Mickey Mantle

"He wasn't the greatest player who ever lived,
not even of his time perhaps," wrote Richard Hoffer in Sports Illustrated.
"He was a centerfielder of surprising swiftness, a switch-hitter of heart-stopping power,
and he was given to spectacle: huge home runs (his team, the New York Yankees,
invented the tape-measure home run for him);
 huge seasons (.353, 52 HRs, 130 RBIs to win the Triple Crown in 1956);
one World Series after another (12 in his first 14 seasons).


Below is a personal memory I wish to share with you.
There are so many one other being the greatest heartbreak of my life,
 at age 4 was realizing girls could not become Yankee baseball players.
I did not know I could not grow up and play ball with Mickey Mantle,
 and though I played well for a girl and slept with my mitt under my pillow.
I was never going to be able to play with the boys in pinstripes.

Marty Duswalt-Pinney

Centerfield - John Fogerty



~Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle~

I have to preface this story with the fact that Joe DiMaggio was a hero of my father’s and Mickey Mantle was my hero then and still now. My father taught me the respect and awe of the game of baseball. Letting me sit on his lap telling me about the players and the games he witnessed and all about his hero’s and the magic they gave to the game he loved so much. He instilled in me the same love for the game and awe struck admiration for some of it’s greatest players. They became my first true hero’s, Mickey Mantle being the greatest of them all to me. Now my father had a ball signed by DiMaggio and he would bring it out and tell me about the players and let me hold the ball during the telling of these miraculous feats of play. The ball became a touch stone both to my Dad and my heroes. When I was little he promised that someday as I was the oldest he would leave this magic ball to me when he passed away, so I could tell my children the stories and pass on this love of the game as he had done with me.

Shortly after my father passed away I asked about the ball and no one could find it. We suspect someone just took it and I was heart broken. My touch stone to my father was forever lost to me just as he was now.

Not long afterwards I saw an advertisement in the Houston paper that DiMaggio and Mantle were coming to Houston to sign autographs and to meet people. I was so excited finally I would meet these giants of men, and I would get another ball signed by DiMaggio and Mantle too.. I got up early and went down to the venue they were at and to my dismay and sadness I found out that Joe DiMaggio would not be signing balls and that both DiMaggio and Mantle’s allotment of signatures were already sold out. So I debated even going inside but something in my heart told me I should go and at least see them. I might never get a chance to do that again. So I went in, went to the barrier and watched them signing and greeting those lucky enough to have been there earlier. They were both very gracious and talked and laughed with the fans. Mickey looked ill but still there was my idol and I was honored to be in the same room as him. Joe DiMaggio looked well and was signing and shaking hands with everyone. Only later did I know he was a difficult man and that was quite odd for him to do. As I watched and felt a sadness at the loss of the baseball and even more sadness that my father was not there with me. I felt a warmth come over me and a gentle hug encompass my body. And in a whisper my father said to me it is all right I am here. I know he was there, and I know it was his hug and his words that day. And I will never hear the names of Mantle or DiMaggio without thinking of my father that day and all the days I was blessed to have with him. My father was my hero first and always.

I have since gotten a signed ball of DiMaggio’s and I have shared the stories with my son and will pass on the ball to him and he will continue the tradition with his sons. I also have many Mickey Mantle items and all are treasures to me.

I know my father is watching over me, and I know he is saying hey I turned into a Mets fan, how about those Mets. When I pass I will reply to him, the Mets never had Gehrig, Ruth, Mantle, DiMaggio, Berra, Munson, Maris, Ford, Jeter, Clemens, or any of the other greats of this sport that all wore the Yankee pinstripes. GO YANKEES !!!!!

Yankees game brochure 1957




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