Who was Mickey Mantle?

terrynever

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Bobby Richardson, Yankees second baseman from 1958-66, reflects on his teammate, Mickey Mantle, in a N.Y. Post article linked below. Richardson signed with the Yankees at 17. He went on the field for BP and Mantle made sure he got his licks, ahead of Yogi Berra and that crew. Mick was 22 at the time. Two years later, Richardson got called up and Mantle lined up a photo opportunity on the field, knowing if he put his arm around the kid from South Carolina and pointed out to the field, the photogs would bite. They did.

Richardson mentions how the last-place Yankees begged Mantle to play two more seasons in 1967-68 to put fannies in the seats. Mick hit his 500th HR in 1967, which is when he should have retired. After hitting .237 in 1968, Mantle’s lifetime BA fell from .301 to .298.

I post this link to remind our younger fans that Mantle was a great teammate, a superstar who always looked out for the rookies. I have a pet peeve as I grow older that we only remember athletes for how they finished, instead of how they played in their primes. Mick drank a lot during his playing days, and it got worse after he retired. But his prime years from 1952-64 were not too shabby.

Mantle finally quit drinking a year before he died, and held a final press conference, telling people, “I am no role model.”

On his epitaph, No. 7 asked only for these words: Mickey Mantle: A Great Teammate.



 

jaytftwofive

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Many people believe and former baseball players like Buck O"Neill from the Negro League and other players that had not Mickey Stepped on that drain pipe in Yankee Stadium in 51 which really messed up his leg or knees, and had he taken better care of himself not drank etc... he would have been better then Mays and and Aaron and Musial and possibly others. That was in the HBO special a few years back about Mantle.
 
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Kliq

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Mantle is often referred to as perhaps the single most talented baseball players in history. Given that he battled injuries that limited and shortened his career, and still put up those kind of numbers, both at his peak and over his career, I think it is a safe assumption to make that he in fact was that talented.
 

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Through age 27, he was at least the equal of Mike Trout. We'll see how Subway sandwiches compare to booze in affecting the second half of a career.
 

terrynever

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Through age 27, he was at least the equal of Mike Trout. We'll see how Subway sandwiches compare to booze in affecting the second half of a career.
As an old guy, I would reverse this and say Trout is at least the equal of Mantle at age 27. Mick actually kept putting up great stats through 1964, his age 32 season, so Trout has some work left to do.

Mantle is considered so unique in talent because of his switch-hitting with power and his early speed, which left him by 1962 when he broke a foot in the cyclone fence at Memorial Stadium. Baseball didn’t have a lot of switchers before Mantle. Mickey Cochrane was one. Mantle inspired a lot of switchers in the years following his arrival.
 

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If anyone here missed it I thought The Last Boy by Jane Leavy was very good. There is a particularly great digression about the supposed 565-foot homer he hit out of Griffith Stadium.
 

jaytftwofive

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If anyone here missed it I thought The Last Boy by Jane Leavy was very good. There is a particularly great digression about the supposed 565-foot homer he hit out of Griffith Stadium.
Yes I read it good book. Kind of sad. Even sober he wasn't nice to people at autograph shows and things like that. They say Joe D was not the nicest person too him and Mantle wasn't the nicest to Maris a class act in their first years as teammates. I always felt bad that he lost a son to depression or drugs(I forget what year in the early 90's) I'm glad at the end he stopped drinking and admitted his alcoholism is what would eventually killed him. I liked that he said.. "I"m not a role model, look at me" I can't believe is wife stayed with him till the end after all his cheating etc... And I don't believe he should have got the transplant over somebody who was younger and and more deserving. He was dead in what??? 3 or 4 months?
 

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As an old guy, I would reverse this and say Trout is at least the equal of Mantle at age 27. Mick actually kept putting up great stats through 1964, his age 32 season, so Trout has some work left to do.

Mantle is considered so unique in talent because of his switch-hitting with power and his early speed, which left him by 1962 when he broke a foot in the cyclone fence at Memorial Stadium. Baseball didn’t have a lot of switchers before Mantle. Mickey Cochrane was one. Mantle inspired a lot of switchers in the years following his arrival.
IIRC, a book about Mantle talked about how his dad was very strict with him about sticking with switch-hitting, to the point Mickey got punished as a youngster for not switching in a game.

