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“Mickey Mantle Day”
September 18th, 1965

It was mid-September 1965. America was in an unsettled time, as the Vietnam War and civil rights unrest were part of an unhappy national scene. Yet life went on. “Help,” by the Beatles, was the No. 1 hit on the Billboard pop music chart; The Sound of Music was leading the film box office; and James Michener’s The Source was atop the New York Times fiction bestsellers list. In August, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, but several days later the Watts Riots began in Los Angeles, underscoring the nation’s racial strife. However, on September 18th at New York’s Yankee Stadium, much of the outside world was suspended, if only briefly, as more than 50,000 baseball fans cheered their hero, Mickey Mantle, the famed slugger of the New York Yankees. It was “Mickey Mantle Day.”

Sept 18th, 1965: Former Yankee, Joe DiMaggio, presents Mickey Mantle to some 50,000 fans at Yankee Stadium on “Mickey Mantle Day” in New York. Mantle would also play his 2,000th game that day. AP photo.
Sept 18th, 1965: Former Yankee, Joe DiMaggio, presents Mickey Mantle to some 50,000 fans at Yankee Stadium on “Mickey Mantle Day” in New York. Mantle would also play his 2,000th game that day. AP photo.

Mantle, 33, was then in his 15th year with the Yankees. In June that year, Yankee management feared Mantle might be nearing the end of his playing days so they decided to give him a special day at the stadium. Only four other Yankees had been so honored – Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra. Mantle, who had played his entire career with the Yankees, had been a key player since his arrival as an 19-year old rookie in 1951. He had won three American League MVP Awards, a Triple Crown in 1956, and had made 14 All-Star appearances. He also figured prominently in the team’s World Series appearances. A fan favorite, Mantle was adored in New York and generally loved throughout the baseball world.

Portion of the cover of special program booklet issued by the New York Yankees for “Mickey Mantle Day.”
Portion of the cover of special program booklet issued by the New York Yankees for “Mickey Mantle Day.”
In New York, Mayor Robert Wagner had proclaimed “Mickey Mantle Day” that Friday. Mantle had been a guest of Wagner’s at City Hall that day along with general manager Ralph Houk. “Mickey Mantle is a man of whom all New Yorkers are entitled to be proud.,” said the Mayor. “He is a glowing example of courage and ability, a splendid sportsman and a credit to his country.”

At Yankee Stadium on September 18th, the ceremony honoring Mantle began at 1:00 pm, about an hour before a scheduled game with the Detroit Tigers. Famed announcer, Red Barber was master of ceremonies. Along with Mantle on the field that day, were his wife, Merlyn, and his eldest son, Mickey,.Jr, with three other sons watching from home. Among attending VIPs that day was U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy (D-NY).

The Yankee organization had issued a special program for the day, with a centerfold of pages and photo collage devoted to Mantle and his career. And as was then the custom with such “special days” honoring national athletes, a cascade of gifts from fans, businesses, and organization were bestowed on Mantle and his family – though at the time Mantle was the highest paid player in Major League baseball.

Joe DiMaggio presented Mantle to some 50,000 fans at Yankee Stadium that day.“I am proud and honored to introduce the man who succeeded me in centerfield here in 1951,” said DiMagio. “He lived up to all expectations and there is no doubt in my mind that he will one day be in the Hall of Fame.”

Mantle then moved to the microphone to make his remarks, paying homage to DiMaggio, saying, “I think just to have the greatest baseball player I ever saw introduce me is tribute enough for me in one day.” Acknowledging that he was nervous, he generally thanked those who helped him through his career, saying he hoped he’d lived up to their expectations. “To have any kind of success in life I think you have someone behind you to push you ahead and to share it with you…. And I certainly have that,” he said, acknowledging his wife Merlyn, his four boys, and his mother, who was in attendance that day.

Mickey Mantle making remarks at “Mickey Mantle Day,” Sept 18th, 1965.
Mickey Mantle making remarks at “Mickey Mantle Day,” Sept 18th, 1965.
Mantle also noted that all donations that day would be turned over to the Hodgkin’s Disease Fund at St. Benton’s Hospital. That fund was founded in memory of Mantle’s father who died of Hodgkin’s disease in May of 1952 at the age of 40. “I wish he could have been here today,” said Mantle. “I know he would be just as proud and happy at what you all have done here as we are.”

