Friday, December 7, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Mickey Mantle

Starring in the outfield for the New York Yankees between 1951 and 1968, Mickey Mantle is regarded by many to be the greatest switch-hitter of all-time, as well as one of the greatest players in baseball history. Noted for his average and power, Mantle won the American League Triple crown in 1956 as well as 3 AL MVP awards. He was named to 20 All-Star Games and appeared in 12 World Series (winning 7 of them). An elite post-season performer, Mantle holds the records for most World Series home runs (18), RBIs (40), runs (42), walks (43), extra-base hits (26), and total bases (123). He is also the career leader (tied with Jim Thome) in walk-off home runs with a combined 13. Mantle was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974, his first year of eligibility.

I completed this sketch card in November 2012.

10 random facts about Mickey Mantle:
  • He was named by his father after fellow Baseball Hall of Famer Mickey Cochrane.
  • Upon joining the Yankees in 1951, he was given the uniform number 6, signifying the expectation that he would become the next Yankees star, following Babe Ruth (#3), Lou Gehrig (#4) and Joe DiMaggio (#5).
  • During Mantle's Triple Crown season of 1956, he was awarded the Hickok Belt award as the top professional athlete of the year.
  • In 1957, the year he won his second consecutive MVP award, Mantle reached base more times than he made outs (319 to 312), one of two seasons in which he achieved the feat.
  • He became the highest-paid baseball player in 1961 by signing a $75,000 contract.
  • During the 1961 season, Mantle and Maris became known as the "M&M Boys" as they chased Babe Ruth's single-season home run record of 60.
  • In 1972, he was a part-time TV commentator for the recently-formed Montreal Expos.
  • At the time of his retirement, Mantle was the Yankees' all-time leader in games played with 2,401, a mark that would later be surpassed by Derek Jeter.
  • Noted for his long battle with alcoholism, Mantle would eventually succumb to  liver cancer on August 13, 1995.
  • Newcastle Field at Bricktown, the home stadium of the Triple-A Oklahoma City RedHawks, is located at 2 South Mickey Mantle Drive in Oklahoma City. A statue of Mantle, a native Oklahoman, is located at the Mickey Mantle Plaza at the stadium.