Then there's the story about after homering off Satchel Paige left-handed, Mickey batted right-handed the rest of the game. Supposedly this prompted Paige to wonder something like, "Where is the boy that done me the injury?"
 

terrynever

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Yes I read it good book. Kind of sad. Even sober he wasn't nice to people at autograph shows and things like that. They say Joe D was not the nicest person too him and Mantle wasn't the nicest to Maris a class act in their first years as teammates. I always felt bad that he lost a son to depression or drugs(I forget what year in the early 90's) I'm glad at the end he stopped drinking and admitted his alcoholism is what would eventually killed him. I liked that he said.. "I"m not a role model, look at me" I can't believe is wife stayed with him till the end after all his cheating etc... And I don't believe he should have got the transplant over somebody who was younger and and more deserving. He was dead in what??? 3 or 4 months?
Maris and Maris shared an apartment during the 1961 season with teammate Bob Cerv. They used to laugh about their “Feud” over breakfast. If there was any tension, it came in 1960 when Maris was voted MVP over Mantle. Roger was the outsider that season, his first in pinstripes. But they became lifetime friends. When Maris died at 51, Mick sat in the back of the church, hung over like most of his teammates in attendance, and said “I should have gone first.”

Meryln Mantle knew Mick was cheating on her but she had four boys to raise pretty much on her own. Neither wanted a divorce. Mick lived two lives. The man had very little self esteem, with good reason. If we are asking “Who was Mickey Mantle?”, I guess the answer should be found off the field, and it’s not pretty. Not that Mick created the self-involved superstar mold. Life after baseball is not an easy transition. Just look at Roy Halladay.
 
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jaytftwofive

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Maris and Maris shared an apartment during the 1961 season with teammate Bob Cerv. They used to laugh about their “Feud” over breakfast. If there was any tension, it came in 1960 when Maris was voted MVP over Mantle. Roger was the outsider that season, his first in pinstripes. But they became lifetime friends. When Maris died at 51, Mick sat in the back of the church, hung over like most of his teammates in attendance, and said “I should have gone first.”

Meryln Mantle knew Mick was cheating on her but she had four boys to raise pretty much on her own. Neither wanted a divorce. Mick lived two lives. The man had very little self esteem, with good reason. If we are asking “Who was Mickey Mantle?”, I guess the answer should be found off the field, and it’s not pretty. Not that Mick created the self-involved superstar mold. Life after baseball is not an easy transition. Just look at Roy Halladay.
I forgot I did see the movie 61 by Billy Crystal about the 61 season and the race for Babe's HR title. They did seem pretty friendly by then. Then again it was produced by a die hard Yankee fan so who knows? Yes many athletes don't adjust after retiring but look how many do find things themselves to do and make money, Magic, Dom D, Larry Bird, Jerry West so many do fine. And announcing and helping communities-Ernie Banks. So I kind of don't by that as an excuse for bad behavior. I mean Mickey got involved with a Casino and made some money there I guess. And look at Bob Uecker, lol. Look I know there are some who can't adjust like Mickey and Halladay but there are so many who find things to do and do fine. And I realize Mickey had it tough because his father died at 39 and he thought he wouldn't live that long because both his father and Grandfather both died younger then normal but that' was no excuse IMO to drink too much. He could have seen a doctor if he was worried so much and used better judgement and his brain. But like I said many believe if it wasn't for stepping on the drain pipe in Yankee Stadium and taking better care of himself, he would have been right up there behind right Ruth, Gehrig and Ted Williams as a hitter and a better all around player then Mays Musial and others.
 