Then he closed his remarks, noting: “There’s been a lot written in the last few years about the pain that I’ve played with. But I want you to know that when one of you fans, whether it’s in New York or anywhere in the country, say ‘Hi Mick! How you feeling?’ or ‘How’s your legs?,’ it certainly makes it all worth it. All the people in New York, since I’ve been here, have been tremendous with me. Mr. Topping, all of my teammates, the press and the radio and the TV, have just been wonderful. I just wish I had 15 more years with you….”


Rough Year

However, in 1965, Mickey Mantle was having a rough time of it, especially earlier in the season. He was not at his best. In fact, in June that year, he was hurting with injuries and slumping, batting only .240. Not happy with his performance, Mantle at the time thought about quitting. But he persevered, nonetheless, and made a bit of comeback, though still underperforming his then lifetime .308 average. He had also been moved from his traditional centerfield position to the somewhat less demanding left field.

In mid-August that year, Yankee manager Johnny Keane remarked on Mantle’s season: “Mickey has played at half-mast most of the season. But now, I’m seeing him at his best. He may not admit it, but he has cut down on his swing and still hits some real good shots. And when he does, the whole team brightens up. He’s the leader, no doubt about it, and he always wants to play.”

Two years earlier, in 1963, Mantle broke a bone in his left foot in a game against Baltimore, and played only 65 games that year. But in 1964, he came roaring back, playing in 143 games with 34 home runs and 111 runs batted in, compiling a .303 average. In the 1964 World Series, although the Yankees lost to the St, Louis Cardinals, Mantle hit for a .333 average with three home runs, eight RBIs, and eight runs scored. Mantle’s three home runs in that Series, however, raised his World Series total to a record-setting 18, surpassing Babe Ruth’s mark of 15.

In addition to the World Series home run record held by Mantle, his other World Series records include: most RBIs (40), most extra-base hits (26), most runs scored (42), most walks (43), and most total bases (123).

1965: Mickey Mantle on the cover of Sports Illustrated, with story speculating about the demise of the Yankees.
1965: Mickey Mantle on the cover of Sports Illustrated, with story speculating about the demise of the Yankees.
Still, in 1965 there were questions about Mantle and the Yankees.

A Sports Illustrated magazine piece that ran a few months prior to Mickey Mantle Day, on June 21, 1965, had featured Mantle on its cover with the tagline, “New York Yankees, End of An Era.” The story focused on the possible end of the Yankee dynasty that had dominated the game, owed in part to the ebbing careers of “big men” players like Mantle. But in the piece, author Jack Mann noted how an injured Mantle amazed his competitors with his continued play:

…Mantle, the one-man orthopedic ward, is even more a symbol of the Yankees in crisis than he was in their predominance. He plays on, on agonized legs that would keep a clerk in bed, and the opposition wonders how. “He’s hurting worse than ever,” says [former Yankee] John Blanchard…, “but he won’t admit it.”

“I don’t see how the heck he can keep going,” says Baltimore’s Norm Siebern, another ex-Yankee. ‘It has to be his last year,’ an American League manager concluded after watching the 33-year-old Mantle for the first time this season. ‘He can’t go on that way.’

But he did go on – for another three seasons in fact. His production was down in those years, cut in half from what he did in his prime. Still, he hit .288 in 1966 and played in more than 140 games in each of 1967 and 1968. And over those three years he continued to hit home runs – 23 in 1966, 22 in 1967 and 18 in 1968, with more than 50 RBIs in each of those years. He finished with a lifetime batting average just under .300, at .298 over 18 years. In that span he played in more than 2,400 games with a career total 536 home runs and 1,509 RBIs.


