No announcement yet.

Mickey Mantle Thread

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Mickey Mantle Thread

    I'd like to create a tribute thread to The Mick. Arguably the best, most loved, most famous, and most photographed baseball player of his time.

    I date all my baseball photos using the following book. 'Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century: The Official Major League Baseball Guide: Researched, Illustrated & Written by Marc Okkonen, 1991, 1993'

    Also, the following website, hostd by the Hall of Fame, mainly using the same book above, but also using images after 1993, has assisted me in dating some of the photos. http://exhibits.baseballhalloffame.o...e.htm#database

    On this photographic gallery, I have attempted, using the book above, to date all the photos. If I caption a photo with the following, John Smith, Cubs OF, 1910-13, that means that the photo was taken sometime between 1910-13, when the player was on the Cubs. It does NOT mean that the player was only on the Cubs in that time frame. He might have been on the Cubs from 1900-18, but the photo was only taken between 1910-13.
    If you enjoy this photo gallery, you might also like our other ones, too.

    Historical, Archival Photographs---Pre-1900---Negro L.---Vintage Panoramic Pictures---Members' Gallery---Runningshoes Presents: Photo Op---Meet The Sports Writers

    Photos of the following individual players---Hank Aaron---Pete Alexander---Ty Cobb---Eddie Collins---Sam Crawford---Jimmy Foxx---Lou Gehrig---Rickey Henderson---Rogers Hornsby---Joe Jackson---Walter Johnson---Nap Lajoie---Connie Mack---John McGraw---Mickey Mantle---Christy Mathewson---Willie Mays---Mel Ott---Babe Ruth---George Sisler---Tris Speaker---Pie Traynor---Rube Waddell--- Honus Wagner---Ted Williams---Zack Wheat---Rare Ty Cobb ---Rare Babe Ruth---Bill's Babe Ruth---Rare Ted Williams---Bill's Rare Finds ---Babefan's Fantastic Vintage Baseball photos---GaryL's Boston Public Library Baseball Photo Project

    We also have some very nice, attractive team photo collections---New York Yankees---New York Giants---Detroit Tigers---Pittsburgh Pirates---Brooklyn Dodgers
    I consider The Mick a Top 10 Player.
    I consider The Mick a Top 15 Player.
    I consider The Mick lower than a Top 15 Player.
    I consider The Mick a Top 5 Hitter.
    I consider The Mick a Top 10 Hitter.
    I consider The Mick lower than a Top 10 Hitter.
    I rank The Mick over Say Hey Willie as an All-Around Player.
    I rank Say Hey Willie over The Mick as an All-Around Player.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-25-2011, 01:51 PM.

  • #2
    Mickey's Relative Stats:

    ----Relative BA-----Rel.Slg.-------Rel.Onbase----Rel.ISO-------OPS+
    ----115.0 (65th)----143.8 (8th)------128.3 (5th)---193.5 (17th)----172 (6th)


    Hitting Stats Comparison Chart:

    Mantle, Cobb, Wagner, Hornsby, Ruth, Gehrig, T. Williams, Mays, Aaron, DiMaggio, Speaker, Lajoie, Musial, Collins, Crawford, J. Jackson, Wheat, Roush, Foxx, Clemente, Schmidt, Yaz, Anson, Bonds, B. Williams, Kiner, Killebrew, Rose, Gwynn, Kaline, Greenberg, Waner, R. Jackson, Boggs, Gehringer, Brouthers, Delahanty, Simmons, Mize, Brett, F. Robinson, Ashburn, Sisler, Snider, Banks, Molitor, Keeler, Bench, Terry, Henderson.

    [B]Mickey Mantle[/B]--BA---Hits-2B--3B--HR---Runs-RBI--TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league------1----1----0---1---4----6----1----3---3---4---0---5--8
    2nd in league---1----0----1---0---3----2----3----4---5---0---0---3--3
    led league--12---8----3----4----1---5---4---6----7----8----6---0--11
    led league----8---2----7----3----0---2---5----7---4----6----5---0--6
    2nd league----2---2----1----3----1---2---2----1---1----3----0---0--2
    led league---8----4----4----2---2----5---4----7----9----9----0---3--12
    2nd league---2----1----1----1---2----1---1----2----1----1----0---1---1
    led league----1----0----1----0---12---8---6----6----9---13----0--11--13
    2nd league----2----0----1----0----2---1---2--- 3----2----1----0---1---1
    Led league---1----1----1----4----2----4----4----2----4----2---0---3--3
    2nd league---2----3----0----0----4----2----4----3----2----4---0---2--6
    Ted Williams--BA---Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI--TB--OBA--SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league-----6----0----2---0---4---6----4----6---12---8---0---8--9
    2nd in league--2----1----2---0---4---1----2----0----0---1---0---1--1
    Willie Mays----BA---Hits-2B--3B---HR--Runs-RBI--TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league------1----1----0---3----4---2----0----3---2---5---4---1--6
    2nd in league---3----1----1---1----1---5----2----5---1---3---0---1--1
    Hank Aaron----BA--Hits-2B--3B--HR---Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league-----2---2----4---0---4----3----4---8---0---4---0---0--3
    2nd in league--0---3----2---2---4----1----0---2---2---5---1---1--4
    Joe DiMaggio---BA--Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI--TB--OBA--SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league------2---0----0---1---2---1----2----3---0----2---0---0--1
    2nd in league---0---1----1---0---0---2----3----2---0----5---0---0--4
    Tris Speaker--BA--Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI--TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league-----1---2----8---0---1---0----0----1---4---1---0---0--1
    2nd in league--2---1----3---1---2---4----1----3---3---2---0---1--4
    Nap Lajoie---BA--Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs--RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league----3---4----5---0---1----1----3---4---2---4---0---0--3
    2nd in league-3---0----4---1---0----1----1---2---2---3---0---0--3
    Stan Musial-BA--Hits-2B---3B--HR--Runs-RBI--TB--OBA-SLG--SB--BB-OPS+
    Led league---7---6----8----5---0---5----2----6---6---6----0---1--6
    2nd league---2---3----3----1---1---4----0----2---7---3----0---0--4
    Ed Collins--BA--Hits-2B--3B---HR--Runs-RBI--TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    Led League---0---0----0---0----0---3----0---0----0---0---4---1--0
    2nd league---3---2----0---1----0---1----0---0----3---0---4---5--1
    led league---0----0----1---6---2----1----3----2---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league---4----5----4---3---2----1----4----6---0---4---0---0--2
    led league---0----2----1---3---0---0----0---2---1----1----0---0--0
    2nd league---3----2----2---1---0---1----0---2---2----3----0---0--3
    3rd league---2----2----2---2---1---2----1---1---0----1----0---1--2
    Z. Wheat----BA---Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB---OBA--SLG--SB--BB-OPS+
    led league---1----0----2---0---0---0----0---0----0----1----0---0--0
    2nd league---1----3----2---0---0---0----0---0----0----0----0---0--1
    3rd league---2----2----1---0---0---1----2---0----0----1----0---0--1
    Edd Roush--BA---Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA--SLG--SB--BB-OPS+
    led league--2----0----1---1---1---0----0---1---0----1----0---0--1
    2nd league--2----0----1---2---0---0----1---0---0----0----1---0--1
    3rd league--1----3----0---3---0---0----1---0---1----1----0---0--2
    J. Foxx-----BA---Hits-2B--3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG--SB--BB--OPS+
    led league---2-----0---0---0---4---1----3---3---3---5----0---2--5
    2nd league---2-----1---0---0---3---2----0---1---3---1----0---1--2
    3rd league---1-----2---0---0---2---1----3---0---3---2----0---3--0
    led league---4----2----0---1----0---0----0----0---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league---2----1----1---1----0---0----2----1---1---0---0---0--1
    3rd league---1----1----0---2----0---0----0----1---0---1---0---0--1
    led league---0----0----0---0---8---1----4---3---3---5----0---4--6
    2nd league---0----0----0---0---1---2----1---1---0---2----0---2--1
    3rd league---0----0----0---0---2---6----4---0---0---2----0---3--2
    led league----3----2---3---0---1----3----1---2---5---3----0---2--4
    2nd league----2----0---1---0---0----1----0---0---1---0----0---3--1
    3rd league----0----0---2---1---1----1----1---0---1---0----0---1--0
    led league--2----1----3--0---0-----0----8---1---4----0----0---1---1
    2nd league--5----4----2--1---0-----0----3---2---5----4----0---1---2
    3rd league--2----2----2--0---4-----0----3---2---1----1----0---1---1
    led league--2----0----0--0---2---1----1---1---8----7----0--10---9
    2nd league--0----0----0--0---5---3----1---0---3----1----0---4---3
    3rd league--1----0----0--0---1---6----0---1---0----1----1---1---2
    B. Williams--BA--Hits-2B-3B--HR--Runs-RBI-TB--OBA-SLG-SB--BB-OPS+
    led league----1---1----0--0---0---1----0---3---0---1---0---0--1
    2nd league----0---0----1--1---2---0----3---1---1---0---0---0--0
    3rd league----0---3----3--1---3---0----0---1---0---2---0---0--1
    led league---0---0----0--0---7---1----1---1---1---3---0---3--0
    2nd league---0---0----0--0---0---0----3---2---0---0---0---3--0
    3rd league---0---0----0--0---0---1----1---0---2---1---0---0--0
    4th league---1---0----0--0---0---1----0---2---0---2---0---1--2
    led league---0---0----0--0---6----0----3---0---1---1---0---4---0
    2nd league---0---0----0--0---2----1----2---2---1---3---0---1---1
    3rd league---0---0----0--0---2----1----2---4---2---4---0---3---2
    led league---3---7---5--0---0---4----0---0---1---0---0---0---0
    2nd league---2---5---2--2---0---3----0---1---1---0---0---0---0
    3rd league---0---1---4--0---0---3----0---1---3---0---0---0---0
    led league--8---7----0--0---0----1----0---0----1---0---0---0--0
    2nd league--1---0----1--3---0----0----0---0----2---0---1---0--0
    3rd league--2---1----1--0---0----0----0---1----0---0---0---0--1
    led league--1----1---1--0---0----0----0---1----0---1---0---0---1
    2nd league--3----1---1--0---0----1----2---1----3---1---0---0---2
    3rd league--2----1---1--0---0----0----0---0----2---1---0---0---1
    led league---0----0----2--0---4----1---4---2---0---1---0---2--0
    2nd league---0----0----2--0---2----1---1---3---2---4---0---1--4
    3rd league---0----0----1--1---0----1---1---1---2---2---0---0--1
    led league---3---2----2--2---0---2----1---1---0---0---0---0---0
    2nd league---1---3----1--5---0---2----0---0---2---0---1---2---0
    3rd league---0---1----1--0---0---0----0---1---2---1---0---1---1
    led league----0---0----0--0---4----2---1---0---0---3---0---0---4
    2nd league----0---0----3--0---3----0---0---3---0---2---0---1---1
    3rd league----0---0----0--0---1----1---1---0---0---1---0---0---0
    led league---5----1----2--0---0---2----0---0---6---0---0---1--1
    2nd league---1----5----3--0---0---0----0---0---1---0---0---0--2
    3rd league---2----0----2--0---0---1----0---0---1---1---0---3--0
    led league---1---2----2--1---0----2----0---0---0---0---1---0--0
    2nd league---1---2----2--1---0----1----0---0---2---0---1---0--0
    3rd league---0---0----1--1---0----3----0---0---0---0---0---1--0
    led league----5---3----3---1---2----2---2---4---5---7---0---0--8
    2nd league----1---2----2---4---1----0---2---2---5---3---0---0--1
    3rd league----2---1----1---2---2----1---1---1---0---0---0---0--2
    led league----1---1----5--1---2---0----3---2---2---5---1---0--4
    2nd league----3---1----3--0---0---0----2---2---1---2---0---0--3
    3rd league----2---1----2--2---1---1----1---2---2---1---0---0--1
    led league----1---0---1--1---4---1----3---3---0---4---0---0---2
    2nd league----2---0---1--0---2---1----1---4---2---3---0---0---5
    3rd league----0---3---1--2---1---2----3---0---1---2---0---2---2
    led league---3---3----2--3---0----0---0---1---3---3---0---0---3
    2nd league---2---0----2--1---0----1---1---2---1---0---0---0---0
    3rd league---0---0----2--0---0----1---0---0---1---0---0---1---0
    led league----1---0----1--0---1----3---1---1---2---4---0---0--4
    2nd league----2---2----0--0---2----2---4---1---6---1---0---1--1
    3rd league----1---1----3--1---3----0---2---1---0---0---1---1--1
    led league---2---3----0--2---0---0----0---0---4---0---1---4---0
    2nd league---2---1----0--0---0---0----0---0---0---0---2---2---0
    3rd league---0---0----0--0---0---0----0---0---1---0---0---1---0
    led league----2---2----0--2---0---1----0---2---0---0---4---0--0
    2nd league----1---1----1--2---2---2----1---1---1---2---2---0--1
    3rd league----2---3----1--1---0---0----0---1---1---0---0---0--2
    led league---0----1---0--0---1----3---1---3---1---2---0---1---1
    2nd league---0----1---2--0---1----1---1---1---1---2---0---0---1
    3rd league---2----1---2--2---1----0---1---0---2---0---0---1---2
    led league---2---2----0--0---0----1---1---2---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league---2---0----2--0---1----2---2---2---0---3---0---0--0
    3rd league---1---3----0--0---2----0---2---1---0---3---0---0--2
    led league----0---0----0--0---2---0----2---1---0---1---0---0--0
    2nd league----0---0----0--1---2---2----0---1---0---1---0---0--1
    3rd league----0---0----0--0---2---0----2---3---0---0---0---0--0
    led league--0---0----0--0---2---0----3---1---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league--0---0----1--0---1---1----1---1---0---0---0---0--1
    3rd league--0---0----2--0---0---0----1---1---0---2---0---1--0
    led league---0---3----1--1---0---3----0---0---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league---2---1----0--1---0---1----0---0---1---0---0---0--0
    3rd league---1---2----0--0---0---0----0---0---0---0---1---0--1
    led league----1---1----0--1---0---1----0---0---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league----3---3----0--0---0---1----0---2---0---0---0---0--0
    3rd league----0---1----1--1---1---0----1---0---0---1---0---0--0
    led league--2----3----0--0---0----1---0---0---0---0---0---0--0
    2nd league--2----5----0--0---0----5---0---1---1---1---0---0--1
    3rd league--1----1----0--0---0----1---0---1---2---0---0---0--0
    led league----0---1----0--0---0----5---0---0---1---0---12--4---1
    2nd league----1---0----0--1---0----1---0---0---2---1----0--2---1
    3rd league----0---0----0--0---0----1---0---0---6---0----0--1---0
    -----------Mickey Mantle, Yankees' CF, 1959, -------------Yankee Stadium--- BB Reference---Mickey Mantle video

    June 6, 1956, against the KC A's., Yankee Stad.----------------------1961-68, Yankee Stad.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------1951: Joe DiMaggio/Mickey Mantle: Joe's last season/Mickey's first.