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Lose Remerswaal

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Yes I read it good book. Kind of sad. Even sober he wasn't nice to people at autograph shows and things like that. They say Joe D was not the nicest person too him and Mantle wasn't the nicest to Maris a class act in their first years as teammates. I always felt bad that he lost a son to depression or drugs(I forget what year in the early 90's) I'm glad at the end he stopped drinking and admitted his alcoholism is what would eventually killed him. I liked that he said.. "I"m not a role model, look at me" I can't believe is wife stayed with him till the end after all his cheating etc... And I don't believe he should have got the transplant over somebody who was younger and and more deserving. He was dead in what??? 3 or 4 months?
I met Mickey Mantle in 1970 or 1971 at a charity dinner in NYC. We were at the same table and someone there took a Polaroid picture of us which I kept. About 20 years ago he had a book out and was doing a signing so my wife took the Polaroid and told him that her husband met him awhile back and showed him the picture. "That was a long time ago", the Mick said. He was very gracious with her. I don't recall if he was gracious with me
 

terrynever

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I forgot I did see the movie 61 by Billy Crystal about the 61 season and the race for Babe's HR title. They did seem pretty friendly by then. Then again it was produced by a die hard Yankee fan so who knows? Yes many athletes don't adjust after retiring but look how many do find things themselves to do and make money, Magic, Dom D, Larry Bird, Jerry West so many do fine. And announcing and helping communities-Ernie Banks. So I kind of don't by that as an excuse for bad behavior. I mean Mickey got involved with a Casino and made some money there I guess. And look at Bob Uecker, lol. Look I know there are some who can't adjust like Mickey and Halladay but there are so many who find things to do and do fine. And I realize Mickey had it tough because his father died at 39 and he thought he wouldn't live that long because both his father and Grandfather both died younger then normal but that's was no excuse IMO to drink too much. He could have seen a doctor if he was worried so much and used better judgement and his brain. But like I said many believe if it wasn't for stepping on the drain pipe in Yankee Stadium and taking better care of himself, he would have been right up there behind right Ruth, Gehrig and Ted Williams as a hitter and a better all around player then Mays Musial and others.
All valid points. There are nuances and shades of gray with his life. My thought with Mantle is to not forget how great a player he was in his prime. His personal shortcomings tend to obscure his greatness back in the 1950s when Mickey outshined Mays and Aaron. Playing in the World Series 12 of his first 14 seasons gave him a platform unlike any athlete of his era, except Yogi.

I love college football for that reason. You get to see those athletes before they get hurt, when they are faster, jump higher, and are relatively pain-free. In baseball, Trout and Mookie are just fantastic right now.
 

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I forgot I did see the movie 61 by Billy Crystal about the 61 season and the race for Babe's HR title. They did seem pretty friendly by then. Then again it was produced by a die hard Yankee fan so who knows? Yes many athletes don't adjust after retiring but look how many do find things themselves to do and make money, Magic, Dom D, Larry Bird, Jerry West so many do fine. And announcing and helping communities-Ernie Banks. So I kind of don't by that as an excuse for bad behavior. I mean Mickey got involved with a Casino and made some money there I guess. And look at Bob Uecker, lol. Look I know there are some who can't adjust like Mickey and Halladay but there are so many who find things to do and do fine. And I realize Mickey had it tough because his father died at 39 and he thought he wouldn't live that long because both his father and Grandfather both died younger then normal but that' was no excuse IMO to drink too much. He could have seen a doctor if he was worried so much and used better judgement and his brain. But like I said many believe if it wasn't for stepping on the drain pipe in Yankee Stadium and taking better care of himself, he would have been right up there behind right Ruth, Gehrig and Ted Williams as a hitter and a better all around player then Mays Musial and others.
This is a bit of a harsh take on alcoholism/addiction, no?
 

terrynever

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This is a bit of a harsh take on alcoholism/addiction, no?
Younger folks probably don’t realize that until Betty Ford came along and established her very famous rehab center in 1979, few serious drinkers realized rehab was an option. In Mantle’s case, his friend, Pat Summerall, went into rehab in the mid-1980s (roughly) and spent a few years trying to get Mickey into rehab.

The bigger discussion, which you seem to be raising, deals with alcoholism as a disease. As a former drinker, I always felt like the next beer was my choice, but I’m not very well read on the topic.
 

jaytftwofive

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Younger folks probably don’t realize that until Betty Ford came along and established her very famous rehab center in 1979, few serious drinkers realized rehab was an option. In Mantle’s case, his friend, Pat Summerall, went into rehab in the mid-1980s (roughly) and spent a few years trying to get Mickey into rehab.

