Mickey Mantle Biography

Mickey Mantle, also known as “The Mick” and “The Commerce Comet,” was a legendary American professional baseball player. He played for the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball as their first baseman and center fielder. Known for his exceptional skills as a switch-hitter and slugger, Mantle is considered one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. His numerous accolades, including induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974 and being named to the MLB All-Century team in 1999, solidify his status in American professional baseball. Born and raised in Oklahoma, Mantle’s journey to success began when he was signed by the New York Yankees in 1951. The following season marked the start of his rise to stardom. In 1956, Mantle had a remarkable year, winning the Triple Crown and earning several other honors. Throughout his career, he was selected as an All-Star 16 times. Mantle retired from the game in 1969, concluding a highly successful and memorable career.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Mickey Charles Mantle
  • Died At Age: 63
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Merlyn Mantle
    • Father: Elvin Charles Mantle
    • Mother: Lovell Mantle
    • Children: Billy Mantle, Danny Mantle, David Mantle, Mickey Mantle Jr.
  • Born Country: United States
  • Baseball Players
  • American Men
  • Height: 5’11” (180 cm), 5’11” Males
  • Died on: August 13, 1995
  • Place of death: Dallas, Texas, United States
  • Ancestry: British American
  • Cause of Death: Liver Cancer
  • U.S. State: Oklahoma
  • More Facts
  • Awards: Rawlings Gold Glove Award

Childhood & Early Life

Mickey Mantle was born on October 20, 1931, in Spavinaw, Oklahoma, to Elvin Charles Mantle and Lovell Mantle. His father, a lead miner and avid baseball fan, named him after Mickey Cochrane, a Hall of Fame player. Mickey and his father would often play baseball together in their backyard, with Mickey learning to bat left-handed if his father pitched with his right hand.

Mickey’s grandfather was also a baseball fan, and the three of them would spend their days playing and practicing. However, tragedy struck when Mickey’s grandfather passed away in 1944, followed by his father a few years later. Despite these losses, Mickey continued to pursue his love for baseball.

Career

In 1949, Mickey made his professional baseball debut with the New York Yankees’ minor team. After impressing in the minor leagues, he was invited to participate in the major team’s training camps in 1951 and made his MLB debut with the Yankees that same year. However, he struggled to meet the audience’s expectations and was sent back to the minor leagues for further training.

Mickey’s breakthrough came in the 1952 season when he played for the Yankees with exceptional form. He averaged .311 with 23 home runs and 87 RBIs. During a match against the Washington Senators, he hit a home run that traveled about 565 feet, one of the longest hits in MLB history.

Throughout the 1950s, Mickey and the Yankees dominated the American League, winning four titles and two World Series. In 1956, Mickey had a career-defining year, winning the Triple Crown, hitting 52 home runs, and being named the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP). He continued to perform well despite a leg infection that caused him pain since high school.

However, by the mid-1960s, both Mickey’s pain and the Yankees’ performance declined. After a disappointing season in 1965, Mickey announced his retirement from the game in 1968.

Achievements & Later Career

Mickey Mantle’s career was short but illustrious. He hit 536 home runs, won the MVP award three times, and was one of the few players to win a Triple Crown. He was part of seven World Series-winning teams and twelve pennant-winning teams. Mantle also held the record for the most home runs in a World Series game.

After retiring from baseball, Mickey opened a restaurant, worked for a casino in Atlantic City, appeared in TV commercials, and had small roles in films. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.

Personal Life

Mickey Mantle struggled with alcoholism throughout his life, which worsened after his father’s death in 1952. He battled liver cancer and passed away on August 13, 1995. Mickey married Merlyn Johnson in 1951, and they had four sons. However, Mickey’s autobiography revealed that he married Merlyn due to his father’s wishes and had extramarital relationships. Mickey and Merlyn separated in 1980 but never divorced. Merlyn and their three sons also struggled with alcoholism.

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