“A Macho Thing”
Home Runs: 1964

David Halberstam, the famous American journalist, in his book, October 1964, chronicles the respective 1964 World Series-bound seasons of the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals. In the excerpt below, he recounts one of Mickey Mantle’s home runs, and a bit of baseball’s home run lore, beginning with an August 1964 game at Yankee Stadium with the Chicago White Sox:

David Halberstam’s 1994 book on the 1964 Yankees and Cardinals.
David Halberstam’s 1994 book on the 1964 Yankees and Cardinals.
“…In the fourth inning Mantle came up with the right handed Ray Herbert pitching for Chicago, and hit a tremendous drive to center field. The wind was blowing out slightly, and at first Mantle did not think he had quite gotten all of it. A look of disgust came over his face… [and he came] very close to throwing his bat down… Gene Stephens, the center fielder, thought at first that he could make a play on the ball, and then as he went back he saw the ball carry over the monuments, over the 461 [foot] sign, and over the screen, which was thirty feet high there. It landed fifteen rows back, and since each row was judged to be two feet, the ball was officially judged to be 502 feet [from home plate]. It may have been the longest ball Mantle ever hit to center field in the Stadium…

…Mantle was relaxed after the game, almost boyishly happy.”I’m glad I didn’t bang my bat down,” he told the assembled reporters. He loved the tape -measure home runs – they were his secret delight in the game. The reporters who covered him were aware of this, and knew how relaxed and affable he would be in the locker room after he hit one…

…Again and again when Mantle was younger, [former Yankee manager, Casey] Stengel had tried to get him to cut down on this swing, telling him that he was so strong, the home runs were going to come anyway, and they did not need to be such mammoth shots; if he cut back on his swing, his batting average would go up dramatically. That made no impression on Mantle, for he loved the tape-measure drives; he loved just knowing that every time he came to bat he might hit a record drive; he loved the roar of the crowd when he connected, and was equally aware of the gasp of the crowd when he swung and missed completely, a gasp that reflected a certain amount of awe…

Mickey Mantle holding a home run ball he hit some years earlier at Yankee Stadium in a July 1957 game that traveled an estimated 465 feet.
Mickey Mantle holding a home run ball he hit some years earlier at Yankee Stadium in a July 1957 game that traveled an estimated 465 feet.
The home runs separated him from the other great power hitters of that era, as his pure statistics did not. The inner world of baseball was very macho; the clearest measure of macho for a pitcher was the speed of his fastball, and for a hitter, it was the length of his home runs. The players themselves were excited by the power hitters’ extraordinary drives, and they cataloged them – who had hit the longest drive in a particular ballpark – and spoke of them reverentially…”
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Note: Mantle in the August 1964 Chicago game mentioned above had two home runs, one from each side of the plate, the 10th time in his career he had accomplished that switch-hitting feat.


Back at “Mickey Mantle Day” in September 1965… As the scheduled game got underway that day, the pitcher for Detroit Tigers was a right hander named Joe Sparma. When Mantle came up to bat in the bottom of the first inning, with two outs, he received a thunderous ovation from the crowd that day at Yankee Stadium. But then, Tiger pitcher Joe Sparma undertook something of a classy gesture to honor his Yankee opponent. He stepped off the mound, walked to home plate, and shook Mantle’s hand in admiration. He then walked back to the mound and the game continued.


1964: Switch-hitting Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees showcasing his powerful swing from the left side.
1964: Switch-hitting Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees showcasing his powerful swing from the left side.

Mickey Mantle announced his retirement from the New York Yankees on March 1st, 1969. He was 38 years old. His jersey and No. 7 numeral were retired at a ceremony on the second Mickey Mantle Day on June 8th, 1969. Mantle would return to the ballpark on various special occasions and “Old Timers” games in the 1970s and 1980s. After a battle with liver cancer, Mickey Mantle died on August 13th, 1995. He was 63 years old.

Jane Leavy’s 2010 book on Mickey Mantle, 'The Last Boy'.
Jane Leavy’s 2010 book on Mickey Mantle, 'The Last Boy'.
The one footnote about Mickey Mantle, however – and some will say there is more than one – is that he might have had an even greater baseball career were it not for his injuries, but also, were it not for his carousing and alcoholism, especially while he played. This behavior, some say, was due in part to Mantle’s fear he would die at a young age, as his father had, at age 40, from Hodgkin’s Disease.