The bigger discussion, which you seem to be raising, deals with alcoholism as a disease. As a former drinker, I always felt like the next beer was my choice, but I’m not very well read on the topic.
Yes and after Summerall quit Tom Brookshier quit drinking. Brookey said he wasn't sure he was an alcoholic but he figured he'd quit and treat himself like he was one.
 

TheDivision

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Thanks for starting this thread terrynever (and contributors), I learned a bit about his personal life.
 

jaytftwofive

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This is a bit of a harsh take on alcoholism/addiction, no?
I apologize if it comes out that way. I've had members of my family who have had addiction and my relatives husbands and wives. My sibling is an AA member and hasn't had a drink since January of 2000. That sibling is a drug rehab counselor at a well known hospital in the Philadelphia suburbs. My other relatives have been clean for quite a few years from drinking. I had a 2nd cousin die from drug addiction in 2010 and another older cousin died in the 60's from drugs. So I have had it in my family. My point is there are people who are stronger then Mantle and recognize the addiction and try to get help. And of course there weren't the good clinics like the Betty Ford clinic in the 50's @ 60's when Mickey played. But there were hospitals and rehabs.
 
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terrynever

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Yes and after Summerall quit Tom Brookshier quit drinking. Brookey said he wasn't sure he was an alcoholic but he figured he'd quit and treat himself like he was one.
You gotta be from Philly, calling him Brookey! I grew up in Levittown and loved those old Eagles teams, especially 1960.
 

curly2

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They say Joe D was not the nicest person too him
I think it was the Leavy book where I read that Joe D wasn't welcoming to him and the injury in the World Series came after Casey Stengel told Mickey to get every ball he could get to that DiMaggio called him off WAY too late on a ball. Mickey tried to stop too soon and caught a spike in the drain, causing him to blow out his knee. Apparently even as Mickey was long retired, as he would get drunker he would talk about how "Joe Fucking DiMaggio" had ruined his career.

I remember Ted Williams wrote that there were two guys in his career who hit the ball harder than everyone else: Jimmie Foxx and Mickey Mantle. Ted said he could tell when one of those guys was in the cage without looking. He could tell by the sound.
 

terrynever

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I think it was the Leavy book where I read that Joe D wasn't welcoming to him and the injury in the World Series came after Casey Stengel told Mickey to get every ball he could get to that DiMaggio called him off WAY too late on a ball. Mickey tried to stop too soon and caught a spike in the drain, causing him to blow out his knee. Apparently even as Mickey was long retired, as he would get drunker he would talk about how "Joe Fucking DiMaggio" had ruined his career.

I remember Ted Williams wrote that there were two guys in his career who hit the ball harder than everyone else: Jimmie Foxx and Mickey Mantle. Ted said he could tell when one of those guys was in the cage without looking. He could tell by the sound.
Thanks for this post. That is exactly the way the fly ball thing happened.

And Ted taught Mantle to lay off bad pitches very early in his career. They both walked a lot and carried insane OBPs in the 1950s. In 1957, Ted led the league with a .526 OBP and Mick was second at .512.
 

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I remember Ted Williams wrote that there were two guys in his career who hit the ball harder than everyone else: Jimmie Foxx and Mickey Mantle. Ted said he could tell when one of those guys was in the cage without looking. He could tell by the sound.
In ESPN's 30 for 30 on Bo Jackson, there's a part that details his arrival with the Royals. Bo apparently smacked a 500-footer on his first day. I forget who was giving the commentary, but their take was something to the effect of "I've only heard one other player make a sound like that with his bat on the ball, and that was Mickey Mantle."
 