    --------------------Spring Training, 1951-------------------------------------------March 15, 1951---Mickey Mantle on video

    ------------------------------June 21, 1957------------------------------------------------------------March 4, 1958

    ------------------March, 1956-------------------------------------------------------------1956

    -------------------------------------------1951-----------------------------------------------------------------October 3, 1960

    -----------------------------------October 5, 1957

    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 06-20-2009, 04:51 PM.


    • #3
      Mickey Mantle:

      3 knowledgeable authorities who passed on The Mick.

      In Casey At the Bat, by Casey Stengel, 1961, Casey chose his all time all star teams. He picked 25 NLers, and 25 ALers. For AL CF, Casey chose 3 players: Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Joe DiMaggio. No Mickey.

      Casey Stengel won all the pennants in the AL in the 50's except 2.
      In 1954, the Indians, under Al Lopez won, in 1959, the White Sox, under Al Lopez won.

      Al Lopez was a NL catcher from '28, '30-46, & AL manager, '51-65, '68-69.
      He chose his all time team in 1986, and his OFs were Ruth, Cobb, and for CF, he chose Paul Waner/Al Simmons. No Mick.

      Fred Lieb was a sports writer from 1910-77. In his 1977 book, he broke his all time teams into 1876-1900, 1901-25, 1926-50, 1951-75.
      His 1951-75 team, his OFs are: Aaron, Mays, Clemente, Mantle. In that order.

      Stengel, Lopez, and Lieb. 3 authorities who should have been among The Mick's strongest supporters, since they saw so much of him, all passed on him.
      Pjf contributed these beauties on Mickey Mantle:

      Pete (pfg) contributed this:10-01-2005, 01:36 PM

      Bill, I was going over your Ty Cobbs postings as I had promised and came across this one on Mantle. Felt I needed to correct it. When I joined Fever in July '05 I read another post you made on Mantle ( actually having to do with Stengel and a few other things ) and you accepted my corrections graciously. With that in mind and the fact that the above post was written prior to our discussion I'll just point out some of your prior inaccuracies.

      Mantle and Casey had basically father/son relationship. Casey's earlier quotes about Mickey made it obvious that he expected Mickey to be the greatest player who ever lived. All of the quotes were extremely flattering almost bordering on exaggeration. Mickey was also, perhaps selfishly, going to be Stengel's monument and lasting achievement. He repeated the comparison of Ott and McGraw many times.

      As much as you understand Cobb your understanding and research on Mantle is extremely limited. First, Babe Ruth was never Mantle's idol. Mickey's two idols were Stan Musial and Ted Williams. Publicly, Mantle spoke highly of DiMaggio and greatly respected his skills but was almost in awe of Williams. Second, Mantle was by no means a moron. His country boy personality hid a tremendous amount of baseball knowledge. Stengel: " Sure I've heard about Mantle's being dumber than Ned-in-the-third-grade. If that's so, I could use a few more like him around. The feller is the second-best man on the club when it comes to stealing signs and he knows what's going on, with or without bubble gum." Branch Rickey on a Mantle play on Jackie Robinson: " Maturity is something that cannot be measured in years. That young man's arms and legs and eyes are young but his head is old. Mantle has the chance to make us forget every ballplayer we ever saw."

      Getting back to Casey and Mickey. Your story of Casey and Mickey is pure fiction. Stengel never wanted to get rid of Mantle nor was Mantle insubordinate. Mantle: " Whatever Casey did, he thought he was doing right. Nothing he could have done would have provoked me to show him up in public. Even if he had slapped me in front of the whole team I would have taken it. That was the relationship; that was the understanding." Remember Billy Martin and Mantle were like brothers and Stengel was Martin's greatest hero. While Mantle probably responded better to Ralph Houk as a manager he respected Stengel. In his rookie year when Mickey was sent down to Kansas City by Stengel he accepted it. Here is the real story:

      Mantle: " Casey is in his little room with tears in his eyes. He says, 'This is gonna hurt me more than you, but-' I said 'No skip, It's my own fault.' Casey, 'It's not any-body's fault. Your nineteen, that's all. I want you to get some confidence back. Believe me I'm counting on you. In a couple of weeks you'll start hitting and then we'll bring you right up again. I promise. We need you.' "

      Tom Tresh: "I played with Mickey the last seven years until he retired. He was a special person. I once told my wife that the greatest thing about Mickey is that I never heard him say anything bad about anyone"

      Bill Skowron: " I'll tell you who I admired most on the team - Mantle. He played when he was hurt. I had the pleasure of being between Yogi and Mantle in the locker room and I'll never forget days where he had bad days, he'd cry and say 'I let people down. People paid a lot of money to see me perform.' He took the game serious. He played when he was hurt."
      Bill, by the way, Stengel often irritated many players especially by talking about them in the press. His relationship with DiMaggio was extremely tense. On one particular occasion Stengel moved DiMaggio to first base (p.46-47 Dynasty). DiMaggio was annoyed that Stengel had made the switch without coming to him first. On another occasion he benched Joe for one week. Dave Anderson (Pulitzer Prize winner) " DiMaggio didn't always enjoy Stengel, who had insulted him occasionally. So when Joe was given a rest he sat in the bullpen, instead of the dugout." DiMaggio's and Stengel's relationship reached a low point when in 1951 DiMaggio misplayed a fly ball and was pulled off the field in front of thousands at Yankee Stadium, at the start of the next inning after he had already taken his position. DiMaggio stopped talking to Stengel (p.97).

      A word about DiMaggio. I am not a Joe DiMaggio fan personality wise. I resent his ego, the way he resented and treated Mantle when he could have been helpful. Why did Tommy Heinrich have to tutor Mantle in outfield play? Later, DiMaggio seemed to resent that Mickey's fame and popularity eclipsed his. Never bothered to attend his funeral etc., etc. That said those Fever members who put down his skills in favor of Mays should not do so, so quickly. First, if I'm not mistaken, DiMaggio WAS VOTED the greatest living player. Whether Mays career had ended or not when this vote was taken I'm not sure. Certainly, it is a sign of his ego that he insisted on being called that, but he didn't just make that up.

      As for Mays, his ego was no less as large. Almost an ego maniac, treated Hank Aaron almost as if he didn't exist. To that extent I love that oft quoted Mickey Mantle story of the 1962 World Series. Mickey and Willie were both having poor World Series, possibly not being able to get a rhythm due to all the rain delays. As Mantle tells it a fan yells to him as he's playing center-field " Hey Mantle, we all came here to see whose better you or Mays. Now we want to know whose worse?' Mickey always loved that story. His humor was always somewhat self-deprecating.

      Bill, let me give you another perspective on Mantle, one that will never show up in the statistics. Jim Murray, Los Angeles Times columnist: "he's the last of the Yankees and he might have been the best of them...considering night games, the slider, the trappers mitts, and the fact that he would have been a certified cripple in any other industry." Now Murray hit the nail on the head, not with regard to who was the best Yankee that honor clearly belongs to Ruth and possibly DiMaggio. But Murray mentions something most who know little about Mantle fail to understand
      Sure he could have taken better care of himself or perhaps sit out a game or two like most other players until his injuries healed, but that was not why Mantle never became the greatest of all time. Mantle played from the very beginning, from 1951 on as a crippled ballplayer. Forget about his childhood, the osteomyelitis which almost caused him to have his leg amputated.The disease is a chronic inflammation of the bone which can be arrested but never completely cured. End result,at best, is arthritis. Add to this the 1951 injury which Mantle said hampered him throughout his entire career contributing to many of his 17 major injuries.

      No Bill, it was not stubbornness, inability to control his drinking or whatever that made Mantle fall short of what was projected of him. Mickey Mantle probably played 75% healthy throughout his entire career and he played in a park which minimized his statistics. As great as Willie Mays was from 1951-1962 Mickey Mantle was the greatest player in baseball. For the sabermatricians talk to Bill James. For the traditionalists read all the quotes, some of which I presented in previous posts. Bill you admire Cobb, Sultan - Ruth, HWR -Wagner, others Mays, Williams, Charleston. All this is good. As we say, I'll take Mantle any day of the week, injured or not.

      All this is why I think Mantle holds the fascination even to this day. Next to Ruth he has become the greatest baseball hero of all time ( and you can throw all that black/white stuff out the window ). Some recent posts have gotten into the role model controversy, especially with regard to Babe Ruth. I'll just quote Bob Costas: " In his last year, Mickey Mantle, always too hard on himself, finally came to accept and appreciate the distinction between a role model and a hero. The first he often was not, the second he will always be. "
      P.S. None of us can be experts in everything. Your knowledge on Cobb is absolutely amazing. Stick to your own turf (only kidding) LOL
      Pete to Bill:

      Bill, thanks for you gracious response. I only know so much about Mantle because I grew up playing ball in New York and was part of those great Mantle, Mays, Snider debates. I've also mentioned in one of my original posts that I have a friend ( who, in fact, I'm playing golf with tomorrow ) who played with Mantle in his last year. He's provided some interesting insights not only about Mantle but other players at that time. As you know I never made it out if the mid-minors. Competition back then was awesome.

      Let me, at least, take a guess at Stengel's 1961 comment. First, most baseball people tend think that their era is the greatest. That's why I was always so impressed with Dickey's and Crosetti's evaluations of Mantle. They felt differently. Second, Casey was enamored with Mantle's speed. This was one of Casey's assets when he played and certainly that of Cobb who Casey admired. I think Casey, although he probably changed his mind often, wanted Mantle to be more of that type of ballplayer. That's why he had Rizzuto spend so much time with Mickey on bunting. No doubt, if Mantle went more in that direction a lot of his BA statistics would have been higher. But then, he wouldn't have been Mickey Mantle. Third, Casey's firing by the Yankees was very abrupt and hurt him deeply. I think it left him extremely bitter. Remember, Mantle at that time was still on an upward swing. Little did anyone think that he would begin to decline only one or two years later. Stengel's link with Mantle was broken forever. Also, many at that time, credited Ralph Houk for Mantle's '61 season taking him from whipping boy to team leader. Casey must have resented that. Finally, Stengel was beginning to be criticized by many Yankee players. Not starting Ford in game #7 of the 1960 World Series is heard often. Stengel and the Yankees did not part on friendly terms

      So much for speculation. Who knows? Some Mantle trivia you may find of interest. Did you know that Mickey actually played some Major League games at 2nd, short, and third? This was in the early 50's. Since we all know he finished at first, I wonder if he played both right and left. I know he played at least one of those. That leaves only pitching and catching.

      Regarding pitching, it's well known that Mantle wanted to pitch a game and had what many teammates claimed was a better knuckleball than Wilhelm. The famous story in that regard, retold by Jim Kaat and Bobby Mercer the other night during a Yankees telecast was as follows: Seemed like Mantle liked to grab rookies to play catch with him. One such rookie was Jake Gibbs, a catcher and great Mississippi quarterback. Gibbs decided to try catch Mantle's knuckleball without a mask. Broke his nose. True story.

      Just some trivia I hope you enjoy. I have been reading you posts on Cobb and I also find them enjoyable. Baseball is so much more than statistics.LOL

      April 24, 1960---Mickey Mantle on video

      Joe DiMaggio makes the catch as Mickey Mantle injures his knee in the 1951 World Series.

      Source: Baseball's Dream Teams, by Lloyd Johnson, 1990, pp. 8.

      Mickey Mantle Day - September 18, 1965
      A great picture from the 1st MM Day. The other was on June 8, 1969 when they retired his No.7
      In the background is Mickey's wife Merlyn, one of his sons and Bobby Kennedy.

      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-18-2009, 01:55 PM.


      • #4
        Mickey Mantle: 65 Black Ink, 272 grey ink.

        Mantle did not have to contend with Mays, Aaron, Clemente, Snider, Rose, Billy Williams, Musial, Frank Robinson, Banks, Snider, Ralph Kiner, Big Klu, Eddie Mathews, Wally Moon, Vada Pinson, Tommy Davis, Ken Boyer, Ron Santo, Junior Gilliam, Dick Groat, Red Schoendienst, Gil Hodges, Orlando Cepeda, Willie McCovey, J. Robinson, Campanella, Ashburn, and later, Joe Morgan, Pete Rose, Billy Williams, Felippe Alou, Willie Stargell, Richie Allen, Tony Perez.

        Mickey had Ted Williams, Al Kaline, Yaz, Tony Oliva, Yogi Berra, Roger Maris, Haromon Killebrew, Jim Allison, Luis Aparicio, Nellie Fox, Minnie Minoso, Norm Cash, Rocky Colavito, Al Rosen, Harvey Kuenn, Larry Doby, Roy Sievers, Jackie Jensen, Boog Powell, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, George Kell, Tony Conigiliaro to contend with.

        Mickey also didn't have to take his swings against the best of his era; Spahn, Robin Roberts, Ford (team mate), Marichal, Bob Gibson, Jim Maloney, Don Drysdale, Veale, Roy Face, Lew Burdette, Curt Simmons, Harvey Haddix, Johnny Antonelli, Vern Law, Bob Purkey, Johnny Podres, Joe Nuxhall, Don Newcombe, Koufax, Ron Perranoski, Bob Veale, Dick Ellsworth, Chris Short, Bob Friend, Niekro, Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Ferguson Jenkins, Jerry Koosman, Dock Ellis.

        The Mick did have to swing against Bob Feller, Herb Score, Camilo Pascual, Hoyt Wilhelm, Jim 'Mudcat' Grant, Sam McDowell, Early Wynn, Bob Lemon, Dick Radatz, Mike Garcia, Milt Pappas, Jim Kaat, Billy Pierce, Frank Lary, Jim Bunning [with Det til 64], Peters, Horlen, Bobby Shantz, Mickey Lolich, Denny McLain, Jim Palmer, Virgil Trucks, Don Mossi, Chuck Stobbs, Jim Perry, Jim "Mudcat" Grant, Hank Agurrie, Jim Longborg, Dick Donnovan, Mike McCormack, Moe Drubosky, Tommy John, Paul Foytack, Dean Chance, "Blue Moon" Odum, Satchiel Page.

        1952: Mickey Mantle

        Mickey Mantle; Yankees' CF,---BB Reference

        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-09-2010, 12:26 PM.


        • #5
          Some of the Greatest Hitting Seasons Ever: Listed according to OPS+.
          Seasons pre-1920 are high-lighted in red, for convenience.
          Bonds, 2002------1.94----1.74-----1.42---275---09--20.6----49--11.2
          Bonds, 2001------2.03 ---1.54-----1.34---262---09--20.82---54--12.2
          Bonds, 2004------1.91----1.82-----1.37---260---09--21.8----53--12.5
          Ruth, 1920-------2.18----1.52-----1.32---256---16--28.83---51--10.0
          Ruth, 1923-------1.96----1.55-----1.39---239---16--22.2----55--11.2
          Williams, 1941---1.88----1.61-----1.52---235---16--22.1----42---8.8
          Ruth, 1924-------1.86----1.43-----1.30---220---16--20.8----45---8.5
          [COLOR="red"]Cobb, 1917-------1.78----1.39-----1.54---209---16--19.7----46---8.4[/COLOR]
          Brett, 1980------1.66----1.38-----1.44---202---07--12.43---36---7.4
          Cash, 1961-------1.67----1.47-----1.41---201---07--17.30---42---8.3
          [COLOR="red"]Lajoie, 1901-----1.73----1.39-----1.53---200---23--18.94---42---7.4[/COLOR]
          F.Robinson, 1966-1.72----1.34-----1.31---199---18--16.48---41---6.8
          [COLOR="Red"]J.Jackson, 1911--1.64----1.38-----1.49---193---00--17.13---39---6.8[/COLOR]
          Vaughan, 1935----1.55----1.48-----1.38---190---09--15.72---39---7.6
          [COLOR="Red"]Delahanty, 1899--1.59----1.35-----1.45---189---16--16.36---41---5.4
          Speaker, 1912----1.62----1.39-----1.44---188---06--18.13---51---7.1[/COLOR]
          Morgan, 1976-----1.59----1.40-----1.25---187---03----?-----37---7.5
          Kiner, 1951------1.60----1.36-----1.18---184---12--15.64---35---5.1
          Aaron, 1959------1.59----1.24-----1.36---181---10--15.21---38---7.2
          [COLOR="red"]Burkett, 1901----1.46----1.37-----1.40---181---11--15.21---38---5.8[/COLOR]
          Al Rosen, 1953---1.60----1.25-----1.28---180---14--15.33---42---6.5
          Medwick, 1937----1.67----1.24-----1.37---180---24--17.47---40---5.2
          Carew, 1977------1.40----1.35-----1.45---178---10--15.74---37---6.3
          Hack Wilson,1930-1.61----1.27-----1.17---178---13--15.81---35---4.9
          [COLOR="red"]H.Duffy, 1894----1.59----1.42-----1.58---177---20--16.44---33---4.0[/COLOR]
          [COLOR="Red"]Wagner, 1900-----1.56----1.28-----1.36---175---10--16.05---34---4.3[/COLOR]
          Mays, 1954-------1.63----1.22-----1.30---175---08--12.11---40---6.8
          Mize, 1937-------1.55----1.28-----1.33---172---00--14.95---34---3.3
          Greenberg, 1937--1.60----1.29-----1.19---172---04--12.38---33---5.5
          Babe Herman,1930-1.51----1.26-----1.29---170---00--16.26---32---3.5
          Sisler, 1922-----1.49----1.34-----1.47---170---13--14.08---29---5.2
          Clemente, 1967---1.52----1.28-----1.43---170---07--12.59---35---5.6
          Snider, 1954-----1.58----1.26-----1.28---170---03--12.33---39---4.2
          [COLOR="red"]Zimmerman, 1912--1.54----1.22-----1.36---169---16--13.16---34---5.0[/COLOR]
          Morgan, 1975-----1.37----1.43-----1.27---169---02----?-----44---9.8
          Heilmann, 1921---1.48----1.24-----1.34---167---07--12.13---28---3.4
          Reiser, 1941-----1.54----1.24-----1.32---165---13--10.22---34---4.7
          Ott, 1929--------1.49----1.25-----1.11---165---02--13.15---31---5.2
          [COLOR="red"]Keeler, 1897-----1.39----1.31-----1.45---164---07--11.28---32---4.0[/COLOR]
          K.Williams, 1922-1.57----1.18-----1.16---164---08---8.95---30---4.3
          Z.Wheat, 1924----1.40----1.27-----1.32---163---00--10.67---35---4.5
          [COLOR="red"]Crawford, 1911---1.46----1.29-----1.37---163---00--11.49---32---2.2[/COLOR]
          O'Doul, 1929-----1.46----1.30-----1.35---159---07--11.83---31---5.1
          J.Robinson, 1949-1.35----1.29-----1.30---159---06--12.22---36---6.5
          Averill, 1936----1.48----1.20-----1.30---159---04--12.86---27---4.0
          Rose, 1969-------1.38----1.34-----1.39---158---07--11.94---37---3.7
          Terry, 1930------1.38----1.25-----1.32---158---07--14.46---32---5.5
          J.Rice, 1978-----1.55----1.13-----1.20---158---17--10.08---36---4.0
          Colavito, 1961---1.46----1.22-----1.13---157---01--10.10---33---4.0
          P.Waner, 1927----1.42----1.28-----1.34---155---13--10.45---36---3.4
          Manush, 1928-----1.44----1.20-----1.34---154---00--11.08---35---2.9
          Oliva, 1964------1.45----1.14-----1.30---150---12---9.43---27---3.2
          T.Davis, 1962----1.36----1.15-----1.32---148---11--11.70---36---3.6
          Trosky, 1936-----1.52----1.05-----1.18---148---04---9.66---21---1.9
          B.Williams, 1970-1.49----1.18-----1.24---147---07--11.88---29---3.5
          Z.Wheat, 1925----1.30----1.15-----1.22---142---00--10.61---27---2.5
          Gehringer, 1936--1.31----1.18-----1.22---142---02--10.37---34---5.9
          KiKi Cuyler,1930-1.22----1.18-----1.17---133---03---9.82---29---3.0
          Lindstrom, 1930--1.28----1.18-----1.25---132---00--10.78---32---4.7
          J.Tobin, 1921----1.19----1.10-----1.20---119---02---8.24---25---0.5
          Away Games Only, indexed to League Averages.
          DiMaggio,1937------- 1.71----------1.11------------1.23
          Cobb,1911----------- 1.67----------1.36------------1.54
          Morgan, 1976---------1.47----------1.36------------1.18
          Morgan, 1975---------1.23----------1.35------------1.23
          Babe Herman,1930----no-data-------no-data----------no-data
          Bonds, 2001---------no data-------no data----------no data
          name, yr.-----------home HRs-----away HRs------home Slg-----away slg.
          Gehrig, 1927----------24-------------23----------.722----------.805
          Musial, 1948----------16-------------23----------.618----------.780
          Ruth, 1921------------32-------------27----------.929----------.772
          Ruth, 1920------------29-------------25----------.985----------.736
          Ruth, 1923------------19-------------22----------.805----------.728
          DiMaggio, 1937--------19-------------27----------.631----------.711
          Hornsby, 1922---------24-------------18----------.741----------.703
          Ott, 1929-------------20-------------22----------.575----------.692
          Foxx, 1932------------31-------------27----------.820----------.682
          [B]Mantle, 1956----------27-------------25----------.746----------.664[/B]
          Cobb, 1911-------------5--------------3----------.640----------.602
          Williams, 1949--------23-------------20----------.710----------.595
          Klein, 1930-----------26-------------14----------.794----------.578
          Morgan, 1975----------10--------------7----------.540----------.479
          Morgan, 1976----------13-------------14----------.597----------.556
          Sisler, 1920----------15--------------4----------.760----------.503
          Same chart, according to Relative Slugging Average.
          Ruth, 1920-------2.18----1.52-----1.32---256---16--28.83---51--10.0
          Bonds, 2001------2.03 ---1.54-----1.34---262---09--20.82---54--12.2
          Ruth, 1923-------1.96----1.55-----1.39---239---16--22.2----55--11.2
          Bonds, 2002------1.94----1.74-----1.42---275---09--20.6----49--11.2
          Williams, 1941---1.88----1.61-----1.52---235---16--22.1----42---8.8
          Ruth, 1924-------1.86----1.43-----1.30---220---16--20.8----45---8.5
          Bonds, 2004------1.91----1.82-----1.37---260---09--21.8----53--12.5
          [COLOR="red"]Cobb, 1917-------1.78----1.39-----1.54---209---16--19.7----46---8.4[/COLOR]
          [COLOR="red"]Lajoie, 1901-----1.73----1.39-----1.53---200---23--18.94---42---7.4[/COLOR]
          F.Robinson, 1966-1.72----1.34-----1.31---199---18--16.48---41---6.8
          Cash, 1961-------1.67----1.47-----1.41---201---07--17.30---42---8.3
          Medwick, 1937----1.67----1.24-----1.37---180---24--17.47---40---5.2
          Brett, 1980------1.66----1.38-----1.44---202---07--12.43---36---7.4
          [COLOR="Red"]J.Jackson, 1911--1.64----1.38-----1.49---193---00--17.13---39---6.8[/COLOR]
          Mays, 1954-------1.63----1.22-----1.30---175---08--12.11---40---6.8
          [COLOR="Red"]Speaker, 1912----1.62----1.39-----1.44---188---06--18.13---51---7.1[/COLOR]
          Hack Wilson,1930-1.61----1.27-----1.17---178---13--15.81---35---4.9
          Kiner, 1951------1.60----1.36-----1.18---184---12--15.64---35---5.1
          Al Rosen, 1953---1.60----1.25-----1.28---180---14--15.33---42---6.5
          Greenberg, 1937--1.60----1.29-----1.19---172---04--12.38---33---5.5
          [COLOR="Red"]Delahanty, 1899--1.59----1.35-----1.45---189---16--16.36---41---5.4[/COLOR]
          Morgan, 1976-----1.59----1.40-----1.25---187---03----?-----37---7.5
          Aaron, 1959------1.59----1.24-----1.36---181---10--15.21---38---7.2
          [COLOR="red"]H.Duffy, 1894----1.59----1.42-----1.58---177---20--16.44---33---4.0[/COLOR]
          Snider, 1954-----1.58----1.26-----1.28---170---03--12.33---39---4.2
          K.Williams, 1922-1.57----1.18-----1.16---164---08---8.95---30---4.3
          [COLOR="Red"]Wagner, 1900-----1.56----1.28-----1.36---175---10--16.05---34---4.3[/COLOR]
          Mize, 1937-------1.55----1.28-----1.33---172---00--14.95---34---3.3
          Vaughan, 1935----1.55----1.48-----1.38---190---09--15.72---39---7.6
          J.Rice, 1978-----1.55----1.13-----1.20---158---17--10.08---36---4.0
          Reiser, 1941-----1.54----1.24-----1.32---165---13--10.22---34---4.7
          [COLOR="red"]Zimmerman, 1912--1.54----1.22-----1.36---169---16--13.16---34---5.0[/COLOR]
          Clemente, 1967---1.52----1.28-----1.43---170---07--12.59---35---5.6
          Trosky, 1936-----1.52----1.05-----1.18---148---04---9.66---21---1.9
          Babe Herman,1930-1.51----1.26-----1.29---170---00--16.26---32---3.5
          Sisler, 1922-----1.49----1.34-----1.47---170---13--14.08---29---5.2
          Ott, 1929--------1.49----1.25-----1.11---165---02--13.15---31---5.2
          B.Williams, 1970-1.49----1.18-----1.24---147---07--11.88---29---3.5
          Heilmann, 1921---1.48----1.24-----1.34---167---07--12.13---28---3.4
          Averill, 1936----1.48----1.20-----1.30---159---04--12.86---27---4.0
          [COLOR="red"]Crawford, 1911---1.46----1.29-----1.37---163---00--11.49---32---2.2[/COLOR]
          Colavito, 1961---1.46----1.22-----1.13---157---01--10.10---33---4.0
          [COLOR="red"]Burkett, 1901----1.46----1.37-----1.40---181---11--15.21---38---5.8[/COLOR]
          O'Doul, 1929-----1.46----1.30-----1.35---159---07--11.83---31---5.1
          Oliva, 1964------1.45----1.14-----1.30---150---12---9.43---27---3.2
          Manush, 1928-----1.44----1.20-----1.34---154---00--11.08---35---2.9
          P.Waner, 1927----1.42----1.28-----1.34---155---13--10.45---36---3.4
          Z.Wheat, 1924----1.40----1.27-----1.32---163---00--10.67---35---4.5
          Carew, 1977------1.40----1.35-----1.45---178---10--15.74---37---6.3
          [COLOR="red"]Keeler, 1897-----1.39----1.31-----1.45---164---07--11.28---32---4.0[/COLOR]
          Rose, 1969-------1.38----1.34-----1.39---158---07--11.94---37---3.7
          Terry, 1930------1.38----1.25-----1.32---158---07--14.46---32---5.5
          T.Davis, 1962----1.36----1.15-----1.32---148---11--11.70---36---3.6
          Morgan, 1975-----1.37----1.43-----1.27---169---02----?-----44---9.8
          J.Robinson, 1949-1.35----1.29-----1.30---159---06--12.22---36---6.5
          Gehringer, 1936--1.31----1.18-----1.22---142---02--10.37---34---5.9
          Z.Wheat, 1925----1.30----1.15-----1.22---142---00--10.61---27---2.5
          Lindstrom, 1930--1.28----1.18-----1.25---132---00--10.78---32---4.7
          KiKi Cuyler,1930-1.22----1.18-----1.17---133---03---9.82---29---3.0
          J.Tobin, 1921----1.19----1.10-----1.20---119---02---8.24---25---0.5
          The home/away splits were located at Total Baseball, Vol. 1, ed. by John 
          Thorn & Pete Palmer with David Reuther, 1989, pp. 2200-2213.
          My Candidates for Most Impressive Hitting Peak Ever:

          1. Barry Bonds - 2001-2004,---------244 OPS+

          2. Babe Ruth - 1920-1924,-----------221 OPS+

          3. Ted Williams - 1942-1949,--------209 OPS+

          4. Rogers Hornsby - 1921-1925,------202 OPS+

          5. Ty Cobb - 1909-1913,-------------197 OPS+

          6. Lou Gehrig - 1927-1934,----------193 OPS+

          7. Mickey Mantle - 1956-1962,-------191 OPS+

          8. Honus Wagner - 1905-1909,--------187 OPS+

          9. Stan Musial - 1943-1948,---------174 OPS+
          Win Shares:
          as compiled by Chris (538280)

          Wagner 1905-1909: 237
          Ruth 1920-1924: 233
          Bonds 2000-2004: 227
          Williams 1941-1949: 220
          Cobb 1909-1913: 207
          Mantle 1956-1960: 205
          Morgan 1972-1976: 197
          Gehrig 1927-1931: 193
          Musial 1943-1948: 192
          Hornsby 1921-1925: 188

          WARP3-this has a LQ adjustment and it adjusted for the 162 game vs. 154 game schedule in case you don't know

          Bonds 2000-2004: 71.7
          Ruth 1920-1924: 71.5
          Williams: 1941-1948: 69.0
          Morgan 1972-1976: 66.3
          Hornsby 1921-1925: 63.6
          Wagner 1905-1909: 62.8
          Musial 1943-1948: 61.3
          Mantle 1956-1960: 61.1
          Gehrig 1927-1931: 57.3
          Cobb 1909-1913: 54.4
          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-05-2012, 11:23 PM.


          • #6
            Relative SLG. Ave. is the 1st number, and serves as presumption unless I note mitigating factors.

            1. Babe Ruth - 172.5 - 13 SLG. titles - 10,504 PA - 207 OPS+ - Rel. ISO - 303. Need I say more? Nuff said.

            2. Ted Williams - 154.9 - 9 SLG. titles - 9786 PA - 185 OPS+ - Rel. ISO - 220. Takes 2nd nicely. Missing war yrs.? Offset by Babe's "missing pitching yrs."

