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To Find out More
about Our Award-
Winning DVD:
Mickey Mantle:
The American
To Life


®Copyright 1998-2010
Official Mickey Mantle web site

Mickey Mantle: The American Dream Comes To Life®
The Award-Winning Videography Program & Its Companion Volume
Official Web Site & Catalog - Featuring Mickey Mantle's Life Story

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Mickey Mantle poses as a switch-hitter, showing his right-handed and left-handed batting stances

Mickey Mantle
A biography of Mickey Mantle
by Lewis Early

(Part 1 of 3)
Mickey Manle poses with his Fred Hutchinson Courage award
(Excerpted from the award-winning DVD, Mickey Mantle: The American Dream Comes To Life® - The Deluxe
Lost Stories Edition - Mickey Mantle tells his own life story (autobiography) on DVD. Click Here to learn more about it. Click Here to see an outline of the contents of the DVD.)

Part 1: Mickey Mantle's Early Years

Named after a Hall of Fame CatcherMickey Mantle with his family: father Elvin "Mutt" Mantle, twins Ray & Roy, sister Barbara, brother Butch, and mother Lovell.

Mickey Charles Mantle was born on October 20, 1931 in Spavinaw, Oklahoma. Just a few short years later his family moved to Commerce, OK. Mickey was the oldest son of Elvin "Mutt" Mantle and Lovell Mantle. Mutt, a lead miner, was a big baseball fan and played semi-pro baseball himself. He named Mickey after his favorite player - Hall of Fame catcher Mickey Cochrane. (Mickey often joked that he was glad his father didn't know Cochrane's given name was Gordon.) Mickey had three brothers: twins Ray & Roy and Butch, and a sister, Barbara.  (In the photo on the right clockwise from upper left: Mick's twin brothers Ray & Roy, his sister Barbara, Mickey, his brother Butch, his mother Lovell, and Mickey's father Elvin "Mutt" Mantle.)

Mickey's Father Teaches Him to Be a Great Hitter

Mutt passed his love of the game on to Mickey from almost the moment he was born. As soon as Mickey was old enough to swing a bat and throw a ball, Mickey's father Mutt and grandfather Charlie pitched to him everyday after school in front of a leaning tin barn by their house at 319 S. Quincy in Commerce, OK. (This is where Mickey lived until he was 14. The home and barn are going through a complete restoration to honor Mickey and the Mantle family.) Mutt, a righty, and Charlie, a lefty, taught Mickey to switch-hit at a very early age. They alternated pitching to him so that Mickey could learn to hit from both sides of the plate. The tin barn acted as a backstop. Mickey also developed tremendous strength working at the lead mines during the summers. One job in particular, that of "screen ape," was responsible for Mickey's incredibly strong wrists, shoulders, arms and forearms. A screen ape smashed large rocks into small stones with a sledgehammer. There were two screen apes, one of whom smashed rocks until he couldn't hold the hammer any longer, and then rested while the other took his turn. The strength Mickey developed from this work and other farm chores gave him the strength to hit some of the longest home runs in the history of the game. 

Mickey's Bout with Osteomyelitis

By the time he reached high school Mickey's ability was well beyond that of his contemporaries. He was a gifted athlete, playing not only baseball but also football and basketball. It was during practice for a high school football game that tragedy befell Mickey. He was accidentally kicked on the left shin, and the wound developed into the bone disease osteomyelitis. It became so serious doctors wanted to amputate Mickey's leg. Mickey's mother wouldn't hear of it, and Mutt drove Mickey 175 miles to the Crippled Children's Hospital in Oklahoma City. There Mickey was treated with a new wonder drug, receiving doses every three hours around the clock. Miraculously he responded, and Mickey's leg was saved. The drug: penicillin. Unfortunately, the injury was just the first among many that were to hinder Mickey for the rest of his life. However, this bout with osteomyelitis rendered Mickey unfit for military service for life, another issue that arose later in life.

The Baxter Springs Whiz Kids

Once he'd recovered from his injury he quickly advanced past other players his age, and at sixteen played with a local semi-pro team, the Baxter Springs Whiz Kids. Although players usually were considered for the Whiz Kids only after turning age 18, Mickey easily fit in with the older players, becoming one of the best players in the area. Word of Mickey's ability, however, hadn't spread beyond northeastern Oklahoma. That was about to change...
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© Copyright 1997, 1998, 2000 - Lewis Early


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We highly recommend Mickey's Videography Program:
Mickey Mantle: The American Dream Comes To Life
The Deluxe Lost Stories Edition
(2 hours)
Now on DVD with nearly 200 on-screen pages of bonus features!
"The best baseball program ever made!" - USA Today, The Washington Post, The NY Daily News, Newsday, The Los Angeles Times, The TODAY Show, ESPN, Larry King Live...

Click Here for Details!

We also recommend the second Videography Program
in the Comes To Life® Program Series:

John Madden: The American Dream
Comes To Life® (1 hour)
Now on DVD! The original program in its entirety - not one frame has been omitted.
"60 delightful minutes - A must!" - USA Today, The Washington Post, The Oakland Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Sacramento Bee, The TODAY Show, ESPN...

Click Here for Details!


© Copyright 1998-2010 - Lewis Early
All Rights Reserved