National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Mickey Mantle was best known for playing for the New York Yankees. He played for the team for nearly two decades from the early 60s to late 80s. His lifetime achievements have become an inspiration to many fellow baseball enthusiasts.
Four home-run championships, three Most Valuable Player awards, and a Triple-crown reveal his very successful career journey.
Mickey Mantle began playing from an early age
Mickey Mantle was born as Mickey Charles Mantle on 20th October 1931 in Spavinaw, Oklahoma. He was the first child to semi-pro baseball player Elvin “Mutt” and Lovell Richardson Mantle. His father named him after Mickey Cochrane, Detroit Tigers catcher, and taught him to play when he was barely out of the diapers.
Learning to play from a very early age, Mantle used to take part in basketball, football, and baseball while in high school. He was almost about to lose his baseball career because of a bone disease called Osteomyelitis before a New York Yankee scout saw his talents and signed him.
Mickey Mantle career stats as a New York Yankee
Mantle was one amongst the best players & sluggers and is cited as the greatest switch hitter ever in baseball history. He played his Major League Baseball career as a center fielder & first baseman with the New York Yankees. He was, without any doubt, one of the greatest offensive threats of any center fielder in the history of baseball.
After graduating school, he was signed to minor leagues and started his major league career at the age of 19. He played his first game for the New York Yankees replacing the center fielder Joe DiMaggio in 1951.
During his eighteen-year career with the Yankees, he hit 536 home runs and was honored as the Most Valuable Player of the American League three times, in 1956, 1957 and 1962. With 52 home runs, a .353 batting average and 130 runs batted in, he won the triple crown in 1956.
Mantle’s severe alcoholism led him to his deathbed
After his retirement, he became an alcoholic which was known to media. Hard drinking for years led Mantle to the Betty Ford Clinic in 1994, diagnosed with cirrhosis, liver cancer, and hepatitis.
He got a successful liver transplant in 1995 but a heart attack claimed his life that same year on August 13, at the age of 63. His three sons and wife were with him during the final days of his life.
If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.
– Mickey Mantle