Place of Death
Cause of Death
Cancer - Liver
Claim to Fame
Former New York Yankee
Has Detailed Data (New)
Full Name at Birth
Mickey Charles Mantle
Former Major League Baseball Player
Centerfielder, First Baseman
Commerce (Commerce, OK)
MLB First Game Date
MLB Final Game Date
Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park, Dallas, TX
Hall of Fame
Inducted into the Hall of Fame by BBWAA as Player in 1974 (322/365 ballots).
Country Of Origin
State Of Origin
State Of Death
Country Of Burial
State Of Burial
Country of Death
Mickey Charles Mantle (October 20, 1931 – August 13, 1995), nicknamed "The Commerce Comet" or "The Mick", was an American professional baseball player. Mantle played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Yankees as a center fielder and first baseman, from 1951 through 1968. Mantle was one of the best players and sluggers, and is regarded by many as the greatest switch hitter in baseball history. Mantle was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974 and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999.
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Profile Bio Text
Mickey Charles Mantle (October 20, 1931 – August 13, 1995), nicknamed "The Commerce Comet" and "The Mick", was an American professional baseball player. Mantle played his entire Major League Baseball (MLB) career with the New York Yankees as a center fielder and first baseman, from 1951 through 1968. Mantle was one of the best players and sluggers, and is regarded by many as the greatest switch hitter in baseball history. Mantle was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974 and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999.
Mantle was arguably the greatest offensive threat of any center fielder in baseball history. He has the highest career OPS+ of any center fielder and he had the highest stolen base percentage in history at the time of his retirement. In addition, compared to the four other center fielders on the all-century team, he had the lowest career rate of grounding into double plays (by far) and he had the highest World Series on-base percentage and World Series slugging percentage. He also had an excellent 0.984 fielding percentage when playing center field. Mantle was noted for his ability to hit for both average and power, especially tape measure home runs. He hit 536 MLB career home runs, batted .300 or more ten times, and is the career leader (tied with Jim Thome) in walk-off home runs, with a combined thirteen, twelve in the regular season and one in the postseason.
Mantle won the Triple Crown in 1956, leading the major leagues in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in (RBI). He was an All-Star for 16 seasons, playing in 16 of the 20 All-Star Games that were played. He was an American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) three times and a Gold Glove winner once. Mantle appeared in 12 World Series including 7 championships, and holds World Series records for the most home runs (18), RBIs (40), extra-base hits (26), runs (42), walks (43), and total bases (123).
Mantle was born on October 20, 1931 in Spavinaw, Oklahoma, the son of lead miner Elvin Charles "Mutt" Mantle (1912–1952) and Lovell (née Richardson) Mantle (1904–1995). He was of at least partial English ancestry: his great-grandfather, George Mantle, left Brierley Hill, in England's Black Country, in 1848.
Mutt named his son in honor of Mickey Cochrane, a 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. Mantle batted left-handed against his father when he practiced pitching to him right-handed and he batted right-handed against his grandfather, Charles Mantle, when he practiced throwing to him left-handed. His grandfather died at the age of 60 in 1944, and his father died of Hodgkin's disease at the age of 40 on May 7, 1952.
When Mantle was four years old, his 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. Kicked in the left shin during a practice game during his sophomore year, Mantle developed osteomyelitis in his left ankle, a crippling disease that was incurable just a few years earlier. Mantle's parents drove him at midnight to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he was treated with the newly available penicillin, which reduced the infection and saved his leg from requiring amputation.
On December 23, 1951, Mantle married Merlyn Johnson (1932–2009) in Commerce, Oklahoma; they had four sons. In an autobiography, Mantle said he married Merlyn not out of love, but because he was told to by his domineering father. While his drinking became public knowledge during his lifetime, the press (per established practice at the time) kept quiet about his many marital infidelities. Mantle was not entirely discreet about them, and when he went to his retirement ceremony in 1969, he brought his mistress along with his wife. In 1980, Mickey and Merlyn separated for 15 years, but neither filed for divorce. During this time, Mantle lived with his agent, Greer Johnson, who was not related to Mantle's wife.
The couple's four sons were Mickey Jr. (1953–2000), David (born 1955), Billy (1957–94), whom Mickey named for Billy Martin, his best friend among his Yankee teammates, and Danny (born 1960). Like Mickey, Merlyn and three of their sons became alcoholics, and Billy developed Hodgkin's disease, as had several previous men in Mantle's family.
During the final years of his life, Mantle purchased a luxury condominium on Lake Oconee near Greensboro, Georgia, near Greer Johnson's home, and frequently stayed there for months at a time. He occasionally attended the local Methodist church, and sometimes ate Sunday dinner with members of the congregation. He was well-liked by the citizens of Greensboro, and seemed to like them in return. This was probably because the town respected Mantle's privacy, refusing either to talk about their famous neighbor to outsiders or to direct fans to his home. In one interview, Mantle stated that the people of Greensboro had "gone out of their way to make me feel welcome, and I've found something there I haven't enjoyed since I was a kid."
Mantle's off-field behavior is the subject of the book The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood, written in 2010 by sports journalist Jane Leavy. Excerpts from the book have been published in Sports Illustrated.
Mantle is the uncle of actor and musician Kelly Mantle.
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