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Monday, August 07, 2017

Baseball Researcher: A Portrait of Mickey Mantle in Decline

When you really want to know something you put the time in.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 07, 2017 at 10:10 AM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mickey mantle, photos, research, yankees

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   1. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: August 07, 2017 at 12:33 PM (#5507945)
Fascinating.

No way to know for sure, of course, but I would think that this seems most likely to have been the bottom of the 6th, when he struck out leading off with the team down 3-2. Having had a chance to tie the game with one swing, but whiffing, I can see tossing your helmet in frustration.

Bunting back to the pitcher to lead off the 4th in a 2-2 game? I mean, besides the obvious question of what Mickey freaking Mantle, 33 years old with bad knees, was doing trying to bunt on base, it doesn't necessarily seem like a particularly frustrating at-bat for him, unless he was mad that manager Johnny Keane ordered him to bunt in the first place. Also, the line of shadow (about a 30 degree angle above and to the left of Boyer) in the uncropped photo seems to suggest a later time in this 1PM game. The sun should probably have been higher and farther south (behind the camera) around 2 or 2:30 when the bottom of the 4th likely occurred.

Being removed for a pinch runner after legging out an infield single in the 7th, this time with the Yankees up 4-3 after Maris had homered two batters earlier, also does not strike me as a particularly frustrating experience. Mantle had only completed a game once in the whole month of June to that point. He was used to getting pulled, or should have been. Plus, they were winning, and he'd gotten on base.

   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 07, 2017 at 12:54 PM (#5507980)
The author uses this logic to narrow the list of possible games to 5:

Mantle is nearing the dugout when he tosses his helmet and yet Boyer is in the on-deck circle with two bats in hand. This means that Boyer’s spot in the lineup came after the batter who followed Mantle. For example, if Mantle batted third in the lineup, Boyer must have batted fifth; or, if Mantle batted fourth in the lineup, Boyer batted sixth; etc.

As it turns out, this Mantle-Boyer batting-order scenario was quite rare, as Mantle generally batted fourth and Boyer usually batted seventh or eighth.


I'm not sure I'm convinced. Mantle could have been forced out at second, for example, and tossed his helmet on the way back to the dugout with the batter behind him on first, the next batter stepping to the plate and Boyer on deck. I guess in that scenario maybe Boyer might not have made it from the dugout to the on-deck circle yet?
   3. Cargo Cultist Posted: August 07, 2017 at 01:10 PM (#5508003)
An athlete in decline:

http://deadspin.com/5750485/mickey-mantles-outstanding-event-at-yankee-stadium-is-lewdly-outstanding
   4. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: August 07, 2017 at 01:46 PM (#5508057)
I'm not sure I'm convinced. Mantle could have been forced out at second, for example, and tossed his helmet on the way back to the dugout with the batter behind him on first, the next batter stepping to the plate and Boyer on deck. I guess in that scenario maybe Boyer might not have made it from the dugout to the on-deck circle yet?


The attendance thing really clinches it, as they had not had anything close to a sellout crowd in three years. Assuming he took the photo in 1965, it had to be that day.
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 07, 2017 at 01:49 PM (#5508060)
The attendance thing really clinches it, as they had not had anything close to a sellout crowd in three years. Assuming he took the photo in 1965, it had to be that day.

What, you expect me to actually read the *whole* full article before I post stuff?

EDIT: Also, that was back when they thought it was a good idea to give away thousands of bats as a promotion. Baseball bats, that is, although live bats would have also been problematic.
   6. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 07, 2017 at 03:56 PM (#5508229)
EDIT: Also, that was back when they thought it was a good idea to give away thousands of bats as a promotion


Warriors...come out and play...
   7. -- Posted: August 07, 2017 at 04:07 PM (#5508237)
Warriors ... come out to play ...

