NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – 17 years ago to this day, one of sports’ all-time icons left us. On August 13, 1995, Mickey Mantle passed away at Baylor University Medical Center after a long battle with liver cancer.
After hearing of Mantle’s passing, fans gathered at Old Yankee Stadium to pay their respects at Monument Park beyond the left field fence where Mantle’s monument stood.
Mantle captivated a nation with his tape-measure home runs and World Series highlights. They were also drawn to his looks, country charm and ‘aw-shucks’ nature.
He carried the baton passed to him from Joe DiMaggio to become the face of the Yankees during the 1950′s and 1960′s. Mantle escaped the shadow of replacing the legendary DiMaggio and became one of the most dominant winners in baseball history.
Mantle was a seven-time World Series champion and holds a number of World Series records.
‘The Mick’ won the Triple Crown in 1956 with a .353 average, 52 home runs and 130 RBIs. It was the first of his three career MVP Awards.
Mantle was the biggest hero of baseball’s “Golden Era.” Mantle’s image and celebrity took on a life of its own. He was the era’s biggest commercial star and made cameos in multiple Hollywood movies.
Before the nation mourned his death, Mantle delivered a strong message to his fans. Mantle urged his fans to stay away from the troubles of alcoholism. He told his fans, “Don’t be like me.”
Bob Costas delivered the eulogy at Mantle’s funeral. He described Mantle as, “A fragile hero to whom we had an emotional attachment so strong and lasting that it defied logic.”
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