YANKEE SLUGGER RETIRED 47 YEARS AGO TODAY
New York City (JFK+50) Major League baseball players are starting a new season of spring training today, but forty-seven years ago, one of the greatest sluggers in the game, Mickey Mantle*, announced his retirement.
"The Mick," who made his debut for the New York Yankees in right field in 1951, dominated the American League for more than a decade. In 1956, he won the Triple Crown for the highest batting average, most home runs and most runs-batted-in.
Mickey Mantle was an ALL STAR for sixteen seasons, three times MOST VALUABLE PLAYER in the American League, and winner of one GOLD GLOVE.
He played in 12 WORLD SERIES winning 7 CHAMPIONSHIPS. MM holds the record for the most WS home runs (18), RBIS (40), EXTRA BASE HITS (26), HRs (42), WALKS (40) and TOTAL BASES (123).
In a career lasting from 1951-1968, Mickey Mantle had a .298 BATTING AVERAGE, 2415 HITS, 536 HRs, and 1509 RBIs. Along with Babe Ruth and Lou Gerhig, Mickey Mantle is considered one of the greatest Yankees of all time.
*Mickey Charles Mantle (1931-1995) was born in Spavinaw, growing up in Commerce, Oklahoma. The NY Yankees signed him to a minor league contract in 1949. MM played his first season with the Independence Yankees.
In 1951, Mickey was sent up to the NY Yankees where he played right field and wore #6. Manager Casey Stengel said Mantle had "more natural power" as a switch hitter..."than anybody (he) ever saw."
In 1952, MM was moved over to center field replacing Joe DiMaggio and wore #7. After retirement, he was honored with a "Mickey Mantle Day" at Yankee Stadium, June 8, 1969. MCM was admitted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974, and died at the age of 63 in Dallas, TX.