In our ongoing exploration of all the reasons we love baseball, I like to occasionally return to the audacity exemplified by some of the players of the past century. And, like it or not, I also have to give grudging respect to the Yankees in this category. We have already discussed Pete Rose’s stirring tribute to Joe DiMaggio so it’s only fair that we now pay tribute to alcoholic extraordinaire Mickey Mantle.
Sure, it might have just been Mantle making an ironic statement on the Yankees’ exploitation of his fame and status but I prefer to think that this little event really happened one sunny afternoon under the bleachers. And if I have to pick just one favorite part, I’d go with the fact that he signs the letter “Micky Mantle, All-American Boy.” The irony alone almost makes me want to become a Yankees fan. Almost.
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