The Home Run That Launched the Mantle Myth

From Baxter Holmes of the Los Angeles Times on March 25:

The black-and-white clip is grainy, but the narrator’s voice is sharp and upbeat:

“It’s big-league baseball on Bovard Field as the Trojans become the first college team ever to host a world champion,” he begins. “The guests of the day: the New York Yankees.”

The myth of Mantle and the legend of “The Mick” began at USC that day.

The Yankees visited as a favor to USC Coach Rod Dedeaux, who played for Yankees Manager Casey Stengel when Stengel managed the Brooklyn Dodgers. Dedeaux also had three former players who were Yankees rookies.

The afternoon game was the finale in the Yankees’ rare, 13-game spring-training swing in California. They drew huge crowds at every stop — about 140,000 fans in all, according to The Times’ account — and extra seating to fit 3,000 had been erected at Bovard.

Read the full article here:,0,5398006.story

Also included is a link to the original 1951 L.A. Times game story here:

Originally published: March 25, 2011. Last Updated: March 25, 2011.