Mickey's Quotes
by Lewis Early

1. I guess you could say I'm what this country is all about."

2. "All I had was natural ability."

3. "It was all I lived for, to play baseball."

4, "The only thing I can do is play baseball. I have to play ball. It's the only thing I know."

5. "I always loved the game, but when my legs weren't hurting it was a lot easier to love."

6. "I'll play baseball for the Army or fight for it, whatever they want me to do."
Mickey in 1951 during the controversy of whether he should be drafted by the Army

7. "He's the best prospect I've ever seen."
Branch Rickey on Mickey in 1951

Mickey Mantle

8. "I never saw a player who had greater promise."
Casey Stengel on Mickey

9. "That boy Mantle is a good one."
Ty Cobb

10. "Mantle had more ability than any player I ever had on that club."
Casey Stengel

11. "You're going to be a great player, kid."
Jackie Robinson to Mickey Mantle after the 1952 World Series

12. "He can run, steal bases, throw, hit for average, and hit with power like I've never
seen. Just don't put him at shortstop."
Minor league manager Harry Craft on Mickey

13. "His fielding leaves you wondering. Then he steps up to hit and all doubts start to fade."
New York Post writer Arch Murray on Mickey in spring training 1951

14. "There isn't any more that I can teach him."
Yankee great Tommy Henrich on Mickey in spring training in 1951

15. "That kid can hit balls over buildings."
Casey Stengel on Mickey in 1951

16. "If that guy were healthy he'd hit 80 home runs."
Carl Yastrzemski on Mickey Mantle

17. "I'd give the Yankees a quarter of a million dollars for him, and bury him in thousand dollar bills as a signing bonus."
White Sox G. M. Frank Lane on Mickey in 1951

18. "It's what you're worth."
Yankees' G. M. George Weiss to Mickey after offering him a $17,000 pay cut for the 1958 season - Mickey batted 12 points higher than in 1956 but hadn't won the Batting Title or the Triple Crown like he did in 1956

19. "I'd say Mantle is the greatest player in either league."
St. Louis Brown's Manager Marty Marion

20. "Let's see - uh, yes. There's one thing he can't do very well. He can't throw left-handed. When he goes in for that we'll have the perfect ballplayer"
St. Louis Brown's Manager Marty Marion when asked if Mickey had a weakness

21. "The thing I really liked about Mickey was the way he treated everyone the same."
Red Sox Pitcher Bill Monbouquette

22. "They ought to create a new league for that guy."
White Sox Pitcher Jack Harshman

23. "We know you can bunt, Mick. You're not down here to bunt. You're here to get some hits and get your swing back."
Triple A Kansas City Blues Manager George Selkirk to Mickey after he bunted safely his first at-bat after being sent down from the Yankees

24. "I thought I raised a ballplayer. You're nothing but a coward and a quitter."
Mickey's father Mutt Mantle to Mickey when Mickey told him he couldn't play anymore after being sent down to Triple A Kansas City from the Yankees in 1951

25. "I expected him to say, 'Hang in there' or something like that. It took me an hour to talk him into giving me another chance!"
Mickey to his father Mutt after being called a coward and a quitter

26. "My dad taught me to switch-hit. He and my grandfather, who was left-handed, pitched to me everyday after school in the back yard. I batted lefty against my dad and righty against my grand-dad."
Mickey on his father, Mutt Mantle

27. "He foresaw the platooning that managers like Casey Stengel used years before it happened. He told me I had to be a switch-hitter if I was going to play."
Mickey on his father, Mutt Mantle

28. "Not after all the time my dad spent teaching me to switch-hit."
Mickey to a sportswriter who suggested that Mickey become a full-time right-handed hitter after injuries hampered him from the left side

29. "I leaned on him for support when I got out of the cab, and he just crumpled to the ground. That's how we found out."
Mickey on his father Mutt Mantle when they took a cab to Lenox Hill hospital in New York after Mickey was injured in the second game of the 1951 World Series - both father and son were admitted to the hospital and tests showed Mutt Mantle had contracted Hodgkin's Disease

30. "I've heard about you." "I've heard about you, too."
Mickey responding to the duke of Windsor when they met for the first time

31. "Casey wanted us to stay loose. That didn't mean clowning around. He just meant we should be confident and relaxed. We shouldn't feel that one strikeout was going to end the season for us."
Mickey on Casey Stengel

32. "Son, it ain't the water cooler that's striking you out."
Casey Stengel to Mickey after he kicked the water cooler in the dugout after striking out

33. "What do you think, I was born at 60?"
Casey Stengel to Mickey when Mickey expressed surprise that Casey had been a player

34. "Some of you fellers are getting 'Whiskey Slick.'"
Casey Stengel to Mickey, Billy Martin and Whitey Ford in a team meeting scolding them about too much playing around

35. "…I got a little concerned yesterday in the first three innings when I saw the three players I had gotten rid of, and I said 'When I lost nine what am I going to do?' And when I had a couple of my players I thought so great of that did not do so good up to the sixth inning I was more confused. But I finally had to go and call on a young man from Baltimore that we don't own, and the Yankees don't own him, and he is doing pretty good. And I would actually have to tell you that I think we are more the Greta Garbo type now from success. We are being hated. I mean from the ownership and all, we are being hated. Every sport that gets too great, or one individual…"
Excerpt from Casey Stengel's testimony before the Senate's Kefauver Antitrust Subcommittee

36. "My views are just about the same as Casey's."
Mickey Mantle, testifying immediately after Casey Stengel's testimony before the Senate's Kefauver Anti-trust Subcommittee

37. "After a play in the field Casey would turn (to the players on the bench) and say 'What did he do wrong?' or 'You're better than that guy.' Either way, he'd keep them from getting stale."
Mickey on Casey Stengel

38. "How dumb can you be?"
Casey Stengel to Mickey after he struck out on three straight high, inside pitches left-handed

39. "Butcher boy, damn it, butcher boy."
Mickey on Casey Stengel shouting at him from the dugout steps because he wanted Mickey to "meat" the ball – Alternatively, Casey sometimes meant he should "chop" down on the ball

40. "Take everything you can get over in center. The Dago's heel is hurting pretty bad."
Casey Stengel to Mickey in the 1951 World Series, when Joe DiMaggio's heel was injured, limiting his range in centerfield

41. "I thought he had been shot."
Joe DiMaggio, on what he thought had happened to Mickey when he was injured in the 1951 World Series

42. "Casey didn't easily forgive a guy who got doubled up on a hit-and-run play. He didn't see any reason why the runner couldn't take a quick glance back toward the plate to make sure the ball was hit safely."
Mickey on Casey Stengel

43. "There were things that would irritate Casey, but trying too hard or getting mad at sitting on the bench weren't among them."
Mickey on Casey Stengel

44. "Billy copied Casey to a 'T.'"
Mickey on Billy Martin's managing style

45. "Watch the old man. Watch how the old man keeps the guys who aren't playing happy."
Billy Martin to Mickey on Casey Stengel

46. "Because the players knew that if Billy asked them to jump off a roof, he'd jump off with them."
Mickey on why Billy Martin was such a good manager

47. "This year I'd rather lead the league in home runs, runs batted in and hitting."
Mickey Mantle, when asked in early 1956 if he thought he would break Babe Ruth's home run record that year - he went on to win the Triple Crown

48. "If I could run like Mantle I'd hit .400 every year!"
Ted Williams, after losing the 1956 batting race to Mickey on the last day of the season

49. "The biggest game I ever played in was probably Don Larsen's Perfect Game."

50. "Hey man! Get away from me!"
Mickey to Don Larsen when Larsen tried to talk to Mickey about his no-hitter during the game

51. "I'll never forget the catch he made to save the game."
Don Larsen, on Mickey's back-handed grab of Gil Hodges' deep line-drive bid for extra bases that Mickey chased down and managed to grab for an out

52. "People say Yogi (Berra) is a strange guy, and I've heard Yogi say some funny things. But he has a beautiful wife, he's rich, and he's famous. I don't see anything strange about that."

53. "Shut that thing up."
Manager Yogi Berra to Phil Linz when he was playing his harmonica after a Yankees' loss

54. "He said to play louder. He can't hear you."
Mickey to Phil Linz after manager Yogi Berra told Phil to stop playing his harmonica, and Linz asked Mantle what Berra said, leading to the infamous "harmonica" incident

55. "Hey Yog, what time is it?" "You mean right now?"
Mickey asking Yogi Berra for the time, and Yogi's response

56. "Boy, you stunk!"
Yogi Berra's son Timmy to Mickey after a bad game

57. "To play 18 years in Yankee Stadium is the best thing that could ever happen to a ballplayer."

58. "I'm sure glad this isn't my home ball park."
Hank Aaron to Mickey on Yankee Stadium

59. "How the hell can you play here?"
Harmon Killebrew to Mickey after he caught three 450-foot fly balls for outs off Killebrew in Yankee Stadium

60. "In 1960 when Pittsburgh beat us in the World Series, we outscored them 55-27. It was the only time I think the better team lost. I was so disappointed I cried on the plane ride home."
Mickey Mantle, despite batting .400 with three homers, 11 rbi, eight runs and eight walks in the 1960 World Series against Pittsburgh

61. "Mickey, it's only a game."
Mickey's wife Merlyn, trying to console him after losing the 1960 World Series

62. "What do you think?"
Casey Stengel to a reporter who asked him if he thought the better team had won the 1960 World Series

63. "You are our leader."
Ralph Houk to Mickey in spring training, 1961

64. "Give me the Mick in the clutch anytime."
Ralph Houk

65. "Ralph (Houk) brought out the best in everybody, and that included me. I consider myself lucky to have played for him."

66. "Roger Maris was as good a man and as good a ballplayer as there ever was."

67. "A lot of people wrote that Roger (Maris) and I didn't like each other and that we didn't get along. Nothing could be further from the truth."

68. "In 1961 somebody could've hit a home run to win the game and the next day the headline was about the M&M boys not hitting a home run. But everyone was real good about it. Instead of getting mad they joked about it."

69. "The greatest thing I ever saw was Roger Maris breaking Babe Ruth's record."

70. "Well, I beat my man. Now it's up to you to beat yours."
Mickey to Roger Maris after he beat Lou Gehrig's 1927 home run total of 47 with his 48th homer in 1961

71. "I know a doctor who can give you a shot and you'll get over that cold you've got and get better in a day."
Broadcaster Mel Allen to Mickey when he referred him to Dr. Max Jacobson (the notorious "Dr. Feelgood" to many celebrities), who botched the injection he gave Mickey, putting Mickey in the hospital and ruining his chances of breaking Babe Ruth's record

72. "The strain on Roger (Maris) was unbelievable. After I dropped out the reporters only had one guy to go to. They surrounded him everywhere he went. He had big clumps of hair falling out. That he went ahead and did it was unbelievable."

73. "It was the single greatest feat I ever saw."
Mickey on Roger Maris breaking Babe Ruth's single season record

74. "I don't know why Roger (Maris) isn't in the Hall of Fame.  To me, he was as good as there ever was."

75. "In 1961, when Maris broke Babe Ruth's record, he wasn't intentionally walked once. Mickey batted after Roger, and nobody was going to put a man on base with Mantle coming up to the plate."
Mel Allen

76. "I don't want to take anything away from Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. They're both great hitters, but they're batting against guys they never would have seen in previous years."
Ted Williams, on the effects of baseball's expansion from 16 to 20 teams on the pitching talent

77. "To Mickey, the Greatest of them all - Roger Maris."
Inscription by Roger Maris on a baseball he gave Mickey

78. "The best team I ever saw, and I really mean this, was the '61 Yankees."

79. "I never got to see the '27 Yankees. Everyone says that was the greatest team ever. But I think it would've been a great series if we'd have had the chance to play them."

80. "If I'd known I was going to live so long I'd have taken better care of myself."

81. "You don't have to talk to me about pensions. I won't be around long enough to collect one."
Mickey Mantle to player rep Jerry Coleman when asked for Mickey's thoughts about the pension plan

82. "Don't do as I did. I'm living proof of how not to live."

83. "Meekie, I'm sorry I have to do that."
Pitcher Pedro Ramos to Mickey after hitting him with a retaliatory pitch - the next time Mickey batted against Ramos he hit a homer off the facade at Yankee Stadium

84. "I'd rather have you run up my back than to hit one over the roof!'"
Pedro Ramos to Mickey Mantle after Ramos knocked him down and Mickey hit a ball off the facade his next at-bat

85. "Where do you want it?"
Don Drysdale to Mickey before a World Series game, asking him where he wanted to be hit by Drysdale's pitch when he threw the ball at him

86. "The hardest thing to do in sports, I think, is to hit a home run."