            3. Ty Cobb - 141.4 - 8 SLG. titles - 12,777 PA- 167 OPS+ - Rel. ISO - 159. Ranks above others with higher SLG. AVE., due to more titles, over a much longer career, higher PA, extended decline phase. Differences in PA with Hornsby equals 7 full seasons of decline.

            4. Rogers Hornsby - 147.3. - 9 titles - 9259 PA - 175 OPS+ - Rel. ISO - 203. High SLG. Ave./titles earn high ranking.

            5. Lou Gehrig - 154.0 - 2 SLG. titles - 9954 PA - 179 OPS+ - Rel. ISO - 230. Ave. held up well, of course due to lack of decline phase, hence low PA. Only won 2 titles.

            6. Barry Bonds - 148.0 - 7 SLG. titles - 12,606 PA - 182 OPS+ - Rel. ISO - 213. I had him ranked 2nd, but his admitted steroid usage drops him IMHO. Had too great an advantage over his peers.

            7. Honus Wagner - 132.9 - 6 SLG. Titles - 11,731 PA - 150 OPS+ - Rel. ISO - 167

            8. Willie Mays - 139.2 - 5 SLG. titles - 12,480 PA - 156 OPS+ - Rel. ISO - 186.

            9. Mickey Mantle - 143.8 - 4 SLG. titles - 9895 PA - 172 OPS+ - Rel. ISO - 198. Too few titles over relatively weak sluggers.

            10. Hank Aaron - 140.6 - 4 SLG. titles - 13,919 PA - 155 OPS+ - Rel. ISO - 187. Too few titles over long career.

            11. Jimmy Foxx - 143.7 - 5 SLG. titles - 9,599 PA - 163 OPS+ - Rel. ISO - 214. Too few PA relative to Aaron/Mays.

            12. Joe Jackson - 1.45.2 - 1 SLG. title - 5690 PA - 170 OPS+ - Rel. ISO - 187. Too few PA to rank higher - Placed in top 5 SLG. all his 9 yrs.; 2nd 3 times, once 3rd, 2 4ths, 2 5ths.

            13. Stan Musial- 137.1 - 6 SLG. Titles - 12,712 PA - 159 OPS+ - Rel. ISO - 168.

            14. Tris Speaker - 134.3 - 1 SLG. Title - 11,988 PA - 158 OPS+ - Rel. ISO - 163.

            15. Nap Lajoie - 133.9 - 4 SLG. Titles - 10,460 PA - 150 OPS+ - Rel. ISO - 159

            16. Mike Schmidt - 133.6 - 5 SLG. Titles - 10, 062 PA - 147 OPS+ - Rel. ISO - 205.

            17. Hank Greenberg - 1.44.3 - 1 SLG. Title - 6,096 - 158 OPS+. Lost 4.5 seasons to WWII. Age 30-34. Out of game by age 36 spared him his decline phase.

            18. Joe DiMaggio - 142.9 - 2 SLG. Titles - 7,671 PA - 155 OPS+. His numbers appear worse due to Yankee Stadium, but better due to lack of decline phase. Lost 3 prime seasons to WWII.

            19. Dan Brouthers - 1.40.6 - 7 SLG. Titles - 7,658 PA - 170 OPS+. Too few PA to rank higher.

            20. Ed Delahanty - 1.33.5 - 5 SLB. Titles - 8,389 PA - 152 OPS+. Too few PA to rank higher.
            Sluggers such as Greenberg, McGwire, DiMaggio, Mize and Brouthers all had PA fewer than 7,700. Honorable Mentions to Richie Allen, Frank Thomas.
            ...............OPS+....EqA.....BRAR....BRAR/650 PA
            Relative ISO:---(for relative iso you take his slg-BA .533-.304=.229 divided by the league slg-BA .397-.280=.117)

            Babe Ruth: 303
            Lou Gehrig: 230
            Mark McGwire: 223
            Hank Greenberg: 220
            Ted Williams: 220
            Jimmy Foxx: 214
            Barry Bonds: 213
            Johnny Mize 209
            Mike Schmidt: 205
            Rogers Hornsby: 203
            Willie Stargell 199
            Mickey Mantle: 198
            Dick Allen: 198
            Joe DiMaggio: 197
            Mel Ott: 196
            Ralph Kiner: 196
            Willie McCovey: 192
            Harmon Killebrew: 190
            Hank Aaron: 187
            Willie Mays: 186
            Albert Pujols: 182 (6 seasons)
            Reggie Jackson: 181
            Frank Robinson: 180
            Frank Howard 175
            Manny Ramirez: 175
            Ken Griffey Jr.: 172
            Eddie Mathews: 171
            Sammy Sosa: 171
            Albert Belle: 170
            Johnny Bench: 169
            Frank Thomas: 169
            Stan Musial: 168
            Carlos Delgado 168
            Ernie Banks: 163
            Alex Rodriguez: 164
            Al Simmons: 157
            Mike Piazza: 156
            Billy Williams: 155
            Yogi Berra 153
            Rafael Palmeiro: 149
            Eddie Murray: 138
            George Brett: 138
            Al Kaline: 137
            Carl Yazstremski: 133
            Joe Morgan: 126
            Ryne Sandberg: 124
            Charlie Gehringer: 120
            Roberto Clemente: 117
            Paul Waner: 117
            Jackie Robinson: 115
            Craig Biggio: 101
            Miller Huggins: 100
            Roberto Alomar: 095
            Tony Gwynn: 088
            Pete Rose: 084
            Joe Sewell: 083
            Rod Carew: 080
            Brett Butler: 065
            Ichiro Suzuki: 064
            Lloyd Waner: 064
            Nellie Fox: 056
            Richie Ashburn: 052
            Relative ISO: Some Pre-1920 hitters:

            Gavvy Cravath 217
            Harry Stovey 189
            Joe Jackson 187
            Sam Crawford 183
            Dan Brouthers 178
            Sam Thompson 174
            Roger Connor 172
            Honus Wagner 167
            Ed Delahanty 166
            Tris Speaker 163
            Frank Baker 162
            Ty Cobb 159
            Nap Lajoie 159
            Buck Ewing 154
            Ross Barnes 150
            Pete Browning 141
            Mike 'King' Kelly 138
            Jimmy Ryan 138
            Ned Williamson 135
            Bill Lange 126
            Cap Anson 121
            George Gore 114
            Jesse Burkett 114
            Herman Long 109
            Eddie Collins 103
            Hughie Jennings 101
            Billy Hamilton 0.89
            Willie Keeler 0.84
            John McGraw 0.77

            All-Time list for OPS+ (baseball-Reference)

            Relative Stats Chart:
            Courtesy of David Kent. Here is a list of the top 100 sluggers of all time based on relative isolated power (min 5000 AB). The values are league adjusted but not park adjusted. (NB: If someone has park factor values for average and slugging, I would love to see it.)

            Pre-1920 players are high-lighted in red, to show the difficulty of posting a high Rel. ISO due to era. Only 14 of the Top 100 (14%). Gavvy Cravath/Joe Jackson were eliminated due to less than 5,000 At-Bats.
            Player                AB    Slg    Avg    ISO  Rel ISO
            1.  Babe Ruth            8399  0.690  0.342  0.348  301.4
            2.  Ted Williams         7706  0.634  0.344  0.289  227.8
            3.  Lou Gehrig           8001  0.632  0.340  0.292  227.6
            4.  Hank Greenberg       5193  0.605  0.313  0.292  223.1
            5.  Mark McGwire         6187  0.588  0.263  0.325  217.1
            6.  Jimmie Foxx          8134  0.609  0.325  0.284  215.6
            7.  Johnny Mize          6443  0.562  0.312  0.250  209.8
            8.  Mike Schmidt         8352  0.527  0.267  0.260  208.8
            9.  Barry Bonds          9098  0.611  0.300  0.311  208.3
            10. Ralph Kiner          5205  0.548  0.279  0.269  199.6
            11. Dick Allen           6332  0.534  0.292  0.242  199.2
            12. Willie Stargell      7927  0.529  0.282  0.247  199.0
            13. Rogers Hornsby       8173  0.577  0.358  0.218  198.5
            14. Mel Ott              9456  0.533  0.304  0.229  195.6
            15. Joe DiMaggio         6821  0.579  0.325  0.254  195.5
            [COLOR="red"]16. Harry Stovey         6138  0.461  0.289  0.173  195.2[/COLOR] 
            17. [B]Mickey Mantle        8102  0.557  0.298  0.259  193.5[/B]
            18. Willie McCovey       8197  0.515  0.270  0.245  192.3
            19. Dave Kingman         6677  0.478  0.236  0.242  192.1
            20. Harmon Killebrew     8147  0.509  0.256  0.252  190.8
            21. Dolph Camilli        5353  0.492  0.277  0.215  189.7
            22. Hank Aaron          12364  0.555  0.305  0.250  187.3
            23. Willie Mays         10881  0.557  0.302  0.256  186.1
            24. Darryl Strawberry    5418  0.505  0.259  0.247  185.9
            [COLOR="Red"]25. Sam Crawford         9570  0.452  0.309  0.143  185.2[/COLOR]
            26. Wally Berger         5163  0.522  0.300  0.221  183.3
            27. Frank Robinson      10006  0.537  0.294  0.243  181.5
            [COLOR="Red"]28. Dan Brouthers        6711  0.519  0.342  0.177  181.2[/COLOR]
            29. Chuck Klein          6486  0.543  0.320  0.223  180.5
            30. Reggie Jackson       9864  0.490  0.262  0.228  179.9
            31. Jim Thome            5726  0.569  0.284  0.285  176.4
            32. Albert Belle         5853  0.564  0.295  0.269  176.1
            33. Rudy York            5891  0.483  0.275  0.208  175.5
            34. Bill Nicholson       5546  0.465  0.268  0.198  175.4
            35. Ken Griffey Jr.      7379  0.560  0.292  0.268  175.3
            36. Frank Howard         6488  0.499  0.273  0.225  175.3
            37. Manny Ramirez        5572  0.599  0.316  0.283  174.5
            38. Juan Gonzalez        6555  0.561  0.295  0.265  173.3
            [COLOR="red"]39. Sam Thompson         5984  0.505  0.331  0.174  173.0[/COLOR]
            40. Stan Musial         10972  0.559  0.331  0.228  172.6
            41. Cy Williams          6780  0.470  0.292  0.178  172.1
            [COLOR="red"]42. Roger Connor         7794  0.486  0.317  0.169  171.6[/COLOR]
            43. Sammy Sosa           8021  0.545  0.277  0.268  171.3
            [COLOR="red"]44. Honus Wagner        10430  0.466  0.327  0.139  170.9[/COLOR]
            45. Babe Herman          5603  0.532  0.324  0.207  169.3
            46. Johnny Bench         7658  0.476  0.267  0.208  168.9
            47. Jose Canseco         7057  0.515  0.266  0.249  168.7
            48. Duke Snider          7161  0.540  0.295  0.244  168.5
            49. Carlos Delgado       5008  0.556  0.282  0.274  168.4
            50. Bob Johnson          6920  0.506  0.296  0.210  168.4
            51. Frank Thomas         6851  0.567  0.308  0.259  168.3
            52. Eddie Mathews        8537  0.509  0.271  0.238  167.4
            53. Larry Walker         6592  0.568  0.314  0.254  167.2
            [COLOR="Red"]54. Tris Speaker        10195  0.500  0.345  0.156  166.5[/COLOR]
            55. George Foster        7023  0.480  0.274  0.206  166.3
            [COLOR="red"]56. Ty Cobb             11434  0.512  0.366  0.146  166.1[/COLOR]
            [COLOR="Red"]57. Ed Delahanty         7505  0.505  0.346  0.159  165.6[/COLOR]
            58. Norm Cash            6705  0.488  0.271  0.217  165.2
            59. Hal Trosky           5161  0.522  0.302  0.219  165.0
            60. Alex Rodriguez       5590  0.574  0.305  0.268  164.8
            61. Jack Fournier        5208  0.483  0.313  0.170  164.7
            62. Reggie Smith         7033  0.489  0.287  0.202  164.6
            [COLOR="red"]63. Elmer Flick          5597  0.445  0.313  0.132  164.6[/COLOR]
            64. Sherry Magee         7441  0.427  0.291  0.135  164.4
            [COLOR="red"]65. Harry Davis          6653  0.408  0.277  0.132  164.4
            66. Frank Baker          5984  0.442  0.307  0.135  163.4[/COLOR]
            67. Jack Clark           6847  0.476  0.267  0.209  163.1
            68. Ernie Banks          9421  0.500  0.274  0.225  163.0
            69. Earl Averill         6353  0.534  0.318  0.216  162.8
            70. Bobby Bonds          7043  0.471  0.268  0.203  162.3
            71. Larry Doby           5348  0.490  0.283  0.207  161.7
            72. Harry Heilmann       7787  0.520  0.342  0.179  161.7
            73. Rocky Colavito       6503  0.489  0.266  0.223  161.2
            74. Dale Murphy          7960  0.469  0.265  0.204  160.8
            75. Billy Williams       9350  0.492  0.290  0.202  160.3
            76. Greg Luzinski        6505  0.478  0.276  0.202  160.3
            77. Jay Buhner           5013  0.494  0.254  0.240  160.2
            78. Bob Allison          5032  0.471  0.255  0.217  160.1
            79. Joe Medwick          7635  0.505  0.324  0.181  159.3
            80. Gabby Hartnett       6432  0.489  0.297  0.192  158.9
            81. Joe Gordon           5707  0.466  0.268  0.197  158.9
            82. Al Simmons           8759  0.535  0.334  0.201  158.0
            83. Cecil Fielder        5157  0.482  0.255  0.227  157.6
            84. Jeff Bagwell         7697  0.542  0.297  0.245  157.6
            85. Danny Tartabull      5011  0.496  0.273  0.223  157.2
            86. Roger Maris          5101  0.476  0.260  0.216  157.1
            87. Andre Dawson         9927  0.482  0.279  0.203  157.1
            88. Bob Meusel           5475  0.497  0.309  0.187  156.9
            89. Lee May              7609  0.459  0.267  0.192  156.3
            90. Jim Bottomley        7471  0.500  0.310  0.191  156.2
            91. Mike Piazza          5805  0.562  0.315  0.247  155.8
            92. Jim Rice             8225  0.502  0.298  0.204  155.5
            [COLOR="red"]93. Buck Ewing           5363  0.456  0.303  0.153  155.5[/COLOR]
            94. Mike Tiernan         5906  0.463  0.311  0.152  155.4
            95. Roy Sievers          6387  0.475  0.267  0.208  155.3
            96. Fred McGriff         8757  0.509  0.284  0.225  155.1
            [COLOR="red"]97. Nap Lajoie           9589  0.467  0.338  0.128  155.0[/COLOR]
            98. Boog Powell          6681  0.462  0.266  0.196  153.9
            99. Tilly Walker         5067  0.427  0.281  0.146  153.6
            100. Eric Davis          5321  0.482  0.269  0.214  153.6
            Leading Sluggers/Relative BA: Those sluggers who kept up their BA.
            1. Ty Cobb -------- 134.8
            2. Joe Jackson ---- 133.1
            5. Ted Williams --- 128.1
            6. Dan Brouthers -- 127.8
            7. Nap Lajoie ----- 127.4
            9. Rogers Hornsby - 126.2
            10. Tris Speaker -- 125.4
            14. Stan Musial ----123.9
            16. Honus Wagner -- 123.1
            18. Cap Anson ----- 122.7
            19. Ed Delahanty -- 122.6
            23. Kirby Puckett - 121.0
            28. Babe Ruth ----- 119.2
            31. Sam Crawford ---118.9
            40. Lou Gehrig ---- 117.2
            41. Joe DiMaggio -- 117.1
            52. Hank Aaron - ---118.0
            58. Al Simmons ---- 115.4
            59. Frank Baker --- 115.4
            [B][COLOR="red"]65. Mickey Mantle - 115.0[/COLOR][/B]
            66. Johnny Mize ----115.0
            79. Willie Mays ----114.3
            86. Jimmie Foxx --- 113.8
            95. Frank Robinson  113.4
            And some who didn't keep their Relative BA up.
            Frank Howard ----108.
            Gavvy Cravath----107.
            Ralph Kiner------102.
            Reggie Jackson---102.
            Jose Canseco-----101.
            Sammy Sosa-------101.
            Mike Schmidt-----100.
            Mark McGwire-----100.
            Harmon Killebrew-098.
            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-05-2012, 11:24 PM.