Mantle did acknowledge his abusive behavior in his final, dying days, when modern medicine could no longer do anything for him, saying at a public press conference that he should have “taken better care of myself,” aiming his remarks at the young and advising them, “don’t be like me.” Still, for many, despite Mantle’s failings and the mythology surrounding his career, good and bad, he remains a much loved baseball superstar, perhaps captured best in the title of Jane Leavy’s 2010 book on him, The Last Boy.

Additional Mickey Mantle stories at this website can be found at the “Baseball Stories” topics page. See also the “Annals of Sport” page for other sports stories, or visit the Home Page for additional story choices. Thanks for visiting – and if you like what you find here, please make a donation to help support the research and writing at this website. Thanks you. — Jack Doyle

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Date Posted: 20 June 2016
Last Update: 20 June 2016
Comments to: jdoyle@pophistorydig.com

Article Citation:
Jack Doyle, “Mickey Mantle Day: Sept 18th, 1965,”
PopHistoryDig.com, June 20, 2016.

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Sources, Links & Additional Information

1965: Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees signing autographs for young fans in Houston, Texas.
1965: Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees signing autographs for young fans in Houston, Texas.
Mickey Mantle being interviewed by then sportscaster Frank Gifford.  Click for “Celebrity Gifford” story.
Mickey Mantle being interviewed by then sportscaster Frank Gifford. Click for “Celebrity Gifford” story.

“Mickey Mantle Day,” MickeyMantle.com.

“Mickey Mantle Speech, Mickey Mantle Day,” The Mick.com.

Associated Press, (New York) “Mantle’s Pay For 1965 Put at $107,000,” The Morning Record (Mariden, CT), February 5, 1965, p.4.

Frank Eck, AP Newsfeatures, Sports Editors, “Mantle Turns to Football to Aid His Career” (and MM Day), The Free Lance-Star (Frederickburg, VA), September 9, 1965, p. 19.

UPI, (New York), “Wagner Proclaims Today A Special Day For Mantle,” Lodi News-Sentinel, September 16, 1965.

Arthur Daley, “Sports of The Times: A Day for Mickey,” New York Times, September 17, 1965.

Arthur Daley, “Sports of the Times: The Nervous Hero,” New York Times, September 18, 1965.

Jack Mann,” Decline and Fall of a Dynasty; A 44-Year Saga of Power and Glory Is Ending for the New York Yankees…,” Sports Illustrated, June 21, 1965.

Milton Richman, UPI, “Mickey Mantle Day Was A Huge Success,” The Times-News (Hendersonville, NC), September 20, 1965, p. 3.

“Mickey Mantle & Joe Dimaggio at Yankee Stadium – 1965” (Mickey Mantle Day, September 1965)YouTube.com, Time, 1:53.

Loudon Wainwright / The View From Here, “A Vulgar Tribute to Greatness,” Life, October 1, 1965, p. 25.

“Mickey Mantle Stats,” Baseball-Almanac .com.

James Lincoln Ray, “Mickey Mantle,” Society for American Baseball Research.

“The Last Boy,” JaneLeavy.com.

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“Mickey Mantle’s 535th”
19 September 1968

Detroit Tigers infielder Don Wert watches Mickey Mantle circle the bases after hitting his 535th career home run, Sept. 19, 1968.
Detroit Tigers infielder Don Wert watches Mickey Mantle circle the bases after hitting his 535th career home run, Sept. 19, 1968.
     America was not in the best of moods in the fall of 1968. The country was still convulsing from events near and far that would mark the year as one of the most tumultuous in the history of the 20th century.

In late January, the Tet offensive in Vietnam, striking more than 100 towns and cities in South Vietnam, stunned the U.S. and South Vietnamese armies. Two months later, in late March 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson, mired in the Vietnam conflict, announced he would not run for re-election. In April, civil rights leader Martin Luther King was shot and killed by an assassin, and in June, Bobby Kennedy, then running for the Democratic presidential nomination, was struck down by a gunman in California.

