 Years):
adds to his World Series home run record by smashing Series home
run #17 as the Yankees beat
the Cardinals 8-3 in Game 6 of the 1964 World Series in St. Louis,
tying the Series at 3 games each. Mickey and Roger Maris hit back-to-back
homers in the sixth and Joe Pepitone added a grand-slam in the eighth inning to
seal the win. (In the photo on
the right Mickey and Roger Maris celebrate in the locker room after hitting
back-to-back homers to beat the Cardinals in Game 6 of the 1964 World Series.)
October 15, 1962 (50 Years):
The San Francisco Giants come back to tie Mickey
and the Yankees in the 1962 World Series at 3 games each.
October 15, 1964 (48 Years):
belts his 18th and final World Series home run - a three-run
homer - to set the all-time
Series home run record, but the Cardinals win the Series 4
games to 3. It's Bob Gibson's second complete game win of the Series.
Bobby Richardson sets an all-time World Series record with 13 hits. It is Mickey's last World Series game.
October 16, 1962 (50 Years):
Mickey wins his seventh and final World Series
championship on Willie McCovey's dramatic line drive out with two on and two out
in the ninth inning of game seven. (In
the photo on the right Yankees' second baseman Bobby Richardson spears Willie
McCovey's line drive with two on and two out in the bottom of the ninth inning
in Game 7 of the 1962 World Series. It ended the game and the Yankees held on to
win 1-0. They won the Series 4 games to 3.)
18, 1951 (601 Years):
Commissioner Ford Frick announces
that a Yankees’ winning
World Series share is $6,446.09. Mickey buys his father a house with his share.
The NY Giants’ losing share is a record $4,951. In contrast, a winning share for
the World Champion San Francisco Giants in 2010 was
$317,631.29. The Yankees share is equivalent to $56,165.73 in 2011 after
adjusting for inflation.
October 20, 1931 (81 Years):
is born during the Great Depression in an unpainted, two-room house in Spavinaw, Oklahoma.
Spavinaw is a tiny town in northwestern Oklahoma near Commerce.
October 21, 1953 (59 Years):
Mickey is named to the
Associated Press’ Major League All-Star team, compiled with American and
National League players.
October 22, 1953 (59 Years):
Fan Ed Lynch of Buffalo
receives a check from Mickey that pays off a 5¢ bet he made with his aunt, a
Dodger fan. Lynch had a premonition in the 3rd inning of Game 5 that
Mickey would hit his grand slam. His aunt wrote on the check that it couldn’t be
cashed, “without the signature of Mickey Mantle.” Mickey signed it and
wrote, “What about the four times I struck out?”
October 23, 1952 (60 Years):
Due to pressure on the
draft board from right-wing extremists,
Mickey is given an
unprecedented third draft physical at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Already classified
“4F” due to his osteomyelitis, he is also exempt as the sole supporter of his
family. A decision is due in two days. Afterward he told doctors he was in a
hurry to get back to his off-season construction job.
Oct. 23, 1957 (55 Years): Mickey is a unanimous
choice for the UPI All-Star team. Fellow Yankees Yogi Berra and Gil McDougald
are also chosen.
Oct. 24, 1960 (52 Years): Commissioner Ford Frick
announces the Yankees’ World Series share is $5,214.64 ea. The Pirates winning
share is $8, 417.94.
Oct. 24, 1962 (50 Years): Commissioner Ford Frick
announces the Yankees’ winning World Series share is $9,882.74. The Giants
losing share is $7,291.49.
inflation it’s equivalent to $86,110.97 in 2011. In contrast, the Giants’
winning share last year was $317,631.29.
Oct. 25, 1961 (51 Years): Mickey Mantle is named
Major League slugging leader for 1961 with a percentage of .687 by UPI. He also was
named slugging leader in 1955 and 1956.
Oct. 26, 1955 (57 Years): Mickey pounds two
doubles to lead the Yankees to an 11-0 win on their exhibition tour of Japan.