            • #7
              Relative Stats:

              courtesy of David Kent:

              Rel Rel Through 2003, over 5,000 PA, indexed and park adjusted.
              Pro+  OBA  Slg                                      Rel     Rel
              Rank Rank Rank  Player               PA    Pro+     OBA     Slg
                1    2    1   Babe Ruth          10504   207.0   134.5   172.5 
                2    1    2   Ted Williams        9786   189.5   134.6   154.9
                3   11    3   Lou Gehrig          9554   180.4   126.4   154.0
                4    3    4   Barry Bonds        10963   180.0   131.6   148.4
                5    8    5   Rogers Hornsby      9259   174.7   127.4   147.3
                8   16    6   Joe Jackson         5559   168.7   123.9   144.8
               16  102    7   Hank Greenberg      6061   157.3   113.5   143.9
                [B][COLOR="Red"]6    5    8   Mickey Mantle       9895   172.1   128.3   143.8[/COLOR][/B] 
               11   40    9   Mark McGwire        7657   162.8   119.0   143.8
               13   43   10   Jimmie Foxx         9599   161.6   117.9   143.7
               21  122   11   Joe DiMaggio        7657   155.6   112.7   142.9
               17   78   12   Johnny Mize         7351   157.0   114.9   142.1
                7    4   13   Dan Brouthers       7656   170.9   129.4   141.4
                9   10   14   Ty Cobb            12777   168.4   127.0   141.4
               22   83   15   Hank Aaron         13919   155.2   114.6   140.6
               18   54   16   Dick Allen          7295   156.7   116.8   140.0
               20   53   17   Willie Mays        12480   156.0   116.8   139.2
               25   52   18   Mike Piazza         6007   154.7   117.0   137.7
               14   24   19   Stan Musial        12677   158.2   121.1   137.1
               38  192   20   Willie Stargell     9017   147.1   110.0   137.1
               19   36   21   Manny Ramirez       5910   156.5   119.8   136.7
               26   41   22   Frank Robinson     11726   154.0   118.5   135.5
               12    9   23   Frank Thomas        8167   162.6   127.3   135.3
               10    6   24   Pete Browning       5315   163.2   128.0   135.3
               15   18   25   Tris Speaker       11679   157.4   123.0   134.3
               23   25   26   Mel Ott            11228   155.0   120.9   134.1
               48  215   27   Albert Belle        6669   142.9   108.9   134.0
               33   60   28   Nap Lajoie         10239   150.0   116.1   133.9
               35   86   29   Ralph Kiner         6247   148.0   114.4   133.7
               40  111   30   Mike Schmidt       10046   146.8   113.2   133.6
               41  131   31   Sam Thompson        6497   145.4   111.9   133.5
               29   42   32   Ed Delahanty        8340   151.5   118.1   133.4
               42  159   33   Ken Griffey Jr.     8161   144.0   110.9   133.1
               32   48   34   Honus Wagner       11518   150.4   117.6   132.9
               36   77   35   Willie McCovey      9681   147.7   114.9   132.9
               43  153   36   Alex Rodriguez      5671   143.9   111.1   132.7
               24   21   37   Roger Connor        8834   154.9   122.2   132.6
               46  158   38   Sam Crawford       10353   143.5   110.9   132.5
               93  514   39   Juan Gonzalez       7014   133.3   100.8   132.5
               49  163   40   Frank Howard        7346   142.8   110.7   132.2
               57  226   41   Jeff Heath          5540   140.4   108.6   131.8
               64  272   42   Wally Berger        5636   138.8   107.2   131.6
               39   66   43   Harry Heilmann      8683   147.0   115.7   131.2
               30   35   44   Jim Thome           6420   150.9   119.8   131.0
               27   20   45   Jeff Bagwell        8626   153.4   122.3   131.0
               44  118   46   Hack Wilson         5454   143.7   112.8   130.9
               50  125   47   Harry Stovey        6832   142.8   112.5   130.3
               58  165   48   Babe Herman         6134   140.2   110.6   129.6
               66  205   49   Darryl Strawberry   6325   138.6   109.3   129.3
              102  419   50   Sammy Sosa          8462   132.4   103.1   129.3
                    Rel  Rel
              Pro+  OBA  Slg                                      Rel     Rel
              Rank Rank Rank  Player               PA    Pro+     OBA     Slg
                2    1    2   Ted Williams        9786   189.5   134.6   154.9
                1    2    1   Babe Ruth          10504   207.0   134.5   172.5
                4    3    4   Barry Bonds        10963   180.0   131.6   148.4
                7    4   13   Dan Brouthers       7656   170.9   129.4   141.4
                [B][COLOR="Red"]6    5    8   Mickey Mantle       9895   172.1   128.3   143.8[/COLOR][/B]
               10    6   24   Pete Browning       5315   163.2   128.0   135.3
               59    7  267   Billy Hamilton      7544   140.0   127.6   112.4
                5    8    5   Rogers Hornsby      9259   174.7   127.4   147.3
               12    9   23   Frank Thomas        8167   162.6   127.3   135.3
                9   10   14   Ty Cobb            12777   168.4   127.0   141.4
                3   11    3   Lou Gehrig          9554   180.4   126.4   154.0
              192   12  582   Roy Thomas          6409   123.6   126.3    97.3
               31   13   74   Edgar Martinez      8113   150.7   125.7   125.1
               52   14  156   Eddie Collins      11525   142.4   124.4   118.1
               28   15   53   Jason Giambi        5460   152.7   123.9   128.8
                8   16    6   Joe Jackson         5559   168.7   123.9   144.8
              140   17  420   Rickey Henderson   13316   128.6   123.4   105.2
               15   18   25   Tris Speaker       11679   157.4   123.0   134.3
              126   19  372   Wade Boggs         10711   130.0   123.0   107.0
               27   20   45   Jeff Bagwell        8626   153.4   122.3   131.0
               24   21   37   Roger Connor        8834   154.9   122.2   132.6
               82   22  246   George Gore         6104   135.0   122.0   113.1
               76   23  208   Gene Tenace         5504   136.3   121.2   115.0
               14   24   19   Stan Musial        12677   158.2   121.1   137.1
               23   25   26   Mel Ott            11228   155.0   120.9   134.1
              232   26  531   Mike Hargrove       6649   121.0   120.8   100.2
              105   27  285   Joe Morgan         11278   132.1   120.5   111.6
               34   28   54   Elmer Flick         6293   149.2   120.5   128.7
               56   29  118   Cap Anson          11292   140.9   120.4   120.5
               60   30  137   Jesse Burkett       9525   139.5   120.3   119.2
               37   31   60   Gary Sheffield      8026   147.5   120.1   127.4
              419   32  705   Eddie Stanky        5332   109.0   120.0    88.9
              143   33  351   Topsy Hartsel       5697   127.9   119.9   108.0
              120   34  300   Rod Carew          10422   131.0   119.9   111.1
               30   35   44   Jim Thome           6420   150.9   119.8   131.0
               19   36   21   Manny Ramirez       5910   156.5   119.8   136.7
              103   37  260   John Olerud         8360   132.3   119.6   112.7
               81   38  194   Arky Vaughan        7605   135.4   119.5   115.9
              107   39  254   Ken Singleton       8529   132.1   119.2   112.9
               11   40    9   Mark McGwire        7657   162.8   119.0   143.8
               26   41   22   Frank Robinson     11726   154.0   118.5   135.5
               29   42   32   Ed Delahanty        8340   151.5   118.1   133.4
               13   43   10   Jimmie Foxx         9599   161.6   117.9   143.7
               99   44  209   Tony Gwynn         10187   132.6   117.8   114.8
               47   45   71   Chipper Jones       6064   143.2   117.8   125.4
              388   46  649   Richie Ashburn      9624   110.9   117.8    93.1
              111   47  226   Jackie Robinson     5698   131.7   117.7   114.0
               32   48   34   Honus Wagner       11518   150.4   117.6   132.9
              167   49  345   Roger Bresnahan     5262   126.0   117.5   108.5
              118   50  229   Ross Youngs         5214   131.3   117.4   113.9
              Dave Kent
              Relative BA, after 2005:

              BA+ Player (thru '05)
              Currently active players are high-lighted in RED.

              1. 134.8 Cobb CF
              2. 133.1 JJackson
              3. 130.8 Browning
              5. 128.1 TWilliams LF
              6. 127.8 Dan Brouthers
              7. 127.7 Gwynn RF
              8. 127.4 Lajoie 2B
              9. 127.2 Ichiro
              10. 127.0 Carew
              11. 126.2 Hornsby
              12. 125.4 Speaker
              13. 125.3 Pujols
              14. 124.4 Tip O'Neill
              15. 124.4 Keeler
              16. 123.9 Musial 1B
              17. 123.7 Boggs 3B
              18. 123.6 Donlin
              19. 123.1 Wagner SS
              20. 122.8 Anson
              21. 122.7 Hamilton
              22. 122.6 Delahanty
              23. 121.8 ECollins
              24. 121.6 Burkett
              25. 121.0 Puckett
              26. 120.7 Clemente
              27. 120.4 Oliva
              28. 120.3 SThompson
              29. 119.4 Heilmann
              30. 119.2 Ruth
              31. 118.9 Sisler
              32. 118.8 Crawford
              33. 118.5 KKelly
              34. 118.1 Connor
              35. 117.9 MoAlou
              36. 117.8 Piazza
              37. 117.8 Medwick
              38. 117.8 PWaner
              39. 117.7 O'Rourke
              40. 117.4 Flick
              41. 117.3 BTerry
              42. 117.2 Gehrig
              43. 117.1 JDiMaggio
              44. 117.0 Beaumont
              45. 116.9 EMartinez
              46. 116.9 Mattingly
              47. 116.7 Garr
              48. 116.4 Mota
              49. 116.3 Brett
              50. 116.3 DMitchell
              51. 116.2 JMcGraw
              52. 116.2 LWalker v
              53. 116.0 Aaron
              57. 115.6 Rose
              59. 115.4 Al Simmons
              60. 115.4 Frank Baker

              66. 115.0 Mantle
              67. 115.0 Johnny Mize
              71. 114.9 Wheat
              82. 114.3 Mays
              75. 114.6 FThomas
              90. 113.8 Foxx
              92. 113.8 Roush
              99. 113.4 Frank Robinson
              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-08-2010, 03:37 PM.


              • #8

                I think its great that you've started a thread for Mantle.

                The comparison charts you posted are very informative.

                I think it should be mentioned that Mantle's career OPS+ is 173 per the Official Encyclopedia. I assume you derived the 172 career OPS+ from That site typically undervalues the OPS+ numbers of certain players especially those who played for the Yankees. For instance they also understate Gehrig's career OPS+ by 3 points, Ruth's OPS+ by 2 points, Dimaggio's by 1 point, Hornsby's by 1 point, while curiously they overstate Ted Williams' career OPS+ by 4 points.

                I also have a little different perspective on the quality of the pitchers Mantle faced and the quality of the players he competed against. On the recent Mantle vs Aaron thread a number of us provided statistical and other evidence on the issue of the the quality of the National and American leagues during Mantle's career. I think this evidence and the studies done, especially the excellent work of Bench 5, provide a very persuasive case that the league quality of the American League during Mantle's career was at the very least equal to that the National League (the stastical evidence actually showed the American League to be slightly stronger). When time permits I think some of the posts from that thread would also make welcome additions to this thread.

                c JRB


                • #9
                  The following is quoted from Lewis Early's detailed descriptions of Mickey Mantle's 10 longest home runs. I know that Jenkinson has a different take on the distance some of these home runs.

                  "1. 734 ft. – 5/22/63, vs. Kansas City, at Yankee Stadium, Pitcher: Bill Fischer

                  2. 660 ft. – 3/26/51, vs. USC, at Bovard Field, USC, Pitcher: Unknown

                  3. 650 ft. – 6/11/53, vs. Detroit, at Briggs Stadium, Pitcher: Art Houteman

                  4. 643 ft. – 9/10/60, vs. Detroit, at Tiger Stadium, Pitcher: Paul Foytack

                  5. 630 ft. – 9/13/53, vs. Detroit, at Yankee Stadium, Pitcher: Billy Hoeft

                  6. 620 ft. – 5/30/56, vs. Washington, at Yankee Stadium, Pitcher: Pedro Ramos

                  7. 565 ft. – 4/17/53, vs. Washington, at Griffith Stadium, Pitcher: Chuck Stobbs

                  8. 550 ft. – 6/05/55, vs. Chi. White Sox, at Comiskey Park, Pitcher: Billy Pierce

                  9. 535 ft. – 7/06/53, vs. Philadelphia A's, at Connie Mack Stadium, Pitcher: Frank Fanovich

                  10. 530 ft. – 4/24/53, vs. St. Louis Browns, at Busch Stadium, Pitcher: Bob Cain

                  (1) 734 feet (5/22/63, Yankee Stadium Façade* – Pitcher: Bill Fischer, Kansas City Athletics – Left-handed)

                  Mickey said that the "hardest ball I ever hit" came in the 11th inning on May 22, 1963 at Yankee Stadium. Leading off in the bottom of the 11th, with the score tied 7-7, A's pitcher Bill Fischer tried to blow a fastball past Mickey.

                  Bad idea. Mickey stepped into it and, with perfect timing, met the ball with the sweet spot of his bat, walloping it with everything he had. The sound of the bat colliding with the ball was likened to a cannon shot. The players on both benches jumped to their feet. Yogi Berra shouted, "That's it!" The ball rose in a majestic laser-like drive, rocketing into the night toward the farthest confines of Yankee Stadium. The question was never whether it was a home run or not. The question was whether this was going to be the first ball to be hit out of Yankee Stadium.

