Copyright 2010 by Mantle Holdings IP, Ltd.
This section of the website contains insights and thoughts from the Mantle family and Randall Swearingen. The information contained herein has never been published. New articles will be posted monthly. Please come back often to read more interesting and never before told stories, facts, thoughts and opinions.
In light of a new book that was just released, we felt compelled to make this public statement. Was dad an alcoholic? Yes, he could be unruly sometimes and say rude things but alcohol does that to people. It makes a person say and do things that they normally wouldn't do and say. When he acted rude towards people, he later deeply regretted it. So for these writers and other people to keep bringing up this issue is actually good because it points out why he got help in the first place. Was he a bad father? No. He never left his family and always made sure we were well taken care of. He had a heart of gold, always thinking of others. After his father passed, with dad at the young age of 21, he assumed the high pressure role of family provider and took care of everybody including his mother, brothers, sister, and his in-laws.
We are so proud to call him our dad. From the time he co-wrote his original biography “The Mick” in 1985 until his final days when he said "I am not a role model", he was completely honest and open about his life. While in the Betty Ford Clinic, he received tens of thousands of cards and letters of support and thanks. His actions became an inspiration to others with the same problem which meant a lot to dad. He has no idea how many people have come up to us and expressed their sincere appreciation for the example he set in seeking help for his alcoholism.
Not only was dad loved and respected by his family and friends, he was equally loved and respected by his teammates and many of his opponents. More than anything, dad wanted to be known as a great teammate. That was everything to him. That's all he wanted to be known for. Not the long homers, World Series records or his Hall of Fame career. He was a fierce competitor on the field and a great friend off the field to his teammates. Those he played with and against, as well as his true fans, knew dad far better than the writers of today who base their stories on one interview with him or never even met him at all.
All we can say is that dad was not perfect. None of us are. But, he wasn't a bad person either. We know the world is a different place today looking for sensationalism, but to write someone's life story using only half truths and not focus equally on the good as well as the bad is disappointing to us that loved him. Dad has been gone for over 15 years now. Many of his friends and teammates are gone too. Every new book that is released about him has to rely on more and more third party accounts and less on eye witness accounts and stories. We know that we can't change the things that are written in these books but his true fans know his career, his courage, his competitive spirit, what he accomplished and what he meant to a generation of baseball fans. That will never change. That's why we feel that we must address this to let the fans know because you were so important to him. So, thanks to the people that loved and respected him all these years. You mean the world to him and the Mantle family.
Danny and David Mantle
by Mark Skousen
consider Mickey Mantle the greatest baseball player ever, next
to Babe Ruth, and he is certainly the greatest switch-hitter
in baseball history. Mantle-related items like signed
baseballs and bats command the highest prices of any ball
player, past or present, with the exception of Ruth. He had a
magnetic personality that fans couldn’t get enough of.
He played his entire storied 18-year major-league career for the New York Yankees, wearing the famous number 7 (now retired). He was named Most Valuable Player three times, and some experts think he had nine straight MVP years. He won the coveted Triple Crown in 1956 (leading the league in homers, runs batted in, and batting average).
And as the World Series is about to begin, you should know that Mantle holds the record for most World Series home runs (18), RBIs (40), runs (42), walks (43), extra-base hits (26) and total bases (123). It is doubtful that anyone will surpass him in these categories.
He was the consummate team player, and the Yankees won seven World Series rings with him batting clean-up. Not surprisingly, his name includes the words “key man”: MicKEY MANtle.
I saw Mickey play only once in the late 1950s as a youngster, but I will never forget the mammoth home-runs and the power of his swing. Nobody swung the bat with such grit as Mickey Mantle.
Now comes a new “tell all” biography, “The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood” by veteran sports writer Jane Leavy, author of a biography of Sandy Koufax, the great Dodger pitcher.
