Mickey Mantle, known as one of the all time greatest baseball players, played for the New York Yankees from 1951 to 1968. He played center field and first base, and was one of the best switch hitters in baseball history. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974 and the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999.
Mickey Mantle began his baseball career as a semi-professional player for the Baxter Springs Whiz Kids in 1948. Mantle was eventually promoted to the Class-C Joplin Miners where he hit for a .383 averagem 26 home runs and 136 runs. With his suburb play, Mickey Mantle was awarded the Western Association batting title.
After two years in the minors, Mickey Mantle was invited to the Yankees training camp where he caught the attention of management, earning himself a spot with the major league team. The hype around the 19 year old Mantle grew rapidly as Yankees fans were beginning to compare him to the great Babe Ruth. However, early into his first season, the pressure began to mount on Mantle and it hurt his performance on the field which forced the team to send him down to the minors. After a strong stint in the minors, the Yankees called Mantle up and moved him to center field to replace the recently retired Joe DiMaggio. Mickey Mantle adjusted to the majors quickly during his first full season in 1951 and his dominant presence at the plate was a major part of the Yankee’s three World Series championships in 1951, 1952, and 1953. During that championship run, Mantle began to develop a reputation as a clutch hitter as he hit legendary home runs in game 6 and 7 of the 1952 World Series.
After already having achieved the ultimate team prize multiple times, Mickey Mantle began to collect significant individual achievements through the mid 1950s. In 1956, Mantle became just the 6th player in baseball history to achieve the ‘Triple Crown’ by leading the league in home runs, batting average, and RBI, a feat only three other players have achieved since. This led to an American League MVP award that same year and another one in 1957. Amidst this period of unparalleled success, Mantle became the highest paid baseball player in 1960 when he signed a contract for $75,000, worth over $500,000 in today’s money. That same year, Mantle hit a home run at Briggs Stadium in Detroit that was measured at 634 ft long, the longest home run on record to this day. The Yankees continued to dominate the league and Mickey Mantle became part of another four World Series titles in 1956, 1958, 1961, and 1962. In 1962 Mantle captured his third AL MVP award, but this would be the beginning of the end for Mickey Mantle and the Yankees dynasty. Osteomyelitis and other injuries prevented him from performing at his best in his last few seasons and Mickey Mantle announced his retirement in 1969.
After retirement, Mickey Mantle pursued a career in business by staring in television commercials and opening his own restaurant. He also spent some time as part of the broadcast team with the New York Yankees. Mickey Mantle died of cancer in 1995 but his legend lives on to this day. By the end of his career, Mickey Mantle was part of 12 pennant winning and seven World Series championship teams and he still holds the record for home runs hit during a World Series with 18. Mantle is remember as one of the all time great New York Yankees and baseball players of all time.Share this Article: