Wyatt: Mickey Mantle’s monster shots

From Daniel Wyatt at The National Pastime Museum on May 28, 2015:

Asked if he ever came to the plate deliberately trying to hit a home run, Mickey Mantle’s reply was always the same: “Every time!” The switch-hitting New York Yankee slugger not only smashed 536 homers in 18 seasons from 1951 to 1968, and another 18 in World Series play, but he is also credited with his own Fall Classic “Called Shot,” as well as many noteworthy mammoth blasts over his career.

Mantle burst onto the MLB scene in 1951 as a wide-eyed, muscular, 19-year-old Oklahoma boy who jumped all the way from Class C to the mighty Yankees. An inch or so under six feet and weighing 185 pounds, he could belt the ball a mile, quickly proving that matter in a spring training game on March 26, 1951, at Bovard Field in Los Angeles against the University of Southern California Trojans by crushing two extremely long homers.

Batting left in the first inning, Mantle sent a low-pitched ball over the right-center-field wall and the adjacent football field. The ball finally settled to earth on the far sideline before bouncing over a wall. Several alert USC witnesses—including Frank Gifford on the football field—saw exactly where the ball landed. A group of the football players paced off from the mark to find the ball had gone 656 feet in the air!

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/mantles-monster-shots

Originally published: May 28, 2015. Last Updated: May 28, 2015.