There’s an old saying, “A sculptor never leaves behind all his shavings.” If Jane Leavy really loved Mickey Mantle, as she claims, she would have done the same in writing her biography of the boy wonder, and left out the lurid details about Mantle’s “bad boy” image. Instead, she has become the Kitty Kelly of sports writing, and made us all into peeping toms. I must admit that I could not finish reading her book, which is full of obsessive personal details of a famous man. I couldn’t get past all the gutter language and crass stories.
Sports Illustrated had to censor her excerpt in SI. Thank goodness there’s still some dignity left in the sports profession. There was a time years ago when sports writers ignored the peccadillos of their heroes, just as political writers kept silent about their favorite politicians. But that is a by-gone era. The Age of Innocence is long gone.
I don’t really understand the purpose of the public vetting of a great player’s foibles other than pure titillation, which I find to be a lazy endeavor without value.
The “tell all” biographers have done it to the Babe, Joe DiMaggio, George Steinbrenner, and now Mantle.
Years ago, I had the opportunity of meeting my childhood hero at a ball signing, but having heard of his “bad boy” image, I decided against it. A collector went for me, and got an autographed baseball, “To Dr. S, Mickey Mantle,” which I will always cherish. Mantle was a man, not a boy, in my book, and that’s how I would like to remember him.
I don’t want to remember him as a womanizer and teller of dirty jokes, but as the man who would go out of his way to help a teammate or a friend.
I don’t want to remember Mickey Mantle as a drunk who came to the plate and hit a home run. I want to remember him as a great hitter who came limping to the plate in pain and hit a home run, and as he crossed the plate, saw blood ooze from his leg.
That’s my kind of hero.
Mark Skousen is a professional economist, university professor, and author of over 25 books. He is the editor of Forecasts & Strategies, and producer of FreedomFest (www.freedomfest.com). He is a lifetime Yankee fan.
by Randall Swearingen
Boy" by Jane Leavy is an awkward combination of a history
book, a newsstand tabloid and a personal memoir. Most of the
first fifteen chapters are an interesting history book about
Mantle's childhood, the mining industry in Picher, and a
couple of Mickey's historic games. Interspersed are chapters
about the author's personal one day encounter with Mickey in
1983 (the personal memoir). Unfortunately, most of the last
five chapters resemble a tabloid full of gossip, rumors and
accusations that were derived from memories that are now 20 to
60+ years old. These alleged stories paint a dark and
troubling image of this American icon as an alcoholic,
womanizing, mean, bitter and miserable man as well as a bad
husband and father.
As Leavy acknowledges in her book, I, Randall Swearingen, have spent much of the past fifteen years researching, collecting, protecting and defending The Mick. I too have spoken to many people about Mickey's life and career. I realize that Mantle was not a perfect person. None of us are. He became an alcoholic some years after he retired from baseball (but not during his playing days as Leavy alludes). Mickey may have had his bad moments but he was often a very generous, thoughtful and pleasant man (traits skipped over in this book). As a close friend to the Mantle family, I can attest that Danny and David feel strongly that Mickey was a great dad. So which is the "real Mick" - Leavy's version or mine?
I'm reminded of the old saying, "Don't believe everything you read." After reading this book, those words have even more meaning to me. Leavy is obviously a very gifted writer. She is very meticulous and careful to not misstate facts. But, the tabloid portion of this book relies solely on people's recollections which are far from perfect and thus perform a serious injustice to Mantle's image.
On one hand, Leavy defends human memory by stating, "I believe in memory, not memorabilia." On the other hand, she acknowledges the fragile nature of memory by stating, "Memory is a process, albeit a faulty one."
In the book's preface, Leavy couldn't remember herself whether Mickey gave her his personal sweater in 1983 or another sweater just like it. That, in itself, speaks volumes about the reliability of human memory when the author, herself, can't recall the details of her own encounter with Mickey.
Therefore, due to the imperfect nature of human memory, I seriously doubt that all the tabloid-ish memories recounted in this book are accurate. But, finding skeletons in closets is more profitable than not finding them.
