It is said he was the best natural athlete ever to play the game, and the fastest ever running from home to first base. In spite of suffering from osteomyelitis and a series of crippling leg injuries, chronic conditions that required his legs to be wrapped from ankle to thigh for every game, the 19 year-old Commerce Comet from Oklahoma landed in New York City in 1951 to patrol centerfield in Yankee Stadium, one of baseball’s great Cathedrals. He became the biggest star in baseball for the next dozen years, making today
NATIONAL MICKEY MANTLE DAY!
They called him The Mick, and he hit some of the longest home runs in baseball history, from both sides of the plate, and hit more of them in the World series than anyone else, 18, to go with his 536 regular-season home runs.
Mantle won the Triple Crown in 1956, earning him the first of his 3 American League Most Valuable Player Awards, played in 12 World Series, and was named to the All Star Team 16 times.
Even as a big star, he remained a personable, smiling country boy, fun loving and larger than life. Mickey Mantle was the boyhood idol of millions of baseball fans, and we’re still waiting for another like him. Mickey Mantle (October 20, 1931 – August 14, 1995)
•Suggested Activities: Switch hitting, running like a deer.