                  That it had the height and distance was obvious. But would it clear the façade, the decoration on the front side of the roof above the third deck in rightfield? "I usually didn't care how far the ball went so long as it was a home run. But this time I thought, 'This ball could go out of Yankee Stadium!'"

                  Just as the ball was about to leave the park, it struck the façade mere inches from the top with such ferocity that it bounced all the way back to the infield. That it won the game was an afterthought. Mickey just missed making history. It was the closest a ball has ever come to going out of Yankee Stadium in a regular season game.**

                  The question then became "How far would the ball have gone had the façade not prevented it from leaving the park?" Using geometry, it is possible to calculate the distance with some accuracy. The principle variable is how high the ball would have gone. If we assume the ball was at its apex at the point where it struck the façade, using the Pythagorean Theorem ("In a right triangle, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides") we can determine the distance from home plate to the point where the ball struck the façade. Then we can use calculus to calculate that the distance the ball would have traveled would have been 636 feet. However, there are a number of undetermined factors: wind velocity, spin on the ball, the speed of the pitch Mickey hit, and others. (For a more complete explanation of the calculations and complete description of this and other Mantle homers, see Explosion! by Mark Gallagher. This book is the definitive book on Mantle's homers. Unfortunately, it is out of print. It may be available at your local library.)

                  So how do we get 734 feet? In the example above, we assumed that the ball was at its apex when it struck the façade. However, observers were unanimous in their opinion that the ball was still rising when it hit the façade. How do we determine how high the ball would have gone? In fact, we cannot. From this point forward all numbers become guesses, estimates of how high we think the ball might have gone. A conservative estimate would be 20 feet. Those 20 feet make a major difference. They cause our calculation to go up almost 100 feet, to the 734 foot number listed above. Is 20 feet a fair estimate? Those present when the ball was hit feel that it would have gone at least that much higher, and many feel that the 20 foot number is far too low. It is all just a guess.

                  This is a good example of what can happen with estimates, especially computer estimates that determine the length of home runs now. Most of the home run distance numbers used today are the result of computer estimates of how far the ball would have traveled without obstruction. (One of these programs gave the 734 foot number listed.) Whether or not this is a fair number is a matter of opinion. However, if the distance of this home run is disputed, then the distance of many of the home runs hit by today's players must be questioned. While the software used for home run distances has greatly improved, there remain questions as to its accuracy. It is important to note that many of Mickey's home runs were measured to the point they actually landed, leaving no question about the accuracy of the distance reported.

                  * The façade was the decorative facing along the roof of the old Yankee Stadium. Mickey hit the façade in regular-season games at least three times during his career: May 5, 1956 off Moe Burtschy, May 20, 1956 off Pedro Ramos, and May 22, 1963 off Bill Fischer.

                  ** Legend has it that Mickey hit balls completely out of Yankee Stadium up to three times during batting practices. Supposedly Mickey did it twice left-handed and once right-handed. Witnesses of these incredible feats include fans, stadium vendors, teammates and opposing players.

                  (2) 656 feet (3/26/51, Bovard Field, USC – Exhibition Game. Pitcher: Unknown – Left-handed)

                  Mickey was having a fantastic spring training. In 1951 the Yankees trained in Arizona instead of Fort Lauderdale. The dry desert air and higher altitude are conducive to the longball, and Mickey made the most of it. "The first time that I really knew I could play in the big leagues was when I found that I could hit major league pitching that spring.

                  "I was just happy to be with the club that year. I thought I was going to play Triple A ball with Kansas City. I was in Double A the year before and no one had ever gone directly to the Yankees from Double A.

                  "I hit a lot of long home runs that spring. After our spring training schedule in Arizona we played some exhibition games on the west coast. At Seals Stadium in San Francisco I hit a ball where they say only DiMaggio had hit one before. And of course there was the home run at USC."

                  Bovard Field at the University of Southern California is a small ball diamond with a football field adjacent to right and right-centerfield. A street runs outside and parallel to the leftfield wall, with a number of houses in the neighborhood across from the park. On March 26, 1951 the Yankees played an exhibition game with the USC baseball team. During the game Mickey belted two spectacular blasts, one from each side of the plate. They were two of the longest home runs ever seen.

                  The first blast, hit right-handed, was a high drive that easily cleared the leftfield wall. It crossed the street running parallel to the park and landed on the roof of the third house down on the street that runs perpendicular into the street outside Bovard Field. No estimate has ever been given for its length, although it is safe to say it was easily over 500 feet, and may have approached 600 feet. A tremendous blast by any standards.

                  But Mickey wasn't finished. His second homer came left-handed. Mickey rocketed the ball over the right-centerfield wall, across the adjacent football field, finally landing on the far sideline and hopping over the fence bordering the field. The distance: 656 feet to the point where it first landed! 19-year-old Mickey Mantle had just hit the longest home run in baseball history! In a single game Mantle hit two homers that were longer than most major league players hit in a career.

                  The distance of the second homer is well documented. The USC outfielder, Tom Riach, and legendary USC coach Rod Dedeaux both saw the exact spot where the ball landed. Later each separately went out and pointed to the spot. They were two feet apart. Said Dedeaux, "It was a superhuman feat."

                  Before Mickey played a single major league game he'd become a legend.

                  (3) 650 feet (6/11/53, Briggs Stadium, Detroit – Pitcher: Art Houteman, Detroit Tigers – Left-handed

                  Mickey had a 15-game hitting streak, and the Yankees a 13-game winning streak, going into this game at Briggs Stadium in Detroit. In the seventh inning, the Mick came to the plate with a man on base. Facing right-handed pitcher Art Houteman, Mickey belted a tremendous drive that ricocheted off the rightfield roof. (Some witnesses say it hit the same light tower as Reggie Jackson's prodigious drive in the 1971 All-Star game.)

                  Only Ted Williams had ever hit one over the roof in Detroit. Mickey's roof clearing blasts would come later in his career. This blast was yet another tape measure shot, continuing what Mickey started in April that year. Using geometric calculations, it would have ended up across Trumbull Avenue, approximately 650 feet from the plate.

                  (4) 643 feet (9/10/60, Tiger Stadium, Detroit – Pitcher: Paul Foytack, Detroit Tigers – Left-handed)

                  Detroit's Tiger Stadium (the name was changed from Briggs Stadium) was a favorite Mantle hunting ground for legendary home run blasts. On September 10, 1960, with two out and two on in the seventh, Mickey worked the count to 2-0. Righty Paul Foytack fired a fastball right into the Mick's killing zone and he jumped on it. He crushed a spectacular drive that easily cleared the rightfield roof (something Mickey had done several times by this point in his career), crossed Trumbull Avenue and landed at the base of a shed in the Brooks lumberyard across from the ballpark.

                  For spectators that day it was another of many tape measure homers Mantle hit during his career. But this one turns into quite a story a quarter of a century later. As told by Mark Gallagher in his excellent book, Explosion!, Dr. Paul Susman, a true Mantle fan, was convinced that this home run was special. As part of Dr. Susman's research for Gallagher's book, he went to Detroit to see if he could get the necessary information to calculate the exact distance the ball traveled.

                  It turns out that the story of Mickey's historic drive was well known at Brooks Lumber. Paul Borders, a Brooks employee, saw exactly where the ball landed. Susman and fellow researcher Robert Schiewe calculated the distance through Schiewe's use of the Pythagorean Theorem. The result was a prodigious 643 feet. This is the longest home run to have actually been measured from the point it was hit to the point at which it landed. Although it was measured after the fact, the point of impact was well-known and we believe this distance to be completely reliable. This is no computer estimate. This is the distance the ball traveled in the air from home plate to the place where it landed. The Guinness Book of Sports Records notes it as the longest home run in a major league game to be measured "after the fact." It is the longest home run ever hit in a major league game where it was possible to get the exact measurement. Considered along with the Bovard Field homer, it demonstrates that Mickey's unheard of home run distances are no flukes.

                  (5) 630 feet (9/12/53, Yankee Stadium – Pitcher: Billy Hoeft, Detroit Tigers – Right-handed)

                  Going into the bottom of the seventh inning of this game the Yankees had a slim one-run lead over the Tigers, 4-3. Mickey stepped in to face lefty Billy Hoeft. With two men on and a 3-2 count, Mickey blasted a searing line drive that scorched through the air into the upper deck in leftfield. There it smashed a seat and bounced back down onto the playing field. It was Mickey's second long homer of the game. The first was a titanic cloud-duster to left-center that measured 420 feet, although it easily traveled half-again that distance if its actual arc were measured. In the accompanying photo the Polo Grounds, home of the NY Giants, can be seen at the top as indicated by the small red arrow.

                  1953 was the year of the tape measure home run. Beginning April 17th in Washington, Mickey went on a tear of longball hitting the likes of which had never been seen. Long distance homers became a great topic of conversation. Earlier during the game Yankees Hall of Fame catcher Bill Dickey was saying that Babe Ruth and Jimmy Foxx had both hit balls farther than the Mick. After Mantle's seventh inning blast Dickey said, "Forget what I just said. I've never seen a ball hit that hard! "

                  Mickey's blast traveled 425 feet to the seat it broke 80 feet above the field. Once again, geometric calculations give us the 630 foot figure for the length of Mickey's blast if unimpeded. About this homer Casey Stengel said, "See that last exit in the upper deck in left field? Look. Way up there almost over the bullpen. They say that nobody ever hit one outta the Yankee Stadium. But if the stands didn't get in the way Mantle's would have gone over the wall because it was still climbin' when it smacked the seats."

                  (6) 620 feet (5/30/56, Yankee Stadium Façade – Pitcher: Pedro Ramos, Washington Senators – Left-handed)

                  Mickey loved Washington pitching. He hit many long home runs off the Senators' Pedro Ramos and Camilo Pascual. In the twin bill played on May 30, 1956 Mickey faced both Pascual and Ramos, and he pounded a long shot off each of them.

                  Mickey was on another longball tear, having bounced a ball off the rightfield façade on May 5th off Kansas City's Moe Burtschy. (No estimate has been made of the distance of that Mantle homer, which may well end up in the top ten if ever calculated.) It was the year Mickey won baseball's Triple Crown, challenging Babe Ruth's home run record in the process. He ended up with 52, one of the few players to hit over 50 homers in a season.

                  "Pedro and I were friends. He used to challenge me to a foot race before games. In one game one of our pitchers, I don't remember who, knocked down one of the Washington players – you could tell it was a knockdown – and Ramos had to knock down one of our players to protect his guys.

                  "I was leading off the next inning and I didn't even think about the knockdown. Everybody on our bench and everybody on their bench and even some of the fans knew I was gonna get a knockdown, but I didn't even think about it.

                  "Sure enough, Pedro hit me with his first pitch. It didn't make me mad – he didn't try to hit me in the head or anything, you know, just in the butt – but after the game he came up to me and said, 'Meekie, I'm sorry I have to do that.' I said, 'That's okay. But the next time you do it I'm gonna drag a bunt toward first base and run right up your back.' He said, 'You would really do that?'

                  "The funny thing about it was that the next time up was the time I almost hit one out of Yankee Stadium. It hit the façade. After the game he came up to me and said, 'I'd rather have you run up my back than to hit one over the roof!'"

                  The first game Mickey faced Ramos after Mickey was hit by Pedro's pitch was the first game of the doubleheader. With the Yankees behind 1-0 Mickey laid into a Ramos fastball and got it all. The ball took off in a high drive toward rightfield that looked like it might have a chance to become the first ball to go completely out of Yankee Stadium. It soared above the stadium roof but a stiff breeze cut at it and brought it down against the rightfield façade, about 18 inches from clearing the roof.

                  It was an amazing feat, the likes of which had not been seen before. It became a Yankee Stadium legend until eclipsed by Mickey's later efforts. Spectators and rival players pointed to the spot the ball hit for weeks afterward. Their reaction is summed up by Harvey Kuenn of the Tigers: "Did he really hit it up there? Really?"

                  In the second game Pascual was pitching. Mickey came to the plate in the fifth with the score tied at 3-3 and a man on base. Mickey launched another left-handed homer, this one into the rightfield bleachers, a 450-foot blast. The Yankees swept the doubleheader, much in thanks to Mickey and his prodigious home runs.

                  (7) 565 feet (4/17/53, Griffith Stadium, Washington – Pitcher: Chuck Stobbs, Washington Senators – Right-handed)

                  This ranks as one of if not the most famous home run in history. It's the home run that coined the term "tape measure home run" and is listed in the Guinness Book of Sports Records as the longest home run to be hit in a regular-season major league game.

                  The Yankees were playing the Senators at Griffith Stadium in Washington, DC. Griffith Stadium was a little bandbox of a ballpark but, as Mickey said, "It wasn't that easy to hit a home run there. There was a 90-foot wall in centerfield, and there always seemed to be a breeze blowing in."

                  Lefty Chuck Stobbs was on the mound. A light wind was blowing out from home plate for a change. It was two years to the day since Mickey's first major league game. Mickey stepped up to the plate. Stobbs fired a fastball just below the letters, right where the Mick liked them, and he connected full-on with it. The ball took off toward the 391-foot sign in left-centerfield. It soared past the fence, over the bleachers and was headed out of the park when it ricocheted off a beer sign on the auxiliary football scoreboard. Although slightly impeded, it continued its flight over neighboring Fifth Street and landed in the backyard of 434 Oakdale Street, several houses up the block.

                  Billy Martin was on third when Mickey connected and, as a joke, he pretended to tag up like it was just a long fly ball. Mickey didn't notice Billy's shenanigans ("I used to keep my head down as I rounded the bases after a home run. I didn't want to show up the pitcher. I figured he felt bad enough already") and almost ran into Billy! If not for third base coach Frank Crosetti he would have. Had Mickey touched Billy he would have automatically been declared out and would have been credited only with a double.

                  Meanwhile up in the press box Yankees PR director Red Patterson cried out, "That one's got to be measured!" He raced out of the park and around to the far side of the park where he found 10-year-old Donald Dunaway with the ball. Dunaway showed Red the ball's impact in the yard and Red paced off the distance to the outside wall of Griffith Stadium. Contrary to popular myth, he did not use a tape measure, although he and Mickey were photographed together with a giant tape measure shortly after the historic blast. Using the dimensions of the park, its walls and the distance he paced off, Patterson calculated the ball traveled 565 feet. However, sportswriter Joe Trimble, when adding together the distances, failed to account for the three foot width of the wall and came up with the 562-foot figure often cited. However, 565 feet is the correct number.

                  This was the first ball to ever go over Griffith Stadium's leftfield bleachers. Most believe the ball would have gone even further had it not hit the scoreboard. At any rate, it became one of the most famous home runs ever. It was headline news in a number of newspapers and a major story across the country. From that date forward long home runs were referred to as "tape measure" home runs. That this home run is ranked as #7 on Mickey's top ten says an awful lot about Mickey's incredible power. For most players it would have been a once-in-a-lifetime shot if they were lucky enough to even come close to this distance. (Note: The photo of Mickey batting left-handed with the ball glancing off the scoreboard is for illustration only. Mickey hit the 565-foot Griffith Stadium home run batting right-handed.)

