Mickey Mantle

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Mantle on the cover of Time (magazine) (June 15, 1953)

Mickey Charles Mantle (October 20, 1931 – August 13, 1995) was an American baseball player and member of Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame. Mantle hit 536 home runs during an 18-year career.


  • I feel better than I have in years—no leg problems at all. But if I'm to get three more home runs, I'm afraid I'll have to get them right-handed. I don't know what's the matter. I've lost my confidence from that side. I've always been a better right-handed hitter than left, but it wasn't until recently that I really got into a left-handed slump. I just don't seem able to pull the trigger, hitting left-handed. I have no excuse for it. It's not my legs or anything. The ball just gets up to me before I know it.
  • When you reach the major leagues, it's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life.
  • He was like a father to me, and I mean that. My dad died after I had been with the Yankees a year and I guess Casey felt it was up to him to bring me up right. He kept me when I wasn't ready for the big leagues. He had confidence in me. He taught me to think, to play hard from the first pitch to the last.
    • As quoted in "Mickey Mantle, an interview in depth" by Joe Reichler, in The Boston Globe (March 21, 1965)
  • I figured that once I got past 40, that was all behind me. If I knew that I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
    • After being treated for a bleeding ulcer, regarding the false sense of security stemming from never having contracted the Hodgkins Disease that killed his father before the age of 40; as quoted in "Schedule Blamed for Mantle Illness" by UPI, in The Los Angeles Times (June 25, 1978)
  • I'd never show up a pitcher by standing in the batters box and watching how far the ball goes like a lot of players do now. But it made me feel good to know I could hit a ball longer than anyone else. It tickled the hell out of me. It was like playing in a golf tournament and hearing all the ohhs and ahhs when you hit a good drive. I mean, every time I swung at it I was trying to hit it longer than the time before. I'm sure that was why I struck out so much, but I'd get a kick out of it. Poor Casey would get so mad. He'd say, "Hey butcher boy, just make contact." But he couldn't get me to change. In fact, Whitey told me just last year that I'd shut my eyes just before I lunged.
  • If we were choosing sides and every player was in the pool, my first pick would be Whitey Ford and my second would be Ted Williams. Beyond that there would be just too many and I'd be afraid of leaving somebody out. Besides, with Whitey on the mound and Williams in the lineup, we'd still beat just about anybody.
    • When asked "to choose the ideal team he would field if he had to win game," with "the stipulation that he confine his choices to one-time teammates and rivals"; as quoted in The Greatest Team of All Time: As Selected by Baseball's Immortals, From Ty Cobb to Willie Mays (1994), compiled by Nicholas Acocella and Donald Dewey, p. 121.
  • That would be Sandy Koufax, even though he was in the National League and I didn't have to face him very much. Among American League lefties I'd have to pick Herb Score before he got hurt. From the right side, no question: Dick Radatz of the Red Sox. I once read in a Dallas newspaper that he struck me out 45 times. If he wasn't the toughest, I don't want to remember who was.
    • When asked asked to name the toughest pitcher he ever faced; as quoted in The Greatest Team of All Time (1994), p. 121.
  • The most underrated guy is the one who will do absolutely anything to win a game. The two who come to mind immediately are Billy Martin and Pete Rose.
    • As quoted in The Greatest Team of All Time (1994), p. 121.
  • He who has the fastest golf cart never has a bad lie.
    • Attributed without citation in Young, David. Breakthrough Power for Golfers: A Daily Guide to an Extraordinary Life, Wind Runner Press, 2011. p. 189.[specific citation needed]

Quotes about[edit]

  • It was a Sunday doubleheader in Cleveland. Mickey's on third base, and they hit a ball to medium right field to me. I would get back on a ball like that, and then I'd come in and take it on the run and I really put everything I had behind it. I caught the ball on the run and Mickey faked me. I see him tagging up, and I wasn't taking any chances. The way he ran you couldn't afford to. So I reach back and let it go as hard as I could. It was like a line drive, but it was a little too high. It took off. Russ Nixon jumped for the ball, but it just carried right over his glove. Mickey saw that and ran home. The ball hit the brick wall - they didn't have cushions around the walls in those days - and bounced - can you believe this - right back to Russ at home plate. Mickey was out at home. Mickey was so embarrassed, but it wasn't his fault. I had to laugh.

External links[edit]

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