In August, Soviet and Warsaw Pact troops crushed Czechoslovakia’s  “Prague Spring.” Back in the states that month, the Democrats’ National Convention in Chicago became a spectacle of political ugliness, both inside the hall and on the streets, with clashes and confrontations over Vietnam and the nation’s future. 

But then, in the midst of all this, there was still baseball, the national pastime; the one constant thing; an oasis of predictable pace and familiarity apart from the turmoil. Baseball was there in those dark days, in the background perhaps, but doing its thing; playing its games, day after day, from April thru October.

     One of the game’s old lions at the time, Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees, was nearing the end of his storied career.  On September 19th, as the regular season was winding down, the Yankees were playing the Detroit Tigers in Detroit.  The Tigers had already won the American League pennant that year, propelled there in part by ace pitcher Denny McLain, and were headed to the World Series.  But in this game, Mantle hit his 535th home run, then putting him on the all-time homer list at No. 3, behind only Babe Ruth and Willie Mays.  Mantle hit this homer off Denny McLain, who still picked up his amazing 31st win that year, as Detroit beat the Yanks, 6-2.  It was Mantle’s 17th home run of the 1968 season — not the 30 or more he would normally hit each year during his prime.  Mantle’s final career homer — No.536 — came the next day on September 20, 1968 off Boston’s Jim Lonborg.  Mantle in those games, with his season-ending home runs, was in the last days of his career, though his official retirement announcement would not come until the following year, on March 1, 1969. These were his last games. 

'Mickey Mantle: Born for The Majors,' cover story, Time, June 15, 1953.
'Mickey Mantle: Born for The Majors,' cover story, Time, June 15, 1953.
      In later years Mantle would joke half-heartedly about his hobbled, late-career performance: “Hitting the ball was easy,” he’d say.  “Running around the bases was the hard part.”  Those who played with Mantle, however, knew it wasn’t funny.  In the above photo, you can almost see him wincing as he ran the bases.

     Mantle had been a baseball sensation when he first came up in the early 1950s, a player with a rare combination of speed and switch-hitting power the game had not seen in years. Through the 1950s and early 1960s, he became one of baseball’s most feared hitters, and his speed on the base paths and in the outfield made him an all-around player, especially in his early years. Mantle played his entire 18-year career with the Yankees, winning three American League MVP titles.  He was also selected to play on 16 American League All-Star teams. With the Yankees, Mantle played on 12 pennant winners and 7 World Series champions.  As of 2007, he still held the records for most World Series home runs (18), RBIs (40), runs (42), walks (43), extra-base hits (26), and total bases (123).

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

     The Mantle legend, which began with his signing, grew during a special rookie camp the Yankees had…in 1950.  There, some of the old-timers in the organization got a sense that they were seeing something rare; a true diamond in the rough.  Mantle’s potential, his raw ability, his speed, his power from both sides of the plate, were almost eerie.  If his talent were honed properly, they thought they were quite possibly looking at someone who might become the greatest player in the history of the game.  There were some fast players in that camp, and one day someone decided that all the faster players should get together and have a race.  Mantle, whose true speed had not yet been comprehended, simply ran away from the others.  What had made some of the stories coming out of the camp so extraordinary was the messenger himself, Bill Dickey — the former Yankee catcher, a Hall of Fame player, and a tough, unsentimental old-timer who had played much of his career with Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, and [Tommy] Henrich.  He was not lightly given to hyperbole.  Dickey started talking about Mantle to Jerry Coleman, the veteran second baseman, with superlatives that were unknown for him:  “Jerry, he can hit with power righty, he can hit with power lefty, and he can outrun everyone here.”. . .
     “He’s going to be the greatest player I’ve ever seen,” Dickey added.  A few days later Dickey grabbed his old teammate Tommy Henrich.  “Tom, you should see this kid Mantle that played at Joplin.  I’ve never seen power like that.  He hits the ball and it stays hit.  He’s really going to be something.”  Even the sound of his home runs, Dickey said, were different, mirroring something Ted Williams would say years later:  the crack of the bat against the ball when Mantle connected was like an explosion.  Henrich simply shook his head — it was one thing to hear about a coming star from an excited journalist, but quite another to hear it from someone like Bill Dickey.