87. "Somebody once asked me if I ever went up to the plate trying to hit a home run. I said, 'Sure, every time.'"

88. "When I hit a home run I usually didn't care where it went. So long as it was a home run was all that mattered."

89. "After I hit a home run I had a habit of running the bases with my head down. I figured the pitcher already felt bad enough without me showing him up rounding the bases."

90. "When you're talking about Mickey Mantle - it's an altogether different level (of power). Separates the men from the boys."
Billy Martin

91. "Power is a big thing in baseball. It can't be cheapened. That is, a fellow has it or hasn't. It isn't a fluke or great accomplishment, like a perfect game. When Mantle connects, it's a tape-measure job. Nobody who ever lived has more power than Mantle."
Baseball expert Gabe Paul

92. "No man in the history of baseball had as much power as Mickey Mantle. No man."
Billy Martin

93. "Forget what I said."
Hall of Fame catcher Bill Dickey after Mickey explodes a bazooka shot off a seat in the left-field upper deck at Yankee Stadium that bounces way back onto the playing field - only moments before Dickey had been telling his teammates that Babe Ruth and Jimmy Foxx hit balls further than Mickey

94. "I was amazed I could throw hard enough that anyone could hit it that far."
Senators' pitcher Joe Mclain after giving up a home run to Mickey

95. "I'd like to see him throw that again."
Eddie Lopat to Allie Reynolds on the Yankees bench during a pre-season game at Forbes Field, Pittsburgh after pitcher Bill MacDonald sneaked a slow curve ball past Mickey

96. "Mickey's was the longest ball ever whacked into the valley behind Forbes Field."
Sportswriter Chester Smith of the Pittsburgh Press on Mickey's homer when MacDonald threw Mickey the same pitch again

97. "Just put it over the plate. He's in no condition to hit."
Orioles manager Hank Bauer to pitcher Mike McCormick on September 1, 1963 when Mickey was unexpectedly called to pinch-hit after staying out all night in Baltimore

98. "Swing at the first fastball."
Whitey Ford to Mickey when Mickey was unexpectedly called to pinch-hit against pitcher Mike McCormick on September 1, 1963 after staying out all night in Baltimore

99. "And that one is gone. A home run for Mickey Mantle! How do you like that?"
Broadcaster Mel Allen after Mickey homered on Mike McCormick's first pitch on September 1, 1963

100. "Those people don't know how tough that really was."
Mickey to his teammates in the dugout about the cheering crowd after homering on Mike McCormick's first pitch on September 1, 1963

101. "I've been sitting here since 1927 and I finally got one. This is the first one hit here and the last one. I'm not gonna give it up."
Fan Oscar Alonso about the baseball that Mickey launched 486 feet into Yankee Stadium's centerfield bleachers, the first ever - Alonso later gave the ball to Mickey when reunited with his old stickball buddy, Yankees' pitcher Eddie Lopat

102. "They make it look smaller."
Senators' rookie Ron Stillwell on Griffith Stadium after Mantle and Maris went 13-for-21 with 7 homers, 12 runs and 21 rbi in a three game series

103. "Those two beat us by themselves."
Senators' manager Mickey Vernon after Mantle and Maris went 13-for-21 with 7 homers, 12 runs and 21 rbi in a three game series

104. "It would've been hit out of an airport."
Art Fowler after pitcher Ryne Duren said he and his teammates didn't think a Mantle home run was going out

105. "I bet you can't hit one out against this gale. I bet you a case of beer you won't do it."
Twins' pitcher Ted Sadowski to Mickey when pitching to him during a storm with gale force winds blowing

106. "I'll take Budweiser."
Mickey to Twins' pitcher Ted Sadowski after Sadowski challenged Mickey to homer off him during a storm with gale force winds blowing, and Mickey belted a homer into the right-field bleachers on the next pitch

107. "It was like a golf ball going into orbit. It was hit so far it was like it wasn't real. It was a super-human feat."
Legendary USC Coach Rod Dedeaux on Mickey's 656-foot home run hit in an exhibition game at Bovard Field, USC on March 26, 1951

