Tiger, Mickey and Wilt Walk Into a Bar…

mickey_mantle.jpgIn our ongoing exploration of all the reasons we love baseball, I like to occasionally return to the audacity exemplified by some of the players of the past century.  And, like it or not, I also have to give grudging respect to the Yankees in this category.  We have already discussed Pete Rose’s stirring tribute to Joe DiMaggio so it’s only fair that we now pay tribute to alcoholic extraordinaire Mickey Mantle.

But aside from super Yankeedom and liver transplants, Mantle exhibited another important aspect of super athletedom that only shows up in a select few per generation.  Our generation has Tiger Woods.  The previous one had Wilt Chamberlain.  But before Wilt and Tiger, there was Mantle

mantle_letter.jpgSure, it might have just been Mantle making an ironic statement on the Yankees’ exploitation of his fame and status but I prefer to think that this little event really happened one sunny afternoon under the bleachers. And if I have to pick just one favorite part, I’d go with the fact that he signs the letter “Micky Mantle, All-American Boy.”  The irony alone almost makes me want to become a Yankees fan.  Almost.

-A

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8 Comments

The letter is funny. It also reaffirms some of the things I’ve read about Mantle not really being interested (or even understanding) why fans wanted to relive the past as it pertained to Mick and his career.

Although, if he was the single season home run champ he might have felt different. But he never was, it was Maris.
http://wrigleyregular.mlblogs.com/

The guy that still said “Aww shucks” up into his last years was the All American boy. Heck, if you want to look at a modern example of Mantle today it was Josh Hamilton two years after he was drafted by the then D-Rays. But like all good boys turned bad, the elements around him consumed him and almost lead to his end.
Even if Mantle were to be transformed into today, he would of still had that huge media machine looking over his shoulder, wandering in and out of his life…and poking for the dirt 24/7. The 2011 media circus has expanded from 3- rings to 10. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and even foursquare have made telling the secrets of anyone only a fast click away.
Somehow to have to wonder if Mickey wasn’t the only force pulling him down into the depths at times.

Rays Renegade
http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

No wonder he stuck around long after his useful playing days….with fringe benefits like that who wants to retire? It’s probably why he stuck around so long and ruined his lifetime .300 batting average; a little weak in the legs.
mike

This letter amuses me not only because of the content, but because in today’s media-savvy world, this would surely escape, and many PC-types would have heart attacks upon reading it.
Catherine
http://chisoxblog.mlblogs.com/

I’ve seen this before and it’s still hilarious, mostly because I can see it being completely real. I only wonder which mood he was in when he wrote it, friendly and happy because this really is one of his fondest memories at old Yankee Stadium or ornery and deciding to mess with the front office. Either way, it’s hilarious. I love the fact that he adds “she was a nice girl.” Well, yes, apparently.
– Kristen
http://blithescribe.mlblogs.com/

Really? I have to explain this, if he was dusky the All American Boy and she was really a Nice Girl she wouldn’t have asked just swallowed and smiled…..

-Peter
http://phillies-outside.mlblogs.com

I have a Yankee jersey with his number that I wear from time to time. He was an amazing player. I’m with Rays Renegade regarding the media over his shoulder.

Ron

http://strictlycubsbaseball.mlblogs.com/

The Mick sure did love a good time. His life was short but not uneventful.

http://www.janeheller.com/confessionsblog

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