Monday, October 20, 2014

Honoring A Great Yankee On His Birthday

It isn't often that we take the time to honor a member of the Yankees. But, today we will make an exception. To those of us who faintly remember baseball in the late '50s and early '60s, Mickey Mantledespite his pinstripes—was an icon. He was a five-tool player before there were five-tool players. His Hall Of Fame numbers speak for themselves—.298 BA, .421 OBP, .557 SLG, 536 HRs, 1509 RBIs over 18 seasons. And, even with his famously gimpy knees, he stole 153 bases—swiping 21 in 1959. Mantle was the Mike Trout of his day, so, when a little kid from Somerville, Massachusetts almost caught one of his batting practice HRs in the early sixties—it was a moment to treasure. I was hanging out about halfway up the bleachers at Fenway (leaning over the gap with the grandstands), when a majestic Mantle clout eluded my grasp by inches. If only I had been a little taller! Had he lived, Mantle would have been 83 years old today. Happy birthday, Mick.