The personal memoir portion of the book reveals what appears to be a personal vendetta by Leavy against The Mick. She describes in the preface that back in 1983, she could not write the truth about her encounter with Mickey, in fear of being fired, and thus giving him a "pass". At the end of the preface she writes, "... I also believe that denial is treacherous and taking refuge in generalities is the same as giving him another pass." Thus, she felt she had let him off the hook in 1983 and she felt compelled to make him pay today. She proceeds to define and prosecute the man known as Mickey Mantle using her one day experience with him as the foundation.
I personally choose not to believe all the stories and claims in this book because they are not consistent with my knowledge and experiences regarding Mantle. Rather, I choose to remember Mickey based on facts and memorabilia because facts and memorabilia don't lie. Mickey played the game with courage, competitiveness, passion, pure unbridled talent, style, grace and class. He was a great teammate. He loved his family. Regardless of what people write now and in the future about him, Mickey Mantle was, still is, and will always be a great American hero. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised that one hundred years from now, adults will still be proudly wearing number 7 jerseys to Yankee Stadium as well as children on little league fields around the country. Long live The Mick!
1951, baseball fans have been asking the question, "Who's the
better all around baseball player - Willie Mays or Mickey
Mantle? Looking at the statistics below makes it difficult
for anyone to draw a quick conclusion as both players were
fairly evenly matched. Both were gifted players who
dominated their respective leagues for many years.
Willie Mays played 22 seasons while, due to injuries, Mickey Mantle played 18. Thus, Willie definitely compiled higher career numbers with the additional 4 seasons. In order to try to create an apples-apples perspective on the stats, we've calculated the season high for each player in each category. We've also calculated the season average for each player in each category.
Who was the best? YOU be the judge. Feel free to sign our guestbook with your choice and the reasoning behind your choice.
The Mantle Family
|Achievement||Mickey Mantle||Willie Mays|
|Rookie of the Year Awards||0||1|
|Triple Crown Awards||1||0|
|Player of the Year Awards||1||1|
|Gold Glove Awards||1||12|
|#Years with .300+ Batting Avg||10||10|
|#Years League Batting Leader||1||1|
|#Years League Home Run Leader||4||4|
|#Years League RBI Leader||1||0|
|#Years League On Base Percentage Leader||3||2|
|#Years League Slugging Percentage Leader||4||5|
|#Years League On Base + Slugging (OPS) Leader||6||5|
|At Bats Per Home Run||15.1||16.5|
|Career Fielding Average||.985||.981|
BEST SEASON COMPARISON
SEASON HIGH COMPARISON
SEASON AVERAGE COMPARISON
WORLD SERIES COMPARISON
Statistics from www.baseball-reference.com
Mark McGwire recently joined a handful of MLB players who have publicly acknowledged their use of performance enhancing substances during their playing careers. While the Mantle Family is pleased that another player has stepped forward, we feel strongly that America's youth needs to be educated about the dangers of taking steroids. Thus, the Mantle Family encourages MLB and the players who used steroids to work together to produce Public Service Announcements to discourage today's youth from taking steroids, alcohol and/or doing drugs.
Also, the use of performance enhancing substances in MLB has damaged the integrity of baseball and the accuracy of the record books. Many records, that were set in the last 20 years, were steroid enhanced. The first step to righting the wrong is to know who the users were. Thus, the Mantle Family would like to encourage all MLB steroid users to step forward and set the record straight in an effort to regain the support and trust of baseball fans all across this great country. We hope and pray that you agree with us so we can put this tainted era of baseball behind us in a respectful way.
The Mantle Family
WASHINGTON, APRIL 17 - RECORD HOMER -- Smiling Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees, holds the ball he socked for 565-feet today, the longest homerun ever hit in Griffith Stadium here. Mickey points to the dent in the ball where it hit a house after clearing centerfield in the game with the Washington Senators. The Yankees won 7-3.