Sorry. Had to.
   8. Cargo Cultist Posted: August 07, 2017 at 04:23 PM (#5508246)
Did you know that line was an ad lib?
   9. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 07, 2017 at 06:34 PM (#5508325)
I think the best piece of evidence the author provides to back up his conclusion is the crowd shot - it is a full house, and there weren't very many of those, so that knocks it way down very quickly.
   10. Hank G. Posted: August 07, 2017 at 09:13 PM (#5508395)
I'm not sure I'm convinced. Mantle could have been forced out at second, for example, and tossed his helmet on the way back to the dugout with the batter behind him on first, the next batter stepping to the plate and Boyer on deck. I guess in that scenario maybe Boyer might not have made it from the dugout to the on-deck circle yet?


Did players keep wearing their batting helmets while on the bases back then? I’m not sure, and I can’t find any information stating when that became common or if players always did once they started wearing the helmets.
   11. McCoy Posted: August 07, 2017 at 09:26 PM (#5508404)
With Clete in the on deck circle I don't see how it could have come after a strikeout. If I had to guess this is showing Mantle after he got pulled from the game in the 7th. It's been a long time since I had a subscription to the NY Times Historical database. I wonder if it mentions anything about Mantle tossing his helmet during the game.


I would have argued that it is possible that Clete wasn't necessarily 2 batters behind Mantle because Mantle could have been forced out or picked off several batters later but with the crowd size thing it is probably June 20th.
   12. Sunday silence Posted: August 07, 2017 at 09:29 PM (#5508405)
not sure this was really that challenging. As pointed out by one of the comments in the online version: the caption in the magazine actually says: "..after striking out and grounding out Mantle throws his helmet."
   13. McCoy Posted: August 07, 2017 at 09:31 PM (#5508407)
I'm not sure what that means. You still have to locate the game and you still have to figure out after which PA it happened.
   14. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 07, 2017 at 11:20 PM (#5508457)

Did players keep wearing their batting helmets while on the bases back then?

No.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think the best piece of evidence the author provides to back up his conclusion is the crowd shot - it is a full house, and there weren't very many of those, so that knocks it way down very quickly.

Exactly. Every other 40,000+ crowd the Yankees drew that year was after the LIFE article appeared.
   15. shoewizard Posted: August 08, 2017 at 12:55 AM (#5508518)
Did you know that line was an ad lib?


Wouldn't surprise if the most (only?) memorable line from that movie was not in the original script.
   16. Cargo Cultist Posted: August 08, 2017 at 03:48 AM (#5508539)
And did you know that the entire plot was lifted from Xenophon's "Anabasis," the march of the 10,000 to the sea?

https://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/24/the-original-warriors/
   17. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 08, 2017 at 07:11 AM (#5508542)
(only?)

CAN YOU DIG IT?
   18. Sunday silence Posted: August 08, 2017 at 08:21 AM (#5508558)
I'm not sure what that means. You still have to locate the game and you still have to figure out after which PA it happened.


There's only one game prior to july 30 that season with that many people in the stands, as has been pointed out above. So its already narrowed to one game.

According to a comment by a reader, the Life magazine caption even says "After striking out and grounding out..."

So what does that leave you with? Either it happened after the GO in the 6th or the PR in the 7th. It seems clear that the photographer thought he'd left us with enuf information that it was clear, else he would have said "After leaving for a PR...."

Or maybe not, who knows? But this whole detective mystery thing with the multiple line up analsis seems totallly over the top.
   19. McCoy Posted: August 08, 2017 at 08:45 AM (#5508566)

Or maybe not, who knows? But this whole detective mystery thing with the multiple line up analsis seems totallly over the top.


Sure, the guy milked it a bit much but so what? Geez, and I'm the one who gets called a grouch. He was able to verify the game based on several clues and as he showed other sources got the date wrong.

The guy had fun looking into a famous photo that most people who have seen it have no idea what day and game it was showing.
   20. Hank G. Posted: August 08, 2017 at 09:30 AM (#5508616)
The important thing though is, did anyone criticize Mantle after he threw his helmet for not “playing the game the right way”?

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