There may have never been a player who enjoyed being a major leaguer more than Mickey Mantle. The kid from Oklahoma lived his big league life to the fullest, partying hard, playing hard, and whether he was on the diamond or on a night club, having a good time.
Mantle paid a price for his lifestyle: he endured an almost absurd number of injuries, including most cripplingly to his knees. Those injuries robbed him of his blinding speed, leaving im a hobbled home run hitter in the latter stages of his career. Still, he amassed impressive numbers: 536 homers, more than 1,600 runs scored, 1,733 walks, and a .421 on-base percentage.
Mantle was named American League Most Valuable Player in both 1956 and 1957, and was named to the All-Star team in 16 different seasons. He followed Joe DiMaggio and Earle Combs in the procession of Hall of Fame center fielders who played for the Yankees. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1974.
Most Extra-Base Hits (AL), 1950-1959
Mickey Mantle … 542
Yogi Berra … 511
Minnie Minoso … 478
Jackie Jensen … 467
Larry Doby … 449
Ted Williams … 438
Mickey Vernon … 414
Hank Bauer … 400
Roy Sievers … 399
Vic Wertz … 398
- In 1956, Mickey Mantle’s 56 homers were 20 more than the next closest batter in the American League, Vic Wertz. The 20-homer margin between the #1 and #2 home run hitters is the largest in baseball history.