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Comes To Life®
The Award-Winning Videography™ Program
& Its Companion Volume
Web Site & Catalog - Featuring Mickey Mantle's Life Story
(Part 1 of 3)
A biography of Mickey Mantle
by Lewis Early
(Excerpted from the award-winning DVD,
Dream Comes To Life® - The
- Mickey Mantle tells his own life story
(autobiography) on DVD.
more about it. Click Here to see an outline of the contents of the
Mickey Mantle's Early Years
Named after a Hall of Fame Catcher
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"
Mickey's Father Teaches
Him to Be a Great HitterMutt 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
OsteomyelitisBy 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
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
The Baxter Springs Whiz KidsOnce 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...
© Copyright 1997, 1998, 2000 - Lewis Early
We highly recommend
The American Dream Comes
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!
recommend the second Videography™
in the Comes To Life®
Madden: The American Dream
Comes To Life®
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
All Rights Reserved