108. "Go chase that one, big boy."
Joe Collins to Mickey after smacking a 475-foot homer in Cleveland

109. "What did you say, Joe?"
Mickey to Joe Collins after smashing a 500-foot homer on the very next pitch

110. "Aw, go s*it in your hat."
Joe Collins' response to Mickey

111. "I thought it was going completely out of the park. If not for the roof, it would have hit the subway across the street."
Athletics' broadcaster Merle Harmon on Mickey's homer off athletics' pitcher Moe Burtschky at Yankee Stadium May 5, 1956

112. "That would bring tears to the eyes of a rocking chair."
Tigers manager Bucky Harris on Mickey's 643-foot homer out of Tiger Stadium off Paul Foytack, September 10, 1960

113. "I had never heard such an explosive sound of bat on ball; it was by far the most awesome I'd heard before or since, nor had I ever seen a ball leave a ballpark so quickly. It happened so fast I wasn't sure I actually saw what I thought I had seen."
Yankees' pitcher Johnny James on Mickey home run on September 17, 1958 in Detroit

114. "We did not believe what we were seeing... for a second, we thought it was going over the second fence in dead center onto Brooklyn avenue, and it just missed doing that!"
Athletics' broadcaster Merle Harmon on a Mantle homer in Kansas City on August 31, 1955

115. "I just wouldn't have believed a ball could be hit that hard. I've never seen anything like it."
Bucky Harris, the Manager of the Washington Senators, on Mickey's 565-foot homer hit at Griffith Stadium, Washington

116. "Lookout!"
Yankees' third base coach Frank Crosetti, yelling at Mickey when Billy Martin stayed at third base and pretended to tag up on Mickey's 565-foot home run at Griffith Stadium in Washington - Mickey ran the bases with his head down and didn't notice Billy standing there, almost running into Billy

117. "That was the hardest ball I ever saw hit."
Billy Martin to Mickey, on Mickey's 565-foot homer hit at Griffith Stadium, Washington

118. "If I send the ball home, I know what will happen to it. My twin brothers will take it out on the lot, like any 20-cent rocket."
Mickey on the baseball he hit 565-feet in Washington

119. "Happy anniversary!"
Jocelyn Stobbs to her husband Chuck on April 17, 1955, the second anniversary of the 565-foot home run Mickey hit off him at Griffith Stadium

120. "Mickey didn't get a hit every time he faced me. I got him out a few times, too."
Chuck Stobbs, the pitcher who gave up the 565-foot homer to Mickey in Washington

121. "I didn't know whether to laugh, s*it, or go blind!"
Tigers' outfielder Harvey Kuenn on Mickey's home run off Jim Bunning hit out of Tiger Stadium in Detroit on September 17, 1958

122. "I wish they wouldn't boo the guy. It just makes him mad. He's tough enough in a good humor."
Tigers' outfielder Jim Delsing after Mickey catapulted a high home run deep into the right-field third deck at Tiger Stadium when the fans booed him when he came up to bat

123. "You might as well go in and start getting dressed. I'm going to hit his first pitch for a home run."
Mickey, calling his shot to Elston Howard moments before hitting Barney Schultz' first pitch for a home run in the 1964 World Series to win the game and break Babe Ruth's World Series home run record

124. "Of course, I didn't tell you about all the times I said I was going to hit one and it didn't happen."
Mickey when a fan expressed awe at his ability to call his shot in the 1964 World Series

125. "I'm gonna let him hit one."
Detroit pitcher Denny McLain to catcher Bill Freehan moments before Mantle's 535th home run

126. "(Denny McLain)'s thinking, 'I laid one in for you, hit it!' And sometimes when you know what's comin' it's tough to hit it. They're all grinnin' - Mickey, McLain, and all of 'em, and all of the, uh, rather, the catcher, Freehan, and OH BOY! THERE IT GOES! IT'S A FAIR BALL AND VERY DEEP! Aw, you gotta give that McLain some credit, I wanna tell ya. He's grinning a mile wide. Boy I tell you, you think these ball players don't have heart, Frank, and then - THERE'S MICKEY NODDING TO HIM! THANKING HIM! AND BOY, I TELL YOU, I HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS IN MY LIFE! Mantle has now gone ahead of Jimmy Foxx with 535 home runs. And now McLain is - Pepitone says, 'Lay one in for me!' and McLain shakes his head at him and says, 'No, Sir!'"
Announcer Phil Rizzuto with Frank Messer, actual game call of Mickey's 535th home run on Yankees Radio, September 19, 1968

127. "There are two kinds of people. There are leaders and there are followers. And I'm a follower."
Mickey on his relationship with Billy Martin

128. "You hit .350 you're a leader. You hit .250 and you're not."