 

With Two Good Legs?

      Some of Mantle’s teammates and competitors, as well as sports writers and fans, have often wondered what he would have been like had he not been plagued by injuries throughout his career — especially the leg injuries. Mantle had collected some of his injuries early in life, beginning with a leg infection as a high school football player that nearly resulted in an amputation. Still, when he reached the major leagues in 1951, his running speed was among the best in baseball and his power simply awesome. In his early career, some thought him a rare kind of baseball god, possessing both power and speed.

     In 1951, when Mantle was first coming up with the Yankees, his prowess was fully apparent. In an exhibition game at the University of Southern California during his rookie spring training season that year, batting left-handed, he hit a home run ball that left Bovard Field and crossed an adjacent football field, traveling an estimated 656 feet. Some cite it as the longest home run in baseball history.  Mantle, in fact, hit two home runs that game — a second, right-handed shot cleared the left-field wall and landed on top of a three-story house well over 500 feet away.  Throughout his career, Mantle would hit other memorable shots — including a 565-foot home run at Griffith Stadium in Washington in April 1953 (said to have coined the term “tape measure home run”); a 643-foot homer at Detroit’s Tiger Stadium in September 1960; and one that almost left Yankee Stadium, which no hitter has ever done.  But those who saw Mantle hit during his rookie spring training year of 1951, remember the distinctive crack of the bat when he tore into the baseball; they knew there was something special about this “hayseed from Oklahoma,” as some called him.

Mickey Mantle, 1950s.      Photo by Bob Olen.
Mickey Mantle, 1950s. Photo by Bob Olen.
     But leg injuries plagued him from nearly the beginning of his Yankee career.  As a 19 year-old rookie in his first World Series game in 1951, Mantle tore the cartilage in his right knee while running for a fly ball when his cleats caught a drainage cover in the outfield grass.  His knee twisted awkwardly and witnesses reported him going down “like he had been shot,” hitting the ground instantly.  He was carried from the field on a stretcher.  Mantle would never play pain-free after that, but play he did — and play well.  In 1952, he took over center field duties from retiring Joe DiMaggio, and completed one of his best seasons at the plate. But as the years went by, he would have knee surgery four times, and would apply thick wraps to both of his knees in something of a pre-game ritual.  By the end of his career, simply swinging a bat caused him to fall to one knee in pain.

     Still, even with his injuries and impaired performance, Mantle managed to compile a record that most professional players can only dream about.

During his career with the Yankees, he played more games as a Yankee than any other player (2,401), won three Most Valuable Player awards (’56, ’57 and ’62). In 1956, he won baseball’s Triple Crown with a .353 batting average, 52 homers and 130 RBIs. He led all of major league baseball that year in all three categories. His 536 career home runs was the third highest ever when he retired, behind only Babe Ruth and Jimmie Foxx, and the most ever by a switch-hitter.

Mickey Mantle with U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy (D-NY) on Sept 18, 1965, ‘Mickey Mantle Day,’ when Mantle played his 2,000th game. Photo, Martin Blumenthal, SPORT magazine.
Mickey Mantle with U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy (D-NY) on Sept 18, 1965, ‘Mickey Mantle Day,’ when Mantle played his 2,000th game. Photo, Martin Blumenthal, SPORT magazine.

     Indeed, with two good legs, Mickey Mantle might have been a good bet to have broken Babe Ruth’s record of 60 home runs, and perhaps sooner than 1961 when Roger Maris did it. Mantle may have also compiled a career home run total closer to, if not exceeding 600. His career batting average would probably have bettered .300 as well; with more runs scored and RBIs up too, and perhaps a Gold Glove or two for fielding. All speculation, of course, and “what might have been.” Yet many of his admirers wish it could have been so; that the fair-haired kid from Oklahoma might have had a bit more luck with the health of his legs.

