Shieber: A portrait of Mickey Mantle in decline

From SABR member Tom Shieber at Baseball Researcher on August 6, 2017:

According to “Twilight of the Idol: A Portrait of Mickey Mantle in Decline,” a 2014 article by’s Ben Cosgrove:

The John Dominis picture … remains not just one of the best photos of Mickey Mantle, and not just one of the finest baseball pictures to run in LIFE magazine, but one of the most powerful photographs ever made of a sports hero in decline. Shot during a meaningless game at Yankee Stadium during the team’s abysmal 1965 season—the Yankees finished below .500 for the first time in 40 years—Dominis’s picture of Mantle tossing his helmet in disgust after a lousy at-bat distills in a single frame the wounded pride of the inexorably fading athlete.

But exactly when was the photo taken? And was it actually “shot during a meaningless game?” I recently conducted research to answer both of these questions.

The photo, taken by longtime photojournalist John Dominis, was first published in the July 30, 1965, issue of LIFE magazine. Not only did the exterior of the magazine feature a beautiful shot of Mantle, but the cover story, written by John McDermott and titled “Last Innings of Greatness,” featured a dozen photos of Mantle, each taken by Dominis.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: August 7, 2017. Last Updated: August 7, 2017.