129. "Jesus Christ. If he can play, I got to play, too."
Joe Pepitone on watching an injured Mickey play

130. "The only way to get a better piece of chicken is to be a rooster."
Ad slogan of "Mickey Mantle's Country Cookin'" restaurant

131. "I wanted to throw my glass at the TV."
Mickey after broadcasters announced that Reggie Jackson had broken Mickey's World Series home run record - they had erroneously counted all of Jackson's post-season home runs, not just his World Series homers

132. "If I hadn't met those two guys (Billy Martin and Whitey Ford) at the start of my career, I would have lasted another five years."

133. "If the World Series was on the line and I could pick one pitcher to pitch the game, I'd choose Whitey Ford every time."

134. "Billy (Martin) was a great one for jokes. He liked to play a joke more than anyone I ever knew."

135. "If I stand straight up tomorrow it's a fastball. If I bend over it'll be a curve. But don't hit a home run off me."
Whitey Ford to Billy Martin the night after Billy was traded from the Yankees to Kansas City, and Whitey was pitching in the game to Billy the following day

136. "Don't worry, don't worry."
Billy Martin's response to Whitey Ford

137. "Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha…"
Billy Martin rounding the bases after hitting a home run off Whitey Ford

138. "Thwap!"
Whitey hitting Billy with a pitch his next at-bat after hitting a home run off Whitey

139. "If we want somebody to learn to strike out, we'll call you."
Yankees' manager Billy Martin, joking to Mickey about Mickey becoming a hitting instructor

140. "I never saw him fight. I never saw Billy fight."
Mickey on Billy Martin

141. "A body came flying out and landed at my feet. At first I thought it was Billy so I picked him up. But when I saw it wasn't I dropped him back down."
Mickey on the Copa Fight

142. "It looked like Roy Rogers rode through on Trigger, and Trigger kicked the guy in the face."
Mickey Mantle's testimony at a lawsuit after a brawl between Yankees players and a bowling team at the "Copacabana" club

143. "I'm gone. George Weiss is just looking for an excuse to get rid of me."
Billy Martin to Mickey and Whitey Ford the day after the Copacabana incident

144. "Nobody did nothin' to nobody."
Yogi Berra on the Copacabana incident

145. "I'm mad at him, too, for being out late. But I'm not mad enough to take a chance on losing a ball game and possibly the pennant."
Casey Stengel on why he dropped Hank Bauer to eighth in the lineup the day after the Copacabana incident but left Mickey in the third slot in the batting order

146. "There's a window up there that's open. Boost me up there and I'll get in and come around and open the door for you."
Billy Martin to Mickey at the Kenmore Hotel when they had violated curfew and they were trying to sneak in to avoid being seen by Manager Casey Stengel

147. "I'll see you tomorrow."
Billy Martin to Mickey after Mickey boosted Billy through a window at the Kenmore Hotel when they had violated curfew, and Martin found the door chained and locked

148. "Billy (Martin) wasn't afraid of anything."

149. "Listen, why don't you wear my number and I'll wear yours."
Billy Martin offering to trade numbers with Mickey after Mickey received a death threat in Boston

150. "He's on the roof over there! Lookout!"
Billy Martin to Mickey as he jumped onto the floor in their hotel room after Mickey received a death threat in Boston

151. "I have to give Mays one edge, durability. Mickey isn't sound and Willie is. Otherwise, if I had a chance to trade for either player, I'd pick Mantle."
Baseball expert Gabe Paul, comparing Mantle and Mays;

152. "Even if Mays is given every conceivable break on every unknown - defense, base running, clutch hitting - his performance still would not match Mantle's."
Baseball statistician Bill James

153. "When they say Mays hit a ball as far as Mickey, they're smoking something."
Billy Martin

154. "Hey Mantle, you win. You're the worst."
Quote attributed by Mickey to a heckler in the stands at the 1962 World Series (who tormented both Mickey and Willie Mays) after Mickey ended an inning with a strikeout, claiming he had changed the debate from which player was better to who was worse

155. "If you want to know who was better, me or Willie Mays, you have to look at our career stats. And Willie's bottom line was better."

156. "(Mantle) was clearly a greater player in his peak years."
Baseball statistician Bill James on Mickey vs. Willie Mays

157. "At my best I was as good as anyone."

158. "I get a kick out of watching him. Everything he does has that extra flourish."
Baseball expert Gabe Paul on Mickey

159. "I think the best all-around baseball player ever was Joe DiMaggio."

160. "The best hitter I ever saw was Ted Williams."

161. "My biggest regret was letting my lifetime average drop below .300. I always felt I was a .300 hitter, and if I could change one thing that would be it."

162. "I don't hit the ball when I need to and I can't steal second when I need to. I can't go from first to third or score from second on base hits. And I just think it's time that I quit trying."

163. "Here lies Mickey Mantle. Banned from baseball."
Words on Mickey's tombstone in a recurring nightmare he had before Peter Ueberroth reinstated Mickey to baseball

164. "The biggest thrill I ever had was in 1969, when they held Mickey Mantle day at Yankee Stadium."

165. "Ladies and gentlemen, the great number seven, Mickey Mantle."
Mel Allen on Mickey Mantle Day at Yankee Stadium, June 8, 1969

166. "I've often wondered how a man who knew he was going to die could stand here and say he was the luckiest man on the face of the earth, but now I guess I know how he felt."
Mickey Mantle at Mickey Mantle Day, June 8, 1969, on Lou Gehrig

167. "I don't know why, but for some reason I seem to be more popular now than when I was playing."
Mickey, several years after retiring

168. "I used to limp around my neighborhood imitating him. I did my Bar Mitzvah with an Oklahoma drawl."
Actor/Comedian Billy Crystal, on idolizing Mickey as a boy

169. "It's right here."
Broadcaster Bob Costas, pulling out his wallet when asked to show the Mickey Mantle baseball card he always carries with him

170. "The phrasing didn't work as well."
Paul Simon to Mickey when asked why he used Joe DiMaggio in his song "Mrs. Robinson" instead of Mickey

171. "It was easier than explaining DiMaggio's use as a metaphor."
Paul Simon, on why he told Mickey he used Joe DiMaggio in his song Mrs. Robinson because of the phrasing instead of the real reason, that DiMaggio the icon was being used metaphorically

172. "Would you sign this?"
Mickey's response when an interviewer asked him what question his fans asked him the most

173. "Hey, that's Mickey Mantle! Hey Mick, would you sign this for me?"
Baseball fan to Mickey as he was wheeled off an airplane on a stretcher with an oxygen mask and I.V. line hooked up to him after an apparent heart attack, later found to be a stress attack

174. "As far as he knew, I was dying."
Mickey about the fan who asked for the autograph when he was wheeled off the plane

175. "If I were playing today I'd do what Joe DiMaggio said. I'd go knock on the door at Yankee Stadium and when George Steinbrenner answered I'd say, 'Howdy, pardner.'"
Mickey Mantle

176. "Before you go, would you sign that case of balls for me?"
Mickey Mantle, on what God asked him to do after God told him he couldn't stay in heaven in a dream Mickey had

177. "When I first came to Yankee Stadium I used to feel like the ghosts of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were walking around in there."

178. "After they remodeled Yankee Stadium I didn't feel that the ghosts were there anymore. It just wasn't the same."

179. "It gave me a second chance. I'd like everybody to have a second chance if they need it, so I'm trying to let people know how important it is to become an organ donor."
Mickey Mantle, after receiving his liver transplant

180. "Stay away from drugs and alcohol. Listen to your moms and dads. In this great country of ours you do whatever you set your mind to. Make us proud of you."
Mickey's Message to Kids

One of Mickey Mantle’s passions outside of baseball was boating. While known for owning a speedboat, Mickey also understood the popularity of cruising boats, especially around Ellis Island and the adjoining harbors.

© Copyright 1998 - Lewis Early

 The MickCasey's Quotes / Earl's Pearls / Yogisms


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