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About this Famous Person

Mickey MANTLE

American Mickey MANTLE

born Mickey Charles MANTLE

American baseball center fielder

Source :  Tim DOWLING

Born: on October 20, 1931 in Spavinaw, Oklahoma, USA
Died: on August 13, 1995 in Dallas, Texas, USA


Biography

Mickey Mantle was born in Spavinaw, Oklahoma, the son of Elvin Charles Mantle, a coal miner known as "Mutt," and Lovell (née Richardson) Mantle. Mutt named his son in honor of Mickey Cochrane, the Hall of Fame catcher. Later in his life, Mantle expressed relief that his father had not known Cochrane's true first name, as he would have hated to be named Gordon. Mantle spoke warmly of his father, and said he was the bravest man he ever knew. "No boy ever loved his father more," he said. Mickey would use his natural right-handed swing against his left-handed father and then turn around and bat left-handed against his right-handed grandfather. His father died of Hodgkin's disease in 1952 at the age of 39, just as his son was starting his career.

When Mantle was four years old, the family moved to the nearby town of Commerce, Oklahoma, where his father worked in lead and zinc mines. As a teenager, Mantle rooted for the St. Louis Cardinals. Mantle was an all-around athlete at Commerce High School, playing basketball as well as football (he was offered a football scholarship by the University of Oklahoma) in addition to his first love, baseball. His football playing nearly ended his athletic career, and indeed his life. Kicked in the shin during a game, Mantle's leg soon became infected with osteomyelitis, a crippling disease that would have been incurable just a few years earlier. A midnight drive to Tulsa, Oklahoma, enabled Mantle to be treated with newly available penicillin, saving his leg from amputation. Additionally, Mantle's osteomyelitic condition exempted him from military service, which caused him to become very unpopular with fans early on, who doubtless reasoned that a person who was physically fit to play baseball was sufficiently fit to serve in the military, particularly when it was observed that he was selected as an All-Star in the same year that his "medical exemption" had been given.

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See Also :

- Category Team sport - Baseball