Mickey Mantle

Mickey Mantle

Spavinaw, Mayes County, Oklahoma, USA
Death 13 Aug 1995 (aged 63)
Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA
Burial Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA
Plot Mausoleum, Saint Matthew NE-N-D14-15
Memorial ID 1239 · View Source
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Hall of Fame Major League Baseball Player. Nicknamed "The Commerce Comet" or "The Mick," for 18 seasons (1951 through 1968) he played center field and first base for the New York Yankees of the American League. Noted for his ability to hit for both average and power, he is regarded by many to be the greatest switch hitter of all time and one of the greatest players in the history of Major League Baseball. His career highlights include a 20-time selection to the American League All-Star team (1952 through 1965, 1967, and 1968), a 7-time member of a World Series champion team (1951 through 1953, 1956, 1958, 1961, and 1962), a 3-time American League Most Valuable Player (1956, 1957, and 1962), a Triple Crown winner (1956), a Gold Glove Award (1962), the American League batting champion (1956), a 4-time American League home run champion (1955, 1956, 1958, and 1960), and the American League Runs Batted In champion (1956). Born Mickey Charles Mantle, his father was a lead and zinc miner. At the age of four, he and his family moved to Commerce, Oklahoma. He graduated from Commerce High School in 1949 where he excelled in sports and was an all-around athlete. After being scouted by the New York Yankees, he signed a minor league contract as a shortstop after graduating from high school and was assigned to their Class D Independence Yankees team. In 1950 he was promoted to the Class-C Joplin Miners of the Western Association where he won the Western Association batting title with a .383 average, hit 26 home runs, and 136 runs batted in. However, he struggled defensively at shortstop. In 1951 he was invited to the Yankees instructional camp and after an impressive spring training, Yankees manager Casey Stengel decided to promote him to the majors as a right fielder instead of sending him back to the minor league. After a brief slump, he was sent down to the Yankees' top farm team, the Kansas City Blues. Mantle was recalled up to the Yankees after 40 games with Kansas City and hit .267 with 13 home runs and 65 RBI in 96 games. During the second game of the 1951 World Series he severely injured his right knee, that would become the first of numerous injuries to plague his 18-year career with the Yankees and he played the rest of his baseball career with a torn ACL. In 1956 he had a breakout season, leading the American League with a .353 batting average, 52 home runs, and 130 runs batted that won him the Triple Crown and the first of three Most Valuable Player awards. He is the only player to win a league Triple Crown as a switch hitter (through 2014). The following year he won his second consecutive Most Valuable Player award behind league leads in runs and walks, a career-high .365 batting average (second to Ted Williams' .388), and hitting into a league-low five double plays. During the 1961 season he and teammate Roger Maris, known as the "M&M Boys," chased Babe Ruth's 1927 single-season home run record. Late in the season he was unexpectedly hospitalized by an abscessed hip he got from a flu shot late, leaving Maris to break the record (he finished with 61), while he finished with 54 home runs and led the American league in runs scored and walks. In 1962 and 1963 he batted .321 and .314 respectively. In 1964 he hit .303 with 35 home runs and 111 RBIs and was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. In the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 3 of the 1964 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, he blasted Barney Schultz's first pitch into the right field stands at Yankee Stadium, which won the game for the Yankees by a score of 2-1. The homer, his 16th World Series round tripper, broke the World Series record of 15 set by Babe Ruth. He went on to hit two more homers in the series to set the existing World Series record of 18 home runs. He was slowed down by injuries during the 1965 season, and the Yankees finished in 6th place, 25 games behind the Minnesota Twins. He hit only .255 with 19 home runs and 46 RBIs. The following year his batting average increased to .288 with 23 home runs and 56 RBIs. After the 1966 season he was moved to first base with Joe Pepitone taking over his place in the outfield. On May 14, 1967 (Mother's Day) he became the sixth member of the 500 Home Run Club. During his final season (1968), he hit only .237 with 18 home runs and 54 RBIs. In March 1969 he announced his retirement and was third on the all-time home run list with 536. At the time of his retirement, he was the Yankees all-time leader in games played with 2,401, which was broken by Derek Jeter on August 29, 2011. In addition to his total home runs and games played, he also accumulated 8,102 at bats, 1,676 runs, 2,415 hits, 1,509 runs batted in, 1,733 walks, 1,710 strikeouts, a .298 batting average and a .557 slugging percentage. During his career he was known for his tape-measure home runs, including one for 565 feet at Griffith Stadium in Washington DC on April 17, 1953, and an estimated 643-foot shot that cleared the right field roof at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Michigan on September 10, 1960. After his retirement he served as a part-time color commentator on NBC's baseball coverage in 1969, teaming with Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek to call some "Game of the Week" telecasts as well as that year's All-Star Game. On Mickey Mantle Day at Yankee Stadium, June 8, 1969, his uniform Number 7 was retired and he was a given a bronze plaque to be hung on the center field wall near the monuments to Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Miller Huggins. In 1972 he served as a part-time television commentator for the Montreal Expos. In 1974 he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot. In 1980 he and his wife separated for 15 years, but neither filed for divorce. In 1983 he worked at the Claridge Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, as a greeter and community representative. While most of his activities were representing the Claridge in golf tournaments and other charity events, he was suspended from baseball by Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn on the grounds that any affiliation with gambling was grounds for being placed on the "permanently ineligible" list. He was placed on the list, but reinstated two years later, by Kuhn's successor, Peter Ueberroth. In 1988 he opened his Mickey Mantle's Restaurant and Sports Bar in New York City, New York and it became one of New York City's most popular restaurants. In 1992 he wrote the book "My Favorite Summer 1956" about his 1956 baseball season. While his off-field drinking became public knowledge during his lifetime, the press kept quiet about his many marital infidelities. After his wife and sons completed treatment for alcoholism, they advised him to do the same and in January 1994 he checked into the Betty Ford Clinic after being told by a doctor that his liver was badly damaged from almost 40 years of drinking. In June 1995 he received a liver transplant at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas after learning that he had inoperable liver cancer. Afterwards, he established the Mickey Mantle Foundation to raise awareness for organ donations. He was soon readmitted to Baylor, where it was found that his cancer was rapidly spreading throughout his body and he died there at the age of 63. In 1998 The Sporting News placed him at Number 17 on its list of "Baseball's 100 Greatest Players" and that same year, he was one of 100 nominees for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team, and was chosen by fan balloting as one of the team's outfielders. ESPN's SportsCentury series that ran in 1999 ranked him at Number 37 on its "50 Greatest Athletes" series. In 2006 he was featured on a US postage stamp, one of a series of four including fellow baseball legends Mel Ott, Roy Campanella, and Hank Greenberg. His off-field behavior is the subject of the book "The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood" (2010), written by sports journalist Jane Leavy and excerpts from the book have been published in Sports Illustrated magazine. A statue in his honor is located at Newcastle Field (now Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark), the home of the Oklahoma City RedHawks in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In 1962 he and Maris starred as themselves in the sports comedy film "Safe at Home!" and in 1983 he and Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford had a cameo appearance in the episode "Second Base Steel" of NBC television series "Remington Steele."

Bio by: William Bjornstad

Family Members



A magnificent New York Yankee, true teammate and Hall of Fame centerfielder with legendary courage.
The most popular player of his era.
A loving husband, father and friend for life.



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 1239
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Mickey Mantle (20 Oct 1931–13 Aug 1995), Find a Grave Memorial no. 1239, citing Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park, Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .