Mickey’s Early Years
Mickey Mantle came into this world October 20th 1931 in Spavinaw, Oklahoma. At a young age Mickey was practicing baseball with his father, Mutt Mantle. Mutt taught Mickey to bat left-handed and right-handed. At his high school, he played basketball and football, and of course baseball. In the middle of a game, Mickey was kicked in the leg, resulting in the bone disease, osteomyelitis that would later in his life, affect his career in baseball. Mickey’s performance caught the attention of the New York Yankees scout, Tom Greenwade. Tom signed Mickey to a contract of $140 per week with a signing bonus of $1,500. In 1949 Mantle played for the Yankees’ minor league team as their shortstop.
Mickey in the Majors
After two hard years on the minor league Yankees team, the major league Yankees team asked Mickey to join them at their major league training camp. At camp, Mickey earned his place on the New York Yankees’ roster, and the media of New York began comparing him to a past legends including Babe Ruth. Mickey Mantle at age 19 just only 2 years out of high school, Mickey didn’t live up to the Yankees’ ability. He had a rough start in right field, so he was sent back to the minor leagues. Mickey was then moved to center field in the minor leagues. He soon caught on to the big-leagues and in the season of 1952 he had 87 runs batted in, 23 home runs, and maintained a batting average of .311. That year people began to see Mantle as one of the best home-run hitters in baseball. Mantle hit a home-run measuring 565 feet, which is believed to be the longest home run ever hit in baseball. It went so far it was out of the whole stadium. During each of Mickey’s first three seasons, the Yankees won the World Series. Mickey Mantle played with some famous players such as Yogi Berra, Don Larsen, Roy White, Al Downing, Whitey Ford, and many others.
Continuing Success for Mantle
Mickey Mantle was awarded the home run title, yet again in 1960 and led competition for the title in 1961. Even with his legs hurting most of the time from osteomyelitis and other injuries Mickey continued to excel. For the third time Mickey was named MVP in 1962. Mickey finally retired from baseball in the spring of 1969.
Mickey left the New York Yankees with plenty of great achievements. Hitting 536 lifetime home runs, winning a Triple Crown, and being MVP three times were some of those achievements. Mickey ended up opening a restaurant and working for a casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He appeared to sign autographs and to play in golf tournaments. All of his experience in TV commercials and small film roles led him to be the broadcaster for televised Yankees games. However, his career and personal life was spoiled by alcoholism. Mickey Mantle learned in 1994 that his years of heavily drinking left him with hepatitis as well as liver cancer. Even though he had received a liver transplant in June of 1995, the cancer spread to other organs, and Mickey Mantle, one of baseball’s legends, died on August 13, 1995.