Born on October 20, 1931, Mickey Mantle took command of October baseball like no other player, before or since. He played in twelve World Series and won three MVP awards. His most impressive season (statistically) was in 1956, when he won the triple crown (leading the league in home runs, batting average and runs batted in) and was voted the league's Most Valuable Player by the most one-sided landslide of votes in major league history.
He blasted a major league record 12 walk-off game winners, but two of his most memorable occurred in World Series play during October nights separated by nearly a decade. The first came on October 4, 1953, when “The Mick” crushed a tremendous first pitch grand slam into the upper deck in left-centerfield as the Yankees beat the Dodgers 11-7 at Ebbets field in Brooklyn. It's only the fourth grand slam in World Series history. Mantle’s second walk-off World Series homer came during game three of the 1964 World Series, when he led off the bottom of ninth in a 1-1 ballgame by hitting Cardinals’ pitcher Barney Schultz’s first pitch into the stands to give the Yankees a 2-to-1 lead in the series.
Among the World Series records that he holds to this day are:
|Most World Series Home Runs||18|
|Most World Series RBIs||40|
|Most World Series Runs Scored||42|
|Most World Series Total Bases||123|
|Most World Series Walks ||43|
Fun Home Run Facts about Mickey Mantle
Mantle hit for astonishing power from both sides of the plate. On May 13, 1955, Mantle hit three homers in one game for the first time in his career. He hit all three into the center field bleachers at Yankee Stadium, each of them "a titanic blast," according to the New York Times. Mantle hit his first two homers left-handed and the last one right-handed, to become the first batter to hit homers from each side of the plate in American League history.
While no one has ever hit a fair ball out of Yankee Stadium, Mantle came the closest. He reached the gothic wrought-iron facade that hung from the old stadium's roof five times.
Mickey hit the first home run in the Houston Astrodome on April 9, 1965, where the New York Yankees were facing off against the Houston Astros in the final game of Spring Training.
Mickey wasn’t the only player to join the 500 Home Run Club® in 1967. Eddie Mathews followed Mickey into the league’s most elite club by hitting his 500th on July 14, 1967, two months to the day after Mantle reached the milestone.
Quotes from Mickey Mantle
"Somebody once asked me if I ever went up to the plate trying to hit a home run. I said, 'Sure, every time.'"