Fifty-five years after the fact, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports smugly presented a stunning indictment, with help from his expert witness, author Bill Jenkinson, that the 565’ blast by Mickey Mantle on April 17th, 1953 at Griffith Stadium is merely a myth and could not possibly have traveled that far. The prosecution’s entire case rests on this flimsy, circumstantial evidence; 1) the fact that Donald Dunaway (the boy who found the ball) can not be located 55 years later, 2) that Yankees PR man, Red Patterson never actually measured the ball with a tape measure and 3) the fact that the prosecution feels that nobody could ever hit a ball as hard or as far as the great Babe Ruth. The defense plans to convincingly dispute each of these pieces of evidence.
Oddly enough, the only material witness that Jeff Passan seems interested in is Donald Dunaway. In Passan’s article, he states that even though Red Patterson admitted that he did not actually measure the homer with a tape measure (he stepped off the distance), he never wavered from his story that Donald Dunaway found the ball. Passan issues an objection that because Mr. Dunaway can not be found today, he didn’t exist in 1953 and therefore his “testimony” is hearsay. That is hardly evidence that the homer didn’t land 565’ from home plate. Objection overruled.
We would like to pose this question to the jury - Is it merely a coincidence that the prosecution waited fifty-five years to make their indictment against Mickey Mantle when there are no living witnesses that can counter their claims? Or is it just out of convenience? Although Passan states that only 4,206 fans attended that historic game on April 17, 1953, fortunately, there were at least two people present on the field that day who had witnessed both Mickey’s blast and long homers hit by the great Babe Ruth – Yankee coaches Bill Dickey and Frank Crosetti. While Crosetti only witnessed the Babe’s last three years on the Yankees, Dickey witnessed seven years (half of Babe’s Yankee career). The defense would like to present testimony from these actual witnesses.
Needs to Abandon Post-Season Stats
It's interesting to think back in 1961 when Roger Maris' home run record was asterisked because he played in just 8 more games than Babe Ruth. MLB made a separate record book for the longer season. Why is it that today MLB is comparing the World Series stats of baseball great Mickey Mantle to post-season stats of current day players? Mantle never played in a Divisional Series game nor a League Series game. Yet, at multiple times during this years play-offs, MLB has displayed post-season leader boards for home runs which has listed the following top 5 players: Manny Ramirez (29), Bernie Williams (22), Derek Jeter (19), Reggie Jackson (18) and Mickey Mantle (18). A more accurate representation would differentiate between between Divisional Series (DS) homers, League Series (LS) homers and World Series (WS) homers as shown below. PA = Plate Appearances and DNE = Did Not Exist:
The World Series is the pinnacle of the game of baseball. How can MLB logically combine World Series stats with play-off stats into one bucket called post-season stats when the level of play is so distinctly different? Also, due to the play-offs, today's players have almost three times as many post-season games per year as those players prior to 1969. If MLB insists on keeping post-season records, they should never include players (such as Mantle, Berra and Ruth) in post-season stats, because they played prior to 1969 when play-offs did not exist. Comparing stats of players who only played in World Series to those players who also played in Divisional Series and League Series is like comparing apples to oranges. MLB could easily solve this issue by keeping two sets of stats; one for play-off records (combined DS and LS) and one for World Series.
One can only imagine how many homers Mantle would have hit if the Yankees of his day would have played Divisional Championship Series and League Championship Series along with the World Series. The Yankees played in 12 World Series during Mantle’s career. That would have included a minimum of 12 Divisional Series (best of 5 games) and 12 League Series (best of 7 games). This does not even include the times that the Yankees would have made it to he play-offs in addition to the 12 years. 50 homers? 60? More?
For the record, Mickey Mantle is the all-time World Series leader in Home Runs (18), RBIs (40), Runs Scored (42), Total Bases (123) and Walks (43).