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And it always makes me sad and mad that I went to see the Red Sox play the Yankees the last game of the year, Sunday Sept. 29th 1968. in Fenway. But the Mick didn't play and sat out the game. He played the day before so as it turns out that was his last game. At the time we didn't know it. So that last Sunday I didn't get to see him play. The only tickets my dad and I could get were standing room. Sox lose 4-3. Tigers go on to win WS. When he retired in March of 69 in spring training it didn't hit me right away, but as time went on I said.....I never got a chance to see him play, even though I just turned 11, he was not the same player I remember as a little kid in the early 60's. And the same thing happened with Roberto Clemente. We had moved to Philly Early Sept.1971 and myself and my Mom and Dad went to see the Phillies play the first place Pirates in late July 1972. Phillies weren't too good and the Pirates were great and the defending World Champions. One reason I wanted to go(It was my 2nd Phils game) was to see the great stars like superstar Roberto and stars like Stargell and others. Well......as it turns out he sat out that game. I forget if he was scratched for a minor injury or just sat the game out. He was 38. Well I never saw the Pirates or Clemente that year and we know what sadly happened on Dec. 31st, 1972. And like a teenage dummy I never got to see Mays Or Aaron before they retired when I had the chance.
 
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Plantiers Wart

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I think it was the Leavy book where I read that Joe D wasn't welcoming to him and the injury in the World Series came after Casey Stengel told Mickey to get every ball he could get to that DiMaggio called him off WAY too late on a ball. Mickey tried to stop too soon and caught a spike in the drain, causing him to blow out his knee. Apparently even as Mickey was long retired, as he would get drunker he would talk about how "Joe Fucking DiMaggio" had ruined his career.

I remember Ted Williams wrote that there were two guys in his career who hit the ball harder than everyone else: Jimmie Foxx and Mickey Mantle. Ted said he could tell when one of those guys was in the cage without looking. He could tell by the sound.
Mickey said Joe D would only call him off on plays Joe could make in style. No diving or lunging for DiMaggio. So that game, Joe realized he could get to it in stride and called him off last second.
 

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I always "hated" to see him come to the plate...-him and Johnnie Blanchard. Freaking guys ALWAYS (in my memory) got the big hit. Blanchard had a big HR swing
 

jaytftwofive

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You gotta be from Philly, calling him Brookey! I grew up in Levittown and loved those old Eagles teams, especially 1960.
I live in Philly area now, moved here in late summer of 71 when my Dad got transferred. I'm 62 now. I'm still an all Boston sports fan for the 4 major sports. The Eagles I root for as my 2nd favorite team. I'll root for the Phillies. Sixers???? ehh too much old bad blood, and The Flyers fans are just nuts and biased. Known as Stepfords. I do root for all the Big Five college basketball teams especially St. Joe's (Villanova fans can be very arrogant)I like Temple football, Despise Penn State football and their fans. The worst most whining fans I've ever met. The late Brookshier used to be on a talk show in the morning with this jerk and clown Angelo Cataldi, a former newspaper writer who is originally from Providence. Grew up a Yankee fan because his father loved Joe D and the Yanks had some Italian American players. He also said he didn't root for any Boston team growing up. Liked the Giants and whatever team Wilt Chamberlain played on. In 2009 he passed a lie detector test by a local policeman that he was rooting for the Phillies over the Yanks in the WS, and that they were his favorite team now. I'm still skeptical. He goes on these crazy rants, and also kisses butt of Philly fans calling them the best in the country. He also in the 90's not directly but semi hinted for Eagles fans not to be nice to Cowboy, Giant or Redskins fans who came to eagles games. "Tell them they're not welcome here" You know what that can translate to with drunken crazy Philly fans. In 2005 when the Red Sox came to Philly to play the Red Sox he said quote, "If one starts cheering loud and being smug, please punch him in the mouth" Nice!!!!! He and this other arrogant host Howard Eskin have had a long standing feud with Curt Schilling which I don't understand. Must go back to his Philly days. Cataldi also said after Tito got fired from the Phillies or a year or so later......."If Francona ever wins a World Series with another team I'll shoot myself in the head" Guess he never did that. True stories.
 
