Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mickey Mantle Quotes
Baseball Almanac is pleased to present an unprecedented collection of baseball related quotes spoken by Mickey Mantle and about Mickey Mantle.

"All the ballparks and the big crowds have a certain mystique. You feel attached, permanently wedded to the sounds that ring out, to the fans chanting your name, even when there are only four or five thousand in the
stands on a Wednesday afternoon." - Mickey Mantle

Mickey Mantle Quotes
Quotes From & About Mickey Mantle
Quotes From Mickey Mantle

"After I hit a home run I had a habit of running the bases with my head down. I figured the pitcher already felt bad enough without me showing him up rounding the bases."

"All I had was natural ability."

"All the ballparks and the big crowds have a certain mystique. You feel attached, permanently wedded to the sounds that ring out, to the fans chanting your name, even when there are only four or five thousand in the stands on a Wednesday afternoon."

"A lot of people wrote that Roger (Maris) and I didn't like each other and that we didn't get along. Nothing could be further from the truth."

"A team is where a boy can prove his courage on his own. A gang is where a coward goes to hide."

"As far as I'm concerned, (Hank) Aaron is the best ball player of my era. He is to baseball of the last fifteen years what Joe DiMaggio was before him. He's never received the credit he's due." Source: Baseball Digest (June 1970)

"But god-damn, to think you're a .300 hitter and end up at .237 in your last season, then find yourself looking at a lifetime .298 average - it made me want to cry." Source: The Mick (Mickey Mantle)

"Every time I see his name (Dean Chance) on a lineup card, I feel like throwing up." Source: Pitching and Wooing (Maury Allen)

"Heroes are people who are all good with no bad in them. That's the way I always saw Joe DiMaggio. He was beyond question one of the greatest players of the century."

"Hitting the ball was easy. Running around the bases was the tough part." Source: Slick (Whitey Ford)

"I always loved the game, but when my legs weren't hurting it was a lot easier to love."

"I could never be a manager. All I have is natural ability." Source: Great Sports Reporting (Allen Kirschner)

"I don't care who you are, you hear those boos." Source: Look Magazine (March 1969)

"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." Source: The Mick (Mickey Mantle)

"If I knew I'd live this long, I would have taken better care of myself."

"I hated to bat against (Don) Drysdale. After he hit you he'd come around, look at the bruise on your arm and say, 'Do you want me to sign it?'"

"I'll play baseball for the Army or fight for it, whatever they want me to do."

"In 1960 when Pittsburgh beat us in the World Series, we outscored them 55-27. It was the only time I think the better team lost. I was so disappointed I cried on the plane ride home."

"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life."

"It was all I lived for, to play baseball."

"My dad taught me to switch-hit. He and my grandfather, who was left-handed, pitched to me everyday after school in the back yard. I batted lefty against my dad and righty against my granddad."

"Roger Maris was as good a man and as good a ballplayer as there ever was."

"Somebody once asked me if I ever went up to the plate trying to hit a home run. I said, 'Sure, every time.'"

"Sometimes I sit in my den at home and read stories about myself. Kids used to save whole scrapbooks on me. They get tired of them and mail them to me. I'll go in there and read them, and you know what? They might as well be about (Stan) Musial and (Joe) DiMaggio, it's like reading about somebody else."

"Sometimes I think if I had the same body and the same natural ability and someone else's brain, who knows how good a player I might have been."

"Sorry Mickey, but because of the way you lived on Earth, you can't come in. But, before you leave, would you autograph these baseballs for HIM." - Mantle quoting St. Peter at the Pearly Gates

"The best team I ever saw, and I really mean this, was the '61 Yankees.I never got to see the '27 Yankees. Everyone says that was the greatest team ever, but I think it would've been a great series if we'd have had the chance to play them."

"The biggest game I ever played in was probably Don Larsen's perfect game."

"The only thing I can do is play baseball. I have to play ball. It's the only thing I know."

"They (the Athletics) should have come out of the dugout on tippy-toes, holding hands and singing."

"Today's Little Leaguers, and there are millions of them each year, pick up how to hit and throw and field just by watching games on TV. By the time they're out of high school, the good ones are almost ready to play professional ball."

"To play eighteen years in Yankee Stadium is the best thing that could ever happen to a ballplayer."

"Well, baseball was my whole life. Nothing's ever been as fun as baseball." Source: New York Times (February 5, 1988)

"When I hit a home run I usually didn't care where it went. So long as it was a home run was all that mattered."

"You don't realize how easy this game is until you get up in that broadcasting booth."

