What They Said At the Time… 1951 Yankees Sketch Book (Mickey Mantle)
This was an early Yankees yearbook, given to me a few years ago from my Uncle David. It had been in his collection since he was a child.
The yearbook is so fun to look through.
Here is what was said about Mickey Mantle at the very beginning of his career:
Not since Joe DiMaggio, with three full seasons of Pacific Coast League baseball behind him, arrived on the Yankees scene in 1936, has there been a greater blare of publicity trumpets for a Yankee rookie than there has been for Mickey Mantle this season. And, from early-season indications, the 19-year-old youngster fully deserves all the headlines he won from the opening day of Spring training on into the ‘51 campaign. With only a year in Class D (Independence, K.O.M. League) and another in Class C (Joplin, Western Association) behind him, Mickey opened the season in a strange position (right field, when he had served his apprenticeship at short) and made good. Yankee scout Tom Greeenwade, Mantle’s discoverer, had warned all and sundry to expect something unusual from the switch-hitting speedster and Mantle’s record at Independence convinced all that Greenwade wasn’t just voicing the natural pride of a talent-hunter. In addition, Casey Stengel has enjoyed a look at Mantle the winter of 1949-’50 at the Yankee school for prospects at Phoenix. Loud as was the praise of all who had seen him, it became even more pronounced when Mantle started swinging his bat from both sides of the plate in Spring training. In the pre-season games, Mickey hit .402, blasted nine home runs, a triple, and seven doubles while driving in thirty-one tallies. And the season wasn’t very old before he proved he was no Spring flash-in-the-pan.
A kid with a great future!