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terrynever

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I live in Philly area now moved here in late summer of 71 when my Dad got transferred. I'm 62 now. I'm still an all Boston sports fan for the 4 major sports. The Eagles I root for as my 2nd favorite team. I'll root for the Phillies. Sixers???? ehh too much old bad blood, and The Flyers fans are just nuts and biased. Known as Stepfords. I do root for all the Big Five college basketball teams especially St. Joe's (Villanova fans can be very arrogant)I like Temple football, Despise Penn State football and their fans. The worst most whining fans I've ever met. The late Brookshier used to be on a talk show in the morning with this jerk and clown Angelo Cataldi, a former newspaper writer who is originally from Providence. Grew up a Yankee fan because his father loved Joe D and the Yanks had some Italian American players. He also said he didn't root for any Boston team growing up. Liked the Giants and whatever team Wilt Chamberlain played on. In 2009 he passed a lie detector test by a local policeman that he was rooting for the Phillies over the Yanks in the WS, and that they were his favorite team now. I'm still skepitcal.
I worked in Pawtucket Times sports covering the PawSox when Angelo was still in Providence in 1982 before leaving for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He was funny and sarcastic then but not overbearing. Angelo was a good sports reporter who rose to near the top of his profession. He wanted to do more than just write investigative stories. So he turned to radio.

You have to understand, radio performers must be entertaining. They live and die on ratings. Angelo let the egotistical side of his brain take over for radio. He developed a confrontational style that drew ratings. It’s all about the money. He probably makes 10 times as much in salary for WIP as he would have with the Inquirer.

Like a lot of people who work in sports media, Angelo probably doesn’t root for any teams anymore. You get so jaded over the years. He fought with everyone — coaches, players, fellow media. I doubt he enjoys anything ... except his paycheck, his job and his family. That’s enough. His kids probably grew up a lot better off than he did.
 

terrynever

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Mickey said Joe D would only call him off on plays Joe could make in style. No diving or lunging for DiMaggio. So that game, Joe realized he could get to it in stride and called him off last second.
I always wondered why Yankee Stadium had a metal drain in the middle of right field. I bet they moved it, or sunk it under ground after Mantle got hurt. But it was probably there since 1923.
 

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Even though I'm pretty old, I only caught the very tail end of Mantle's career. He didn't mean much to me, a die-hard Sox fan. Thus, my strongest impression of him came from Ball Four, where Bouton writes about Mick leading a group of guys up on a hotel roof, playing peeping Tom.
 

terrynever

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Even though I'm pretty old, I only caught the very tail end of Mantle's career. He didn't mean much to me, a die-hard Sox fan. Thus, my strongest impression of him came from Ball Four, where Bouton writes about Mick leading a group of guys up on a hotel roof, playing peeping Tom.
The Bouton relationship to Mantle is interesting. They didn’t speak for 20 years but Mick reached out late in his life.

As great as Ball Four was, most Yankee players felt Bouton writing about their off-field lives was an invasion of their privacy. It’s not like he was a working newsman. Bouton played along with most of the chicanery when he was a Yankee. He was not taking notes then. Ball Four is about his 1969 season in Seattle — when he did take notes and his teammates knew what he was working on. Not that anyone expected his book to be a best-seller. And part of the reason it was a best-seller was the stuff he revealed about Mantle when Bouton was a teammate, not writing a book.
 
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jaytftwofive

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I worked in Pawtucket Times sports covering the PawSox when Angelo was still in Providence in 1982 before leaving for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He was funny and sarcastic then but not overbearing. Angelo was a good sports reporter who rose to near the top of his profession. He wanted to do more than just write investigative stories. So he turned to radio.

You have to understand, radio performers must be entertaining. They live and die on ratings. Angelo let the egotistical side of his brain take over for radio. He developed a confrontational style that drew ratings. It’s all about the money. He probably makes 10 times as much in salary for WIP as he would have with the Inquirer.