Quotes About Mickey Mantle
"Fill in any figure you want for that boy. Whatever the figure, it's a deal." -
Branch Rickey

"He can run, steal bases, throw, hit for average, and hit with power like I've never seen. Just don't put him at shortstop." - Harry Craft

"He has it in his body to be great." - Casey Stengel

"He hit the ball longer. Hit hit it more often, and he hit it from either side of the plate with equal violence." - Gerald Astor

"He should lead the league in everything. With his combination of speed and power he should win the triple batting crown every year. In fact, he should do anything he wants to do." - Casey Stengel

"He's the best prospect I've ever seen." - Branch Rickey

"I'd say (Mickey) Mantle is the greatest player in either League." - St. Louis Browns Manager Marty Marion

"If that guy were healthy, he'd hit eighty home runs." - Carl Yastrzemski

"If you put Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle next to Mark McGwire, they'd look like his grandkids." - Seattle Mariners Shortstop Alex Rodriguez (1998)

"I never saw a player who had greater promise." - Casey Stengel

"I think it's incredible because there were guys like (Willie) Mays and (Mickey) Mantle and Henry Aaron who were great players for ten years... I only had four or five good years." - Sandy Koufax

"I used to dream how good it would be to be Willie Mays or Mickey Mantle. My dreams have died. Even the rotten rings aren't what they're supposed to be. I'll buy my own diamonds. I can afford it now. No one gives you anything, you've got to get it for yourself." - Reggie Jackson

"(Mickey) Mantle had more ability than any player I ever had on that club." - Casey Stengel

"(Mickey) Mantle's greatness was built on power and pain. He exuded the first and endured the second." - Roy Fitzgerald in the Boston Globe

"Mickey's was the longest ball ever whacked into the valley behind Forbes Field." - Sportswriter Chester Smith

"No man in the history of baseball had as much power as Mickey Mantle. No man. You're not talking about ordinary power. Dave Kingman has power. Willie Mays had power. Then when you're talking about Mickey Mantle - it's an altogether different level. Separates the men from the boys." - New York Yankees Manager Billy Martin

"On two legs, Mickey Mantle would have been the greatest ballplayer who ever lived." - Nellie Fox

Plaque on Monument at Yankee Stadium:
WON MVP AWARD 1956, 1957 & 1962
AUGUST 24, 1996

"(Duke) Snider, (Mickey) Mantle and (Willie) Mays. You could get a fat lip in any saloon by starting an argument as to which was best. One point was beyond argument, though. Willie was by all odds the most exciting." - Sportswriter Red Smith

"That boy (Mickey) Mantle is a good one." - Ty Cobb

"That kid can hit balls over buildings." - Casey Stengel

"The thing I really liked about Mickey (Mantle) was the way he treated everyone the same." - Red Sox pitcher Bill Monbouquette

"There is no sound in baseball akin to the sound of (Mickey) Mantle hitting a home run, the crunchy sound of an axe biting into a tree, yet magnified a hundred times in the vast, cavernous, echo making hollows of a ball field." - Arnold Hano in Baseball Stars of 1958

"There isn't any more that I can teach him." - Tommy Henrich

"They ought to create a new league for that guy." - White Sox pitcher Jack Harshman

"Until I saw (Mickey) Mantle peel down for his shower in the clubhouse at Comiskey Park one afternoon, I never knew how he developed his brutal power, but his bare back looked like a barrel full of snakes." - Dale Lancaster in 1957 Chicago Sun Times

"You guys got to see this kid we have in camp. Out of class C ball, hits 'em both ways - five-hundred feet both ways! You've got to see him." - Bill Dickey

"You're going to be a great player, kid." - Jackie Robinson after 1952 World Series

Quotes From & About Mickey Mantle
In 1952 Mickey Mantle hit a home run ball to the facade of Yankee Stadium's roof - an estimated length of six-hundred feet.

Did you know that Mickey Mantle was named after the National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Mickey Cochrane? Did you know about his "day":

By Harvey Frommer

The line most of those will remember who were there that day is this one by Mel Allen in his introduction: "Ladies and gentlemen, A magnificent Yankee, the great number seven, Mickey Mantle."

June 8, 1969 was all Mickey Mantle ? the Yankee legend had his number 7 retired before 61,157 at the Stadium. At that time the only other retired numbers were three, four and five - for Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio.

"When I walked into this stadium 18 years ago," Mantle said in his speech, "I felt much the same way I do right now. I don't have words to describe how I felt then or how I feel now, but I'll tell you one thing, baseball was real good to me and playing 18 years in Yankee Stadium is the best thing that could ever happen to a ballplayer."

The Mick received a 10-minute standing ovation. Kids paraded around the field with posters in tribute to the one-time kid from Oklahoma. And Mantle and Joe DiMaggio exchanged plaques which later were placed on the centerfield wall.
Mantle was driven around the Stadium on a golf cart to the rising roar and cheers of the huge crowd. "And the guy that was driving me," Mantle recalled, "was Danny, one of the ground crew guys who came up at about the same time I did in '51.
"The last time around the park. That gave me goose pimples. But I didn't cry. I felt like it. Maybe tonight when I go to bed, I'll think about it. I wish that could happen to every man in America. I think the fans know how much I think about them - all over the country. It was the most nervous I've ever been but the biggest thrill. "

"The thing I miss the most is being around clubhouse," he continued. " Not the way I played the last four years - that wasn't fun. I've got some guys on this team that are almost like brothers to me - Pepi, Tresh, Stottlemyre. I'm probably their biggest fan. First thing I do very morning is pick up the papers and see how they did."

Source: Harvey Frommer
Mickey Mantle played in twenty All Star games, won three Most Valuable Player awards, and hit for the Triple Crown in 1956.