Mickey Mantle Biography
Mickey Mantle biography: Brief summary of the life and baseball accomplishments of Mickey Mantle
Mickey Charles Mantle was born in Spavinaw, Oklahoma on October 20, 1931. His father, Elvin "Mutt" Mantle was a true baseball fan and named his firstborn son after the Philadelphia Athletics catcher, Mickey Cochrane. By the time Mickey Mantle was able to walk, his father had him swinging a bat and hitting balls. Mantle played little league baseball in Commerce, Oklahoma where he grew up. In high school, Mantle suffered a leg injury during a football practice scrimmage. His doctors diagnosed him with osteomyelitis that destroys the bone marrow. Mantle left football and returned to playing baseball.
At age 16, he was playing shortstop and pitcher. He hit the ball so well that several major league scouts were watching him. Mantle was a switch hitter with a lot of power in his swing. Tome Greenwade of the New York Yankees offered Mantle a contract and bonus. That is when Mantle went to the Yankees farm club in Independence, Missouri to play baseball.
Mantle was only 17 when he made his professional debut in 1949. He played two years as a minor league shortstop where his powerful hitting overshadowed his lackluster infield play. In 1951, Mantle made his major league debut and within a month he had hit a 450-foot homerun while batting left handed. During the second game of the 1951 World Series, Mantle injured his right knee but later recovered. Following the retirement of Joe DiMaggio, Mantle was moved to center field in 1952. Mantle hit a record 565-foot homerun in Washington on April 17, 1953. He led the league with 37 homeruns in 1955.
In 1956, he won baseball's Triple Crown with 52 home runs, knocking in 130 runs, and batting .353 and also won the American League's Most Valuable player award. In 1957, he won another Most Valuable Player Award and hit a career high batting average of .365. Mantle won home run crowns in 1958 and 1960 with 42 and 40 home runs respectively. He finished second to Roger Maris in 1961 for the home run crown. Maris had 61 and Mantle had 54 that year. Mantle's third Most Valuable Player Award came in 1962 when his batting average was .321. Mantle had hit four home runs in consecutive at-bats from July 4th to 6th of that year. On June 5, 1963, Mantle broke his left foot in Baltimore that ended a season in which he had hit 15 homeruns in 172 at-bats. He later returned to hit a home run in the World Series that fall. Mantle collected his 2000th hit in the majors on September 17, 1964. On May 14, 1967, Mantle became the sixth player to hit 500 career home runs. Mantle hit his 536th major league home run on September 20, 1968. Mantle announced his retirement at spring training on March 1, 1969. On June 8, 1969 his uniform No. 7 was retired during a Mickey Mantle Day celebration at Yankee Stadium. Mantle received a ten-minute standing ovation.
Mickey Mantle was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on January 16, 1974. It was his first year eligibility for this honor. He died on August 13, 1995 and is buried at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Dallas, Texas.