Like a lot of people who work in sports media, Angelo probably doesn’t root for any teams anymore. You get so jaded over the years. He fought with everyone — coaches, players, fellow media. I doubt he enjoys anything ... except his paycheck, his job and his family. That’s enough. His kids probably grew up a lot better off than he did.
Oh I know he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize when he was with the Inquirer I think or maybe another paper. But he used to say he won it then later admitted he was nominated. I used to read him in the Inky. He was good. And Al Morganti who was a hockey writer for the Daily News and a Boston paper I think. He was and still is on his show.(I hardly listen to sports radio anymore 90 % rock and alternative music) When I'm up in R.I. and Mass visiting then I'll listen to WEEI and The Sports Hub for a change. When he was first on with Brookie, they were called the Rookie and The Brookie. He wasn't so bad back then in the early 90's. Brookie was the homer and Angelo was the middle supposedly objective one. When I called he would politely explain why he was a Yankee fan. When I told him I was originally from Fall River he asked me what my ethnicity was because I was from Fall River. I explained I wasn't what he might be expecting and I will leave it at that. You couldn't do that today. Even then in 1991 I thought that it was a little off color. Morganti made me laugh when he said what took you so long to get out of there. Like the legendary Sonny Hill said about his fellow associate at 94 WIP.(It's FM now like every sports station) Angelo does it for entertainment. And through the years that's why he got so outrageous I guess for the ratings. But Angelo did admit in 1995 that Mantle didn't deserve the transplant over somebody younger and who took care of himself.
 
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jaytftwofive

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I worked in Pawtucket Times sports covering the PawSox when Angelo was still in Providence in 1982 before leaving for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He was funny and sarcastic then but not overbearing. Angelo was a good sports reporter who rose to near the top of his profession. He wanted to do more than just write investigative stories. So he turned to radio.

You have to understand, radio performers must be entertaining. They live and die on ratings. Angelo let the egotistical side of his brain take over for radio. He developed a confrontational style that drew ratings. It’s all about the money. He probably makes 10 times as much in salary for WIP as he would have with the Inquirer.

Like a lot of people who work in sports media, Angelo probably doesn’t root for any teams anymore. You get so jaded over the years. He fought with everyone — coaches, players, fellow media. I doubt he enjoys anything ... except his paycheck, his job and his family. That’s enough. His kids probably grew up a lot better off than he did.
And of course you may have heard of the 1999 J. D. Drew incident at his first game in Philly with the Cardinals after he refused to sign with the Phillies. Fans threw golf balls at him and Angelo and others had encouraged people......." let's make him really feel unwelcome more then booing". I'm not saying he's the reason that happened but he didn't help the situation when you get Philly fans fired up. And I know all Boston fans aren't all saints either as true to a lot of cities. There are good and bad fans in every area for the most part but it seems Boston, New York and Philly have the roughest fan bases.
 

terrynever

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Aug 25, 2005
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And of course you may have heard of the 1999 J. D. Drew incident at his first game in Philly with the Cardinals after he refused to sign with the Phillies. Fans threw golf balls at him and Angelo and others had encouraged people......." let's make him really feel unwelcome more then booing". I'm not saying he's the reason that happened but he didn't help the situation when you get Philly fans fired up. And I know all Boston fans aren't all saints either as true to a lot of cities. There are good and bad fans in every area for the most part but it seems Boston, New York and Philly have the roughest fan bases.
Heck, those three cities were tough during the Revolutionary War. We might still be British if not for Boston and Philly. It’s just in our nature. The sports writers in all three cities shaped the dialogue. Ted Williams put up with some very negative scribes from Day One.
I was never much of a sports talk fan, maybe just in the car on the way to and from work. They have to fill air time, just like ESPN. That’s why good writing and reporting will remain important, even after newspapers disappear. Writers are limited in space and have to focus on one thought.
And to stay on point, Mickey got great press coverage. They overlooked his flaws because he produced on the field.
 

VORP Speed

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Apr 23, 2010
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One of my father’s closest friends from high school somewhat randomly ended up becoming good friends with The Mick in the last 7 or 8 years of his life. He ran a video production company and worked with Mantle on a documentary about the members of the 500 home run club, and that turned into a friendship that became closer as the years went by. He happens to live in the next town over from me now and I see him whenever my father comes up to visit. His Mantle stories are great, if somewhat disturbing, with the recurring theme of Mickey aggressively hitting on his wife right in front of him. He grew up, like many kids of that era, absolutely idolizing Mantle and I think he still pinches himself that he spent years going out to dinners and socializing with his boyhood hero, even if in the course of developing that relationship he had a front row seat to all the pathology. He actually had a similar experience with Charlie Daniels, which personally I find much more interesting.

He wrote a book about his friendship with Mantle, described in the article below.