     Other stories about Mickey Mantle at this website include: “Mantle’s Griffith Shot, April 1953,” about a monster home run by Mantle in the old Griffith Stadium park in Washington, D.C.; “Mickey Mantle Day, September 1965,” when Mantle was honored for his career at Yankee Stadium; and, “Keeps on Ticking,” featuring Mantle, among others, in Timex watch advertisements. 

Stories on Babe Ruth, Jimmie Fox, Christy Mathewson, Honus Wagner, Yogi Berra, and Sandy Koufax are also found at this website. Beyond those, additional stories can be found at the “Annals of Sport” category page, the Archive, or the Home Page

Thanks for visiting — and if you like what you see here, please make a donation to help support this website. Thank you. – Jack Doyle.

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Date Posted: 18 June 2008
Last Update: 20 September 2017
Comments to:  jdoyle@pophistorydig.com

Article Citation:
Jack Doyle, “Mickey Mantle’s 535th–September 19, 1968,”
PopHistoryDig.com, June 18, 2008.

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Sources, Links & Additional Information

Mickey Mantle – here in his young “Greek god” body – captured by Life magazine during a celebratory locker room scene, October 1952.
Mickey Mantle – here in his young “Greek god” body – captured by Life magazine during a celebratory locker room scene, October 1952.
Life magazine cover story, June 25, 1956: “The Remarkable Mickey Mantle,” with story inside: “Prodigy of Power: Mickey Mantle Comes of Age As a Slugger.”
Life magazine cover story, June 25, 1956: “The Remarkable Mickey Mantle,” with story inside: “Prodigy of Power: Mickey Mantle Comes of Age As a Slugger.”
Young Mickey Mantle shown here with wife Merlyn and their two young boys. They would have four sons.
Young Mickey Mantle shown here with wife Merlyn and their two young boys. They would have four sons.
1965 Life magazine photo of Mantle throwing batting helmet in frustration – but check out those forearms!
1965 Life magazine photo of Mantle throwing batting helmet in frustration – but check out those forearms!
Mickey Mantle on the cover of Life magazine, July 30, 1965, then at age 33 and in his 15th season with the NY Yankees. “Mantle’s Misery,” read the cover tagline, “He faces physical pain and a fading career.”
Mickey Mantle on the cover of Life magazine, July 30, 1965, then at age 33 and in his 15th season with the NY Yankees. “Mantle’s Misery,” read the cover tagline, “He faces physical pain and a fading career.”
Mickey Mantle winces in pain during batting practice at spring training, 1967.
Mickey Mantle winces in pain during batting practice at spring training, 1967.
 

Maury Allen, Memories of the Mick, Taylor Publishing: Dallas, Texas, 1997, 183 pp.

David Halberstam, October 1964, Villard Books, New York, 1994, 380 pp.

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

“Mickey Mantle,” Wikipedia.org.

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

John R. McDermott, “Last Innings of Greatness: Playing on Bum Knees and Courage, Mantle Fades After 14 Brilliant Years,” Life, July 30, 1965, pp. 46-53.

Douglas Duncan, “Mantle’s Breaks—and Yours,” Popular Science, October 1964, pp.100-103.

“The Man’s Man XVII: Mickey Mantle,” MarshallMatlock.com, June 13, 2011.

Roger Kahn, “Remembering Mickey”  (cover  story), The Sporting News, August 21,1995.

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

Note:  Many of the news stories below mention Mickey Mantle injuries in their headlines, underscoring his hard times with injuries that often took him out of play. 

“Mantle to Miss Finale in Boston and Yanks’ Game Here Tomorrow,” New York Times, Monday, May 26, 1952, Sports, p. 28.

“Mantle Rejected for Draft Again; Yanks’ Outfielder Ruled Unfit Because of Injury to Knee Suffered in ’51 Series,” New York Times, Tuesday, November 4, 1952, Sports, p. 34.

Joseph M. Sheehan, “Mantle Is Lost for Final Drive; Skowron Also Sidelined by Injury Suffered Friday. . .,” New York Times, Sunday, September 18, 1955, Sports, p. 2.