They are 3-0 with one tie.
Oct. 28, 1964 (48 Years): Baseball Commissioner
Ford Frick announces that the Yankees’ losing World Series share is $5,309.29
ea. The Cardinals’ winning share is $8,622.19 only $747.84 more than the
Yankees’ record losing share of $7,847.32 in 1963. Curiously, taxes on
admissions exceeded the amounts received by either the contending teams, the
clubs in the World Series or either league.
Oct. 29, 1953 (59 Years):
Surgery to remove cartilage from Mickey’s right knee by
Drs. Bertram & Yancey is set for Monday, Nov. 5 in Springfield, MO.
Oct. 30, 1956 (56 Years):
Mickey is chosen by Baseball Writers to the AP Major
League All-Star team. The team is made-up of players from both leagues. Yogi
Berra from the Yankees is also selected. The outfielders are Mickey, Hank Aaron
and Ted Williams.
Oct. 31, 1957 (55 Years): The Yankees refund
fines assessed against Mickey and five other players for their involvement in
the Copacabana incident, a brawl during a celebration of Billy Martin’s birthday
in May at the nightclub in NY. A $250,000 lawsuit against Hank Bauer was thrown
out. Billy Martin was traded to Kansas City largely in reaction to the incident
by GM George Weiss.
Nov. 1, 1955 (57 Years): Mickey, homesick on the
Yankees exhibition tour of Japan, is advised by Billy Martin to claim his wife
is due to have a baby at any moment and that he needs to race home. The team
relents and allows Mickey to fly back to Oklahoma. While his wife Merlyn is
expecting, she is months away from the birth of their son David. When the club
finds out Mickey is fined.
Nov. 2, 1953 (59 Years):
Mickey undergoes right knee surgery in Springfield, MO. Doctors find effects
from his 1951 Series and July 1953 injuries. Both ends of his semilunar
cartilage are damaged so it is removed.
Nov. 2, 1955 (57 Years):
A homesick Mickey arrives home in Oklahoma from the
Yankees’ exhibition tour in Japan after telling the Yankees’ brass that his wife
was expecting a baby any day
Nov. 2, 1955 (57 Years):
Mickey is named to the AP All-Star team along with teammates Whitey Ford and
Yogi Berra. Berra is 1st in votes, Mickey and Nellie Fox of the White
Sox tie for 2nd. The AP team is compiled with the best players from
both the American and National leagues.
Nov. 3, 1952 (60
classifies Mickey physically unfit (4-F) for military service for the third
time. Previously rejected due to his history of osteomyelitis (bone infection),
the Surgeon General says he is now disqualified due to a chronic knee defect
from the injury he suffered in the 1951 World Series. Unfortunately Mickey
continues to receive hate mail and death threats.
Dec. 2, 1957 (55 Years): The
Baseball Writers Association of America announces that Mickey has won his second
straight Most Valuable Player Award. Mickey hit .365 with 34 home runs
and 94 rbi, and led the league in runs with 121 and walks with 146. The previous
year, 1956, Mickey was unanimously selected MVP after winning the Triple Crown
with a .353 average, 52 homers and 130 rbi.
(Mickey's 1957 MVP Award plaque is shown on the right.)
Dec. 4, 1968 (44 Years):
Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays both pledge their support for a holdout if the
owners don’t revamp players’ pensions.
December 5, 1957 (55 Years):
third son Billy is born. He's named after Mickey's best friend, player and
manager Billy Martin.
Dec. 16, 1973 (39 Years):
Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris head the list of first year eligible players on
the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot. Whitey Ford also appears.
December 23, 1951 (61 Years):
marries his high school sweetheart, Merlyn Johnson.
(Mickey and Merlyn are shown in the photo on the right.)
December 25, 1989 (23 Years):
best friend and teammate, Billy Martin, dies in a motor vehicle accident.
December 26, 1955 (57 Years):
second son, David, is born.
© Copyright 1998- 2010 - Lewis Early