                  (8) 550 feet (6/5/55, Comiskey Park, Chicago – Pitcher: Billy Pierce, Chicago White Sox – Right-handed)

                  On June 5, 1955, at Comiskey Park in Chicago, the Yankees battled the White Sox. In the fourth inning of the second game of a doubleheader, Mickey stepped in against lefty Billy Pierce. Pierce tried to slip a fastball past Mickey and the Mick tore into it, sending a scorching high drive to left. The ball cleared the 360-foot mark, crossed the 160-foot roof and descended to smash a car windshield on 34th Street outside. A parking lot attendant recovered the ball.

                  Some papers reported that Mickey's drive landed on the roof or hit a light tower but didn't go out of the park. But the Comiskey Park attendants on the roof went to the Yankees locker room after the game to tell Mickey that his homer had cleared the roof and gone completely out of the park.

                  Only Jimmy Foxx had ever hit a ball that far. However, Mickey's homer is the only one to have eyewitnesses to verify that it actually cleared the stadium.

                  (9) 535 feet (7/6/53, Connie Mack Stadium, Philadelphia – Pitcher: Frank Fanovich, Philadelphia Athletics – Right-handed)

                  The Yankees were playing a twi-night doubleheader at the re-named Shibe Park in Philadelphia against the Philadelphia Athletics. In the first game when the Yankees came to bat in the top of the sixth the score was 5-4 in their favor. Frank Fanovich, pitching in relief for the A's, walks Billy Martin, Phil Rizzuto and Yanks pitcher Johnny Sain with one out. Irv Noren, playing centerfield for an ailing Mickey Mantle, was due up. Casey Stengel, famous for playing the percentages, sent the Mick in to pinch-hit right-handed against the lefty. Fanovich, with the bases loaded behind him, fired a thigh-high fastball right down the middle. Mickey clobbered it, sending it high over the roof of the second deck in left-centerfield. The ball cleared the roof by a good 25 feet, went over Somerset Street outside, and was never seen again. It was one of the longest home runs in Philadelphia history.

                  It was Mickey's third career grand slam, and a fabulous one at that. It helped turn around a Yankees losing streak (they had lost 11 out of 15 going into the doubleheader) and they went on to win the nightcap. Once again the Mick hit a ball where only Jimmy Foxx had hit one before.

                  (10) 530 feet (4/28/53, Busch Stadium, St. Louis – Pitcher: Bob Cain, St. Louis Browns – Right-handed)

                  Eleven days after Mickey's historic blast at Griffith Stadium he blasted another tape measure home run in St. Louis against the St. Louis Browns at the newly renamed Busch Stadium, formerly Sportsman's Park. This home run is overlooked because it came so soon after Mickey's 565-footer at Griffith Stadium in Washington. But those present in St. Louis May 28, 1953 acknowledge it as perhaps the longest ball ever hit at the old St. Louis ballpark.

                  It was a wild game in which the Yankees lost a 5-0 lead, there was a bench clearing brawl with actual punches thrown, and the game was stopped due to spectators throwing bottles at the Yankees outfielders. With two out and two on in the third, Mickey, batting right-handed, golfed a low pitch that sailed over the leftfield wall. It cleared the street, smashed against a house's second floor porch and bounced into a yard on Sullivan Avenue.

                  Red Patterson, the same PR director who measured Mickey's epic Griffith Stadium shot 11 days earlier, also paced off this homer. However, he measured it only from the base of the house the ball struck. That distance is 494 feet, but the ball hit the porch at least 15 feet above the ground. This drive would easily have gone the 530 feet cited if not impeded by the house porch.

                  Of Mickey's top ten home runs, six were hit left-handed and four right-handed, an amazing display of power from both sides of the plate. Mickey had a versatility never before seen, and it hasn't been seen since. Without question he was the greatest switch-hitter of all time. Perhaps in the future the distance of other Mantle homers, such as his mammoth blast at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, will be calculated."

                  © Copyright 1988-2006 Lewis Early - All Rights Reserved


                  • #10
                    Thank you JRB for your kind support. I hope this thread attracts some cool anecdotes and stories of The Mick. In the next day or so, I hope to start similar tribute threads to The Yankee Clipper & Stan The Man. It's time. In fact, long overdue.

                    Thank you for helping make this a juicy, interesting thread. Wish I had 10 of you!


                    • #11
                      The following quote comes from an article which appeared in Time magazine on June 15, 1953. The article was entitled "Young Man On Olympus"

                      "In Chicago one day last week. White Sox Pitcher Billy Pierce, a lefthander, stared moodily down the 60-ft. stretch between the mound and home plate and faced a special problem. At the plate stood a corn-haired youngster just four years out of an Oklahoma high school, with NEW YORK spelled out in block letters on his flannel shirt, a big numeral 7 on his back. As it must to all other clubs in the American League, came the plaguing question: What does a pitcher throw to Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees?

                      Bat cocked righthanded. fingers flexing and caressing the handle, Mantle crouched at the plate and waited. As the pitcher went into his windup. Mantle dug his spikes more firmly into the batter's box, hunching his fullback's body (5 ft.11 in., 195 Ibs.) into a deeper crouch. The pitch bulleted toward him at something like 80 m.p.h.—a fast ball, letter high, over the outside corner of the plate.

                      Mickey Mantle set a muscular chain reaction in motion. Starting in the ankles, rippling through knees, hips, torso, broad shoulders and 17-in. bull neck, he brought his bat around in a perfect arc to meet the ball with a sharp crack. High and deep it sailed. The White Sox centerfielder. playing deep, went a few steps back, then stood, face upturned, as the ball sailed over the fence for a 425-ft. home run.

                      The next night in St. Louis it was the turn of another pitcher, a righthander this time, to face New York's No. 7. To gain the slight advantage which lefthanded batters are religiously believed to enjoy against righthanded pitchers (and vice versa), switch-hitting Mickey Mantle batted lefthanded. He let four pitches go by, then drove the fifth into the right center-field stands 405 feet for another homer. All in all. Mantle's week was an excellent demonstration of why pitchers turn grey. It was also one of several good reasons why the 1953 New York Yankees have opened a long early lead on all the other clubs in the league, and may be heading for something without precedent in baseball : five pennants in a row.

                      Turnstiles & History. As the proprietors of an expensive ten-acre layout of steel, concrete and lovingly tailored grass in The Bronx known as Yankee Stadium, the New York Yankees Inc. are today full of a rich and understandable satisfaction. The Olympian Joe DiMaggio is gone, and there will never be another DiMaggio—just as there has never been another Babe Ruth or another Lou Gehrig (Yankees all). But with only one full season in the major leagues to his credit, Mickey Mantle already shows signs that he may be another Olympian in the making.

                      Like a few stars of the past, and like the St. Louis Cardinals' Stan Musial, or Boston's Ted Williams (now a marine fighter-pilot in Korea). Mantle is that combination of color, speed and power at the plate that makes baseball turnstiles spin. Naturally, the Yankees are delighted. So, with duly diminished enthusiasm, are the other American League club owners. Mantle makes their turnstiles spin, too, and in a year when TV has all club owners worried.

                      Baseball fans are still talking about the historic homer Mickey hit in Washington this spring. The 565-ft. hit, the first that ever carried over Washington's centerfield wall, was the longest home run ever measured (TIME. April 27). It sent sportswriters scurrying to the records, trying to compare it with some of Ruth's reported (but unmeasured) 600-footers. Like Ruth. Mickey hits towering homers. Like Ted Williams, he smacks crackling line drives. Like DiMaggio. he beats out hot-to-handle grounders if an infielder makes a split-second bobble. Blessed with a sprinter's speed—he has been clocked at 3.1 seconds traveling the 90 feet to first base —he is one of the fastest men in baseball.

                      As a centerfielder. Mantle still has trouble judging line drives hit directly at him. and occasionally he misjudges a fly ball. But he has proved a quick study in the job of covering Yankee Stadium's center-field acreage, and his throwing arm (his right) has whipping speed. Base runners have learned not to take liberties with him.

                      Mantle's best fielding advice came from Yankee Coach Tommy Henrich two years ago. Said "Old Reliable": "Do what I tell you—and watch DiMaggio." Outfielder Mantle has a confidence born from experience, now: "Standing around the outfield. I used to hope that they wouldn't hit to me. I was afraid I'd drop it. But now I just catch it and throw it in."

                      This kind of casual, frank statement, given in an offhand manner, has raised some doubts among professional worriers about Mantle's competitive spark. Ordinarily phlegmatic, like DiMaggio, Mantle was not cast in the same hot mold as the fiercely competitive Ty Cobb or the fiery Frankie Frisch, the most notable switch hitter baseball produced before Mantle. But in the Yankee dugout, out of sight of the crowd. Mickey has been known to kick the water cooler or bruise his knuckles on the concrete walls in moments of angry frustration after striking out. Nowadays, reflecting the restrained professional pride of the Yankees, Mantle has learned to bottle up his anger over a strike-out or a miscue. "I try not to let it bother me," he says placidly.

                      Mickey lets his bat do his talking for him. This week Switch-Hitter Mantle was the No. 1 batter in the American League, with a .347 average, 39 runs batted in and eight home runs.

                      Day & Night. For this kind of work, and for the customers he draws to Yankee Stadium by day and by night, Mickey Mantle is being paid about $18,000 a year —not high as star salaries go, but a nice start for a 21-year-old playing his third season as a major leaguer. Moreover, in addition to his salary, Mickey's new public eminence brings him a variety of other rewards. This season he is profitably endorsing Wheaties, Camel cigarettes, Gem razor blades, Beech-Nut chewing gum, Esquire socks, Van Heusen shirts, Haggar slacks and Louisville Slugger bats.

                      Like a movie star, he can no longer handle the steady stream of fan mail which pours in at the rate of 1,200 letters a week. The Yankees answer it for him. This spring, with the help of a New York baseball writer named Ben Epstein, he published one of the very few autobiographies ever written of a man barely old enough to vote: The Mickey Mantle Story.

                      He is learning, if he has not learned already, the routine of the big-city celebrity, including banquets, TV and radio appearances, thrusting autograph books, phone calls from strangers at all hours. He takes all this with a mixture of dutiful politeness and a country man's caution. But he can also rise to an occasion. Last month he was presented to the Duke of Windsor, who had just watched the Yankees for the first time in his life. The duke wanted "particularly to meet that switcher fellow."

                      "I've heard about you," said the duke. Said Mickey, embarrassed but not to be outdone: "I've heard about you, too."

                      With endorsements and personal appearances, he stands to earn about $30,000 above his salary this year. After one television appearance, for which he got $400 for speaking a few lines, Mickey said: "My father used to kill himself for eight weeks earning that."

                      A Star Is Born. Mickey Charles Mantle, born and raised in Oklahoma, was dedicated to the major leagues before he was even born. His father, Elven Charles Mantle, known as "Mutt," spent most of his working life in the Oklahoma lead and zinc mines around Commerce (pop. 2,442), but the big interest of his life was baseball. Mutt Mantle had been a sandlot player; Mutt's son was to be a big-leaguer.

                      Mickey remembers that his father never bothered to read anything except the sports section of the Daily Oklahoman. "Baseball, that's all he lived for," says Mickey. "He used to say that it seemed to him like he just died in the winter, until the time when baseball came around again."

                      Two years before Mickey was born, in tiny (pop. 213) Spavinaw, Okla., Mutt Mantle told his wife Lovell that their first child would be a boy, and that his name was already picked: it would be "Mickey," in honor of Mickey Cochrane, the hard-hitting catcher of the Philadelphia Athletics. ("I don't think he ever knew that Cochrane's real name was Gordon," says Mickey.) In good time the baby came, and Mutt Mantle had his way. The baby's middle name. Charles, came from both of Mickey's grandfathers, but especially from Grandpa Charley Mantle, another sandlot ballplayer.

                      Before his eyes could focus, Mickey got his first baseball. His father offered the baby his choice between a bottle and a ball, and was momentarily frustrated when Mickey did not reach for either.

                      "First, Second, Third." At six months, Mickey's mother officially clothed the baby for his future work by making him a visored baseball cap, complete with button on the top. Mutt taught him to count by reciting the bases, "first, second, third." At six years, he had his first uniform, cut from a pair of Mutt's old playing pants.

                      By that time the Mantles had moved to nearby Commerce, and Mickey's official baseball training had begun. With his lefthanded father and his righthanded grandfather taking turns tossing a tennis ball to him, he was taught switch-hitting from the start: his natural righthanded swing against father, a lefthanded swing against grandfather.

                      In the Mantle game, a ground ball or a pop-up was an out; a line drive off the side of the house was a double, off the roof a triple, over the roof a homer. The daily drills often lasted five hours. Recalling it without rancor, Mickey says: "I'm probably the only kid who ever made his old man proud of him by breaking a window."

                      By the time he was ten, Mickey was catching in peewee baseball, in Oklahoma's Gabby Street league. One day Mutt Mantle caught his son batting righty against a righthander. He sent Mickey home with an ultimatum: "Don't you ever put on that baseball uniform again until you switch-hit like I taught you." Mickey has not failed to switch since.

                      Respected Advice. At Commerce High School Mickey was a three-letter man: basketball, football (against his father's wishes) and, of course, baseball. During a football scrimmage one day, Sophomore Back Mantle got a kick on the left shin. He limped home from practice and his mother soaked the leg. By the next morning Mickey's whole lower leg was swollen and an ugly blue. Mutt took him to Oklahoma City, where the doctors made a diagnosis of osteomyelitis.

                      The shin kick had caused a blood clot next to the bone. The clot became infected and inflamed, spreading the bad infection into the bone. There was talk of amputation. Penicillin and diathermy saved the leg, but while such infections can be curbed, they are sometimes impossible to cure. Mickey, who must guard against flare-ups of the infection, has had his share of poison-pen letters demanding to know why he is not fighting in Korea. On medical advice, Mickey's draft board has rejected him three times.

                      At 16, Mickey was playing shortstop for the Baxter Springs Whiz Kids in the Ban Johnson League. He was big enough to deserve at least a perfunctory glance from the baseball scouts. But nobody seemed interested in glancing Mickey's way. The Whiz Kids' manager, Barney Barnett, tried to get the St. Louis Cardinals interested. They did not answer Barnett's letter. As they will long remember, ivory hunters for the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox also passed up the chance to give Mickey Charles Mantle a farmclub tryout.

                      Help Wanted. That Mickey is now playing for New York is due partly to good Yankee organization, partly to good Yankee luck. Always conscious of the 67,000 seats in their Bronx ballpark, and of the fact that even their stars seldom shine for more than a dozen years, the New York club owners could well hang over Yankee Stadium the sign: HELP WANTED. In the late '40s they were sending the word down through their scouting and farmclub network (today: some 30 scouts, ten farm clubs) to find a new crop of infielders, outfielders, pitchers and catchers for the Yankees of the '50s.

                      One man to whom the message came was Yankee Scout Tom Greenwade, onetime chief scout for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Greenwade watched Mickey Mantle play shortstop for the Whiz Kids one night in 1949. Mickey, who had graduated from high school that day, banged out a single, a double and a home run.

