There have been a lot of great players to wear pinstripes, but Mickey Mantle is one of the best to play for the New York Yankees.
Mickey Mantle will never be forgotten. He will be talked about in baseball for eternity (especially in the state of New York). When you talk about him it’s like mentioning a religious figure or a higher being. He is everything it means to be a New York Yankee, as Mantle spent his entire career with the Yankees. He played a variety of positions in the outfield and also played first base.
Mantle had an interesting start to his baseball career. He played semi-professional baseball and in 1948 a Yankees scout was visiting a teammate of Mantle’s and was impressed with Mickey’s play, as he hit three home runs in the game. That same scout returned in 1949 and once Mantle graduated high school, he was signed by the Yankees.
His minor league career began down in Class-D but things didn’t go so well. Mantle played some shortstop and was feeling so bad that he considered quitting baseball. His father was able to convince him to keep playing and the baseball world was never the same.
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Mantle’s major league career began in 1951. At the age of 19, Mantle played in 96 games and racked up 13 home runs, 65 RBIs and a .267 batting average. 1952 was the true start of his career though. Mantle was named to his first All-Star team and had 23 home runs, 87 RBIs and a .311 batting average. From there the sky was the limit for Mantle.
Mantle’s performance in in 1956 is still one of the best seasons in the history of baseball. He racked up 52 home runs, 130 RBIs and a .354 batting average and also won the Triple Crown. Somehow Mantle was able to improve the nest season when he increased his batting average to .365.
Mantle calls it quits
Mantle ended up retiring in 1969. He finished his career with 2,415 hits, 536 home runs, 1,509 RBIs, 153 stolen bases, with a .298 career batting average. Also Mantle managed to play in 20 All-Star games and was a three time MVP.
At the time of his retirement he had highest stolen base percentage in MLB history. To illustrate just how well Mantle was stealing bases, he was safe three out of every four times he attempted to steal a base. Even though Mantle’s career batting average was below .300, don’t think that he only hit home runs. Mantle had a batting average of .300 or more in 10 season.
Arguably, and more importantly, Mantle was a winner. In his career he won seven World Series championships.
Mantle is one of the best outfielders in MLB history. He was a great fielder but also was able to hit some of the longest homers in the history of the game. He is also regarded as the greatest switch hitter in MLB history. Mantle is the only player in MLB history to hit 150 home runs from both sides of the plate.
After his playing career, Mantle briefly was a color commentator. In 1974 he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame with 88.2 percent of the vote. His No.7 was also retired by the New York Yankees.
Also in 1999, Mantle received a great honor. The outfielder was named to Major League Baseball’s All-Century team. Through this, Mantle’s greatness surpassed generations.
When you think of great Yankees, Mantle is one of the first players that baseball fans think of. The fact that he is still talked about today is a testament to just how great of a player he is.