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  #21  
Old 12-07-2018, 02:27 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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I think the question is a fair one.

It also leads to some deeper questions, about why one player over another, why one card more than another.

Mantle obviously has become sort of a symbol of his era, he certainly performed well enough. And had the advantage of playing in NY for what was one of the all time great teams.
But Mays was really close in performance, and also played in NY his first two years.
Had the team stayed, and if he'd retired after 1971 instead of hanging on a bit too long, how would he be viewed.

I think the NY effect has a bunch to do with it. Even when I was a kid, NY seemed like a special place where everything was bigger and better and more spectacular. And that was suburban western Mass/Ct in the 70's. I can only imagine the impression it had in most of the country in the 50's.
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  #22  
Old 12-07-2018, 02:41 PM
MVSNYC MVSNYC is offline
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Bob Costas