                      After the game, Mickey, his father and Greenwade talked terms. Greenwade offered Mickey a contract with Independence, Kans., a Class D (bottom rung) Yankee farm club, at $140 a month. Mutt Mantle, who had raised his son from the cradle to be a ballplayer, never considered demanding a bonus. But he pretended to bargain. He pointed out that Mickey could make more by working in the lead mines and playing semipro ball on weekends. In a day when raw rookie high-school talent was selling for signature bonuses of $50,000 and up Mickey Mantle joined the Yankee farm system for an extra $1,150.

                      At Independence, in 89 games, Shortstop Mantle batted .313. It was good enough to earn him a trial at the Yankees' training school at Phoenix, Ariz, the next year. After watching the 18-year-old Oklahoman run the others bowlegged in trial sprints, Yankee Manager Casey Stengel spoke his first words to Mickey: "You keep chasing them jack rabbits, boy" Mickey did. He moved up a notch that summer, to Joplin (Class C), and hit a walloping .383.

                      Shortstop Mantle made a mark of another sort: 55 errors. Scout Greenwade began to despair of his shortstop candidate. He phoned Yankee General Manager George Weiss, who carefully watches the progress of farm boys and records the doings of some 300 of them in an IBM index system. Said Weiss, with his mind on Joe DiMaggio, then 36: "Well, you know we've got to be thinking of centerfield. ' From that day on, Shortstop Mantle became Outfielder Mantle.

                      Trumpet Blasts. After his seasons at Independence and Joplin, Mickey reported to the Yankee spring training camp at Phoenix in 1951. What came next was a deluge of headlines. New York sportswriters watched Mickey for three or four days, then they reached for their trumpets. Some of the blasts they blew: rookie of the eons, Magnificent Mantle, Mighty Mickey, young Lochinvar, Commerce Comet, Oklahoma Kid, superstar, one-man platoon. Mickey lived up to the raves at bat. In the field, alternating between left and right (DiMaggio was in center), Mickey was beaned by a misjudged fly ball. But he was learning fast.

                      The Yankee timetable called for Mickey to play at Beaumont (Class AA) in the Texas League that season. Mickey, just 19, rewrote the timetable by his hitting in spring training: a .402 average. Casey Stengel took a chance and let Mickey open the season in rightfield for New York instead of Beaumont.

                      Swinging for the fences, Mickey was soon in trouble: he was driving in more runs than any other Yankee but he was also striking out more often. Playing a doubleheader in Boston, Mickey fanned five times in a row. The fifth time, he dragged back to the dugout and told Stengel: "Put someone in there who can hit the ball. I can't." Six weeks later. Mantle got what he expected: a one-way ticket to the Kansas City farm club.

                      "What's the Matter?" After six weeks in Kansas City, Mickey was batting .361. Recalled, he found himself in the midst of a pennant chase, then in a World Series with the Giants. In the second game, running: toward a fly ball, Rightfielder Mantle stumbled, tore the ligaments of his right knee and fell hard. Old Pro DiMaggio caught the fly ball, then waved for help. Mickey, who was semiconscious, remembers DiMaggio anxiously asking "What's the matter, kid?" DiMaggio's anxiety was a measure of how far Mickey had traveled.

                      In spring training last year, still favoring the injured knee, Mantle was just another aspirant for DiMaggio's vacated job. Other rookies were brought up. The Yankees bought Centerfielder Irv Noren from Washington, and there was some speculation as to whether Mickey would make it. By mid-May, Mickey had answered all the speculation. He got the job, put in his first full season as a major-leaguer. After his .311 batting average last season and his fancy .345 against Brooklyn in the World Series, there was no question as to who would be the Yankee centerfielder in 1953. The main question was how long it would take Mickey to become one of the game's alltime stars.

                      Box Scores & Westerns. Temperamentally, Mickey seems well-fitted for a durable career as a star. Loaded with physical confidence, he does not suffer from an enlarged hatband. Diffident and uncommunicative around strangers, he seems barely aware of the buzz he creates in a restaurant or strolling through a hotel lobby. Two years ago he married his Oklahoma sweetheart, Merlyn Johnson, and now has a son, Mickey Mantle Jr.

                      Mutt Mantle, who lived to see his son play in the World Series, died last year. Since then, Mickey has been the head of the Mantle family, which includes his mother, a sister and his three ballplaying younger brothers. Responsibility has left Mickey with a sober interest in security, which is represented for him, among other things, by the house he has built back in Commerce.

                      With his clubmates he is no sobersides. At ease with them, and fully accepted, Mickey sometimes horses around in warmups, imitating Yankee pitchers.Other players grin at Mickey's antics; a crouch and a furtive look toward first for Pitcher Johnny Sain; a portentous, aldermanlike rear-back for Allie Reynolds; a waggling arm stretch for Vic Raschi.

                      Outside the ball park, Mickey fits happily into the standard preoccupations of his profession: thick steaks. Southern fried chicken, sleep (up to eleven hours a night), a close reading of the box scores and comic books. Mantle adds to this a special interest in hillbilly records (his favorite: the late Hank Williams). Since the Mantles have not yet picked a house in the New York area, Merlyn and Mickey Jr. stay in Commerce most of the time, and Mickey lives in hotels when the team is at home as well as traveling, gets his fun by going to the movies with teammates. His favorites: westerns.

                      Tutor & Plan. On the field. Manager Casey Stengel has been his tutor-in-chief since Mickey became a regular. Casey, who once called Mickey "treemenjous" and hawked him to the skies, now talks of his man in careful understatement ("a pretty good ballplayer"). The job now is to keep the fans from expecting too much from No. 7 whenever he marches to the plate or trots out to centerfield.

                      If all goes according to plan—Mutt's plan, Casey's plan, Mickey's own plan—Centerfielder Mantle should have a good dozen years ahead of him in the big leagues. The big numeral 7 on Mantle's back should take its place in Yankee legend with the 5 that Joe DiMaggio wore, the 4 that Lou Gehrig wore, and the 3 that Babe Ruth wore (a number now officially retired by the Yankees). That would mean years of recurring headaches for American League pitchers, years of merrily clicking turnstiles for Yank:ee Stadium.

                      No. 7 is sometimes asked about all this. One form the question takes: Does he think he will be another DiMaggio. Gehrig or Ruth? "That's just something some writer said," answers Mickey Mantle. "I guess he knows more about it than I do."


                      • #12

                        Calling The Mick both a Top 10 and a Top 15 Player, kinda defeats the purpose, doesn't it?



                        • #13
                          Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
                          Thank you JRB for your kind support. I hope this thread attracts some cool anecdotes and stories of The Mick. In the next day or so, I hope to start similar tribute threads to The Yankee Clipper & Stan The Man. It's time. In fact, long overdue.

                          Thank you for helping make this a juicy, interesting thread. Wish I had 10 of you!
                          I was actually working on my piece for a Mickey thread, beat me too the punch Bill! However I expect to put some more stuff on Mickey a little bit later.
                          "he probably used some performance enhancing drugs so he could do a better job on his report...i hear they make you gain weight" - Dr. Zizmor

                          "I thought it was interesting and yes a conversation piece. Next time I post a similar story I will close with the question "So, do you think either of them have used steroids?" so that I can make the topic truly relevant to discussions about today's game." - Eric Davis



                          • #14
                            Also add me for sure as the Mick is a better player than Say Hey.
                            "he probably used some performance enhancing drugs so he could do a better job on his report...i hear they make you gain weight" - Dr. Zizmor

                            "I thought it was interesting and yes a conversation piece. Next time I post a similar story I will close with the question "So, do you think either of them have used steroids?" so that I can make the topic truly relevant to discussions about today's game." - Eric Davis



                            • #15
                              Since this thread poses the question as to who was better Mantle or Mays, a comparsion is in order.

                              To me the Mays-Mantle comparison has always been fascinating. They both began their major league career in the exact same year, in the same city, and both ended up playing the same position of centerfield, and each of them soon became the best player in their respective leagues.

                              I think the pendulum of knowledgable opinion has swung back and forth several times on the issue of who was better. I think early in their careers, especially following Mantle's brilliant peformance in both the regular season and World Series of 1952, Mantle was established as the better of the two.

                              Mays went into the military where he actually played hundreds of exhibition games which gave him valuable seasoning while also getting physicially stronger with the military conditioning and training. When Mays returned he had his breakout season of 1954 which gained him the MVP and also everlasting fame from the great catch he made on Vic Wertz' drive in the 1954 series which has been endlessly replayed ever since. I think at that point the pendulum swung in Mays's favor.

                              However, Mantle started taking it to another level around 55/56 and by the time Mantle was finished with his triple crown and MVP and World championship performance in 1956 he had soared past Mays, and I think he remained at a significantly higher level through 1958.

                              With no other really big bats in the lineup to protect him Mantle slumped a bit near the end of the decade and was generally at parity with Mays. However, the strengthening of the Yankee lineup with the acquisition of Maris and Mantle's play again started going to another level at the end of 1960, and in the 1960 Series, and continuing in the 1961 regular season, and he again soared well above Mays. Mantle continued to play at a very high level in the early 1960's all the way through the 1964 World Series, however his injuries were becoming more frequent and increasingly keeping him out of the lineup.

                              By 1965 Mantle increasingly was no longer physically able to play as a full-time every day regular outfielder or at the very high levels he performed at in the preceding 14 years. 1965 was also the year that Mays had his career best season, and also began passing important career milestones such as breaking Mel Ott's career National League home run record. Mays outstanding performance that season, coupled with Mantle's physical decline, caused the pendulum to swing in Mays' favor. Depsite a little bit of a resurgence in 1966 Mantle's condition required that he play first base in his last two seasons of 67 and 68. Mantle's last seasons were probably made even worse by the changes in the strike zone which gave pitchers an expanded strike zone. Mays started to go into a noticeable decline himself after 1966, though he was able to play several seasons longer, however he probably hung on a year to two too long, and was a bit of an embarrasment by the time he was playing for the Mets in 1973.

                              I think that Mantle's lack of any impressive late career longevity, and the images of him playing his last few years in a hobbled condition, has helped contribute to a probable majority opinion prevailing for many years that Mays was better. However, the modern approach of looking at players peformances in terms of relative numbers has revealed just how much more dominant Mantle was during his prime than was Mays. As shown below the edge is quite large.

                              ----COMPARISON OF TEN BEST SEASONS OF MANTLE AND MAYS---
                              (OPS+ per official enclycopedia)


                              Best season---------------223--------184------------MANTLE +39

                              2nd best season-----------213--------176------------MANTLE +37

                              3rd best season------------210-------176------------MANTLE +34

                              4th best season------------198-------176------------MANTLE +22

                              5th best season------------189-------174------------MANTLE +15

                              6th best season------------181-------171------------MANTLE +10

                              7th best season------------177-------167------------MANTLE +10

                              8th best season------------171-------167------------MANTLE +4

                              9th best season------------166-------164------------MANTLE +2

                              10th best season ----------166-------162------------MANTLE +4

                              --------TOTAL---------------------------------------MANTLE +177

                              ---------------Average of 17.7 Points of OPS+ per season--------------

                              In 1962 Mantle had an OPS+ of 198 playing in 123 games. He was out for a month due to suffering a torn hamstring to his right leg and torn ligaments and cartiilage in is left left while trying to beat out an infield hit. He still had a great year and was MVP and was walked at the rate of almost once per game. The following year Mantle was on course for another great season when he broke the instep of his left foot which got hooked on a chain-link fence while he was trying to make a leaping catch of a deep drive by Brooks Robinson. He ended up playing only 65 games, however he had an OPS+ of 197 during the games he played. In the above comparison of ten best seasons I used Mantle's 1962 season when Mantle had an OPS+ of 198, but I didn't use his 1963 season when he had an OPS+ of 197. So in the context of one season the 123 games played in 1962 might be a bit on the low side, however over the course of the two successive seasons of 1962 and 1963 Mantle played in 188 games with an OPS+ averaging 197/198, which is 26 games more than if he had played in every single game of the 62 season.



                              Relative Batting Average--------116.4-------------114.8---------------

                              Relative Slugging Average-------143.9-------------139.2----------------

                              Relative On Base Percentage----128.0--------------116.7---------------

                              Mantle beats Mays in all three relative measures of hitting. Mantle hit better for average, he hit better for power, and he got on base more often.

                              [B]----------------COMPARISON OF CAREER OPS+------------------------


                              --------------------173--------------157----------MANTLE +16-----------

                              Mantle's edge in career OPS+ is quite substantial. There seem to be four possible arguments that Mays partisans have made to try and narrow the gap.

                              1. League quality-The recent studies of this issue done on the Mantle vs Aaron thread have convincingly demonstrated that the American League was just as strong during Mantle's career as the National League (in fact the statistical evidence shows it to be slightly stronger). No league quality adjustment is appopriate in this comparison.

                              2. Fielding-Mays is one of the all time great fielders at centerfield. Mantle was also a very good centerfielder. Mays unquestionably has a fielding edge, however there are some points which mitigate this edge to a certain extent. Mantle had to cover a lot more ground in centerfield at Yankee stadium, and as Brett has recently pointed out centerfielders in YS have to play more cautiously to protect the gaps which suppresses the fielding stats o Yankee centerfielders such as Mantle. I don't see Mays' fielding edge being worth anywhere near 16 points of OPS+, perhaps more like 5 or more.

                              3. Baserunning-Mays stole more basses than Mantle. Mays stole over twice as many bases at a stolen base success rate of 76%, while Mantle stole less bases at a higher stolen base success rate of 80%. However, Mantle was actually faster than Mays, and was able to get down the line to first base quicker even after his severe knee injury in 1951. Mantle holds the all time record of going from home to first in 3.1 seconds (it is claimed that he once did it in 2.9 before his knee injury in the 51 series). Although, Mays stole more bases, this seems more than offset by the fact that Mantle was so hard to double up. Mantle grounded into only 113 double plays in his career, while Mays grounded into 251 double plays in his career. I think the baserunning skills of these players basically even out.

                              4. Longevity-Mays played in 591 more games than Mantle, the equivilant of about 3 1/2 seasons longer. They both started out at the same time in 1951. Mantle was able to continue to be a truly great player through 1964, and Mays was able to continue to be a truly great player though 1966. When one looks at the big picture one questions whether this is a very significant fact. When looking at the stats of their 10 best years, it seems clear that during the core seasons of their career Mantle was the better player almost each and every year. If a player did not perform as well as another player during the prime years of their respective careers, does playing a few extra years make the other player better?. Does a lesser player become greater simply by playing longer?. I could see that the difference might be worth 5 points or so of OPS+, however even when coupled with Mays' fielding edge I don't see how it can overcome Mantle's substantial offensive edge.

                              It should also be noted that Mays had numerous outstanding and dangerous hitters batting behind him throughout his career including the likes of Monte Irvin, Orlando Cepeda, Willie McCovery, Jim Ray Hart, etc. Mays probably had even better hitters protecting him than Mantle, yet Mantle still maintained such a substantial batting edge. Mays had a pretty game to look at and might have been more asthetically pleasing, but Mantle's overwhelming offensive value makes him the better of these two players.

                              c JRB


                              Ad Widget