John Drebinger, “Ford’s 5-hitter Halts Boston, 7-1; Mantle Clouts 3-Run Homer for Yanks Before Leaving Game With Leg Injury. . .,” New York Times, Saturday, April 21, 1956, Sports, p. 12.

Deans McGowen, “Mantle Injury Held Not Serious, But He’ll Be Out 2 or 3 Days; Sprained Knee Ligaments Troubling Yank Slugger; Physician Orders New Brace; Mickey’s All-Star Role in Doubt,” New York Times, Friday, July 6, 1956, p 24.

“Mantle Hospitalized Five Days For Treatment of Shin Splint,” New York Times, Saturday, September 7, 1957, Sports, p. 27.

John Drebinger, “Braves Have Health and Hitting; Yanks Face Series, With Doubts About Mantle, Skowron,” New York Times, Monday September 30, 1957, Sports, p. 49.

Louis Effrat, “Bombers Face Prospect of Losing Mantle for Fifth Series Contest; Shoulder Injury Handicap to Star; Mantle’s Inability to Throw with Usual Strength Leads to Removal in Tenth,” New York Times, Monday, October 7, 1957, p. 31.

Louis Effrat, “Mantle to Stay out of World Series Opener Unless His Condition Improves; Yankee Slugger Weak and in Pain; Club Doctor Says He Thinks Mantle Can Play, However; Houk Also Confident,”New York Times, Tuesday, October 3, 1961, p. 47.

“Mantle’s Thigh Injury Expected to Sideline Him 2 to 4 Weeks; Star Center Fielder Resting Comfortably but Bombers Are Uncomfortable; Injured Mantle Out 2 to 4 Weeks,” New York Times, Sunday, May 20, 1962, Sports, p.1.

“Mantle on Bench With Knee Injury; Yankee Star Doesn’t Know When He Can Play Again,” New York Times, Tuesday, July 31, 1962, Sports, p. 21.

Louis Effrat, “Mantle Is Forced to Quit in Third; Injury Still Hobbles Star; Bombers Get 14 Hits off 4 Hurlers; Lopez Excels,” New York Times, Saturday, August 4, 1962, Sports, P 13.

John Drebinger, “Mantle Is Hurt in 6-to-1 Victory; Yank Ace Reinjures Muscle in Side,”New York Times, Sunday, April 14, 1963, Sports, p. 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, Thursday, June 6, 1963, Sports, P. 56.

Leonard Koppett, “Mantle Sidelined Indefinitely with Knee Injury; Yanks Bow to Angels, 5-0; Star Could Miss Rest of Season; Loose Cartilage in Mantle’s Knee Probable Aftermath of Foot Injury on June 5; Injuries Plague Career,” New York Times, Friday, July 26, 1963, Sports, P. 17.

Leonard Koppett, “New Role for Mantle?; Full Time as Pinch-Hitter Is Urged For Ailing Slugger of the Yankees,” New York Times, Sunday, January 23, 1966, Sports, p. 182.

Leonard Koppett, “Mantle Suffers Pulled Muscle after Hitting His 475th Homer; Yankees Bow, 4-2; Mantle Injured,” New York Times, Sunday, May 15, 1966, Sports, P.1.

Joseph M. Sheehan, “Mantle Suffers Injury to Left Leg as Yankees Are Beaten by Red Sox, 5-2; Bomber Slugger Is Hurt Sliding; Injury Termed Not Serious but First Baseman Will Miss Couple of Games,” New York Times, Thursday, March 23, 1967, Sports, p. 41.

“Mantle Ends 18-Year, Injury-Ridden Baseball Career,” New York Times, Sunday, March 2, 1969, p.1.

Lewis Early, “Mickey Mantle: Mini-Biography,”  TheMick.com.

Mickey Mantle 1961 Topps Baseball Cards.




A graphic of Mickey Mantle’s injuries from:“Mantle's Breaks—and Yours,” Popular Science, October 1964, pp.100-103.
A graphic of Mickey Mantle’s injuries from:“Mantle's Breaks—and Yours,” Popular Science, October 1964, pp.100-103.