A comment on a recent New York Yankees’ TV broadcast set Danny Mantle thinking.
“I heard a guy who works for the YES Network (which has TV rights to the Yankee broadcasts) say ‘Mickey probably wouldn’t be a Hall of Famer if he was playing today,’” Danny Mantle said. “I put up a quick comment: ‘these guys wouldn’t be playing back when he played.’ If you hurt your arm or leg, back then you were gone. Now, you go on the disabled list.
“Here’s what you need to think: could they have played when he played?”
Danny Mantle was a special guest at the 20th annual Mickey Mantle Classic, a high school baseball tournament named in honor of his father, who played 18 years in New York.
He also presented the first Courage Award during a banquet Saturday night at First Christian Church of Miami.
Mickey Mantle played on throughout numerous injuries, most notably a knee injury that he suffered playing football at Commerce High School.
His quality of courage earned the respect of his teammates and peers. Despite the countless injuries he still became the greatest switch hitter of all time, and one of baseball’s great legends of the game.
Danny Mantle’s brother, David, also had planned on attending the event, which was marking its 20th year, but had to return home due to a medical emergency.
Both Mantle brothers and their late mother, Merlyn, were on hand for the dedication of Mickey Mantle Field in 2000.
“Brian Waybright is the workhorse of this whole deal and I tell him that all the time,” Danny Mantle said. “If it wasn’t for Brian, this wouldn’t be going on.”
A touching video tribute to Mickey Mantle was shown during the awards banquet.
“It makes me proud, sad — just a lot of different emotions,” Danny said. “It’s very gratifying when I see Dad now. I feel he doesn’t get the gratitude from people I think he should.”
Unlike players today, weightlifting was out of the question. But today, it’s the norm.
“These kids are all bigger and stronger guys,” Danny Mantle said. “The reason Dad was so fit was from working in the mines. His forearms were so big from working a sledge (hammer) breaking rocks. He sure didn’t lift weights. It was from busting 50-pound rocks.”