On this date 20 years ago The Mick- Mickey Mantle died of liver cancer. Mickey Mantle played with the New York Yankees from 1951 to 1968. He was a 20 time All-Star, 3 time MVP and his Yankees during his career won 7 World Series. Mantle also won the Triple Crown during the 1956 season. Mickey Mantle may be the most popular baseball player who ever lived. He was on the right team-the Yankees and at the right time- the beginning of the television age. He was also a great ballplayer. He may have been the most physically gifted player who ever lived. His lifetime totals 536 home runs, 1509 RBI and a lifetime average of .298. The thing is a lot of people think he could have been even greater than he was.
In his rookie year, he was in the World Series. He was in right field because Joe DiMaggio was in center. Joe DiMaggio at that point in his career had no business being in centerfield but he wasn’t going to move and the Yankees wouldn’t step in and move him so Mantle had to move to right field. Willie Mays hit a fly ball between DiMaggio and Mantle, At the last second DiMaggio called Mantle off, Mantle pulled up and tripped over a drain pipe severely injuring his right knee. They didn’t have the surgeries of today back then. Mantle would play the rest of his career with a torn ACL. The second thing that played a part in his career maybe not living up to his great potential was the fact that in his family males didn’t live long. Mickey thought he was going to die young so he lived it up off the field. It is probably amazing that this man could have accomplished what he did with his lifestyle being what it was.
Near the end of his life Mickey quit drinking. When he entered the hospital in June 1995 he told America that he wasn’t a role model, “Don’t be like me” It may have been his finest moment. When he entered the hospital he needed a liver transplant but then it was discovered he had cancer and there was nothing that could be done.
Hard to believe it’s been 20 years since The Mick has passed. His funeral was shown on television. Bob Costas had his finest moment giving The Mick’s eulogy. I have attached that below.
BOB COSTAS EULOGY OF MICKEY MANTLE