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Reader's Thread: DiMaggio or Mantle

February 25, 2024


Throughout much of my childhood, it was taken as a given that Joe DiMaggio was the third greatest Yankee of all-time. It was Ruth, then Gehrig, then DiMaggio. As advanced statistics came into play, that thought changed, many saw Mickey Mantle as the greater of the two.

There are any number of reasons for choosing Joe D.

There are also any number of reasons for choosing The Mick.

Which of the two was the greater player?


Feb 27

In my mind the real question is what would Mickey have accomplished had he not injured himself on the field and through the bottle? Mickey thought he was going to die young (see: Hodgkins Lymphoma) and was quoted later in life with "Had I known I would live so long I would have taken better care of myself." As a youngster living in the Bronx I saw Mickey do things on the field that in retrospect are incomprehensible given his injuries and lifestyle. I deeply admire Joe D (despite being an unlovable character) but I loved the Mick. I'll take Mickey - warts and all.


Feb 25

Tough one. Joe's pre war years, beat out Mickey, as they were more than sensational. 46 bombs in '37, while playing in Yankee Stadium, with it's death valley left center --19 at home, 27 on the road.

Look at the career home/away splits, and consider the lost war years, and it's Joe.


Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Feb 25

DiMaggio = 3 MVP

Mantle = 3 MVP

DiMaggio - 9 World Series Wins

Mantle - 7 World Series Wins

DiMaggio WAR - 79.1

Mantle WAR - 110.2

DiMaggio OPS - 177

Mantle OPS - 177

DiMaggio Lifetime AVG - .325

Mantle Lifetime AVG - .298

It's a fun debate...

There is no right or wrong...

Feb 26
Replying to

DiMaggio knew that Mantle was the more talented

and bitterly resented that Mantle did not safeguard that ability,

but instead preferred an active night-life

to an early-to-bed existence


Alan B.
Alan B.
Feb 25

What's amazing is that at best, Bernie Williams is the 3rd best (Early Combs anyone?) CF to suit up for the Yankees. Does it really matter if #1 is Joseph Paul, or his successor, Mickey? What's amazing is that those 2 were back to back.

Feb 25
Replying to

Bernie was not a plus defender.


Feb 25

"If only..." rules both.

If only Joe didn't lose years to the military...

If only Mick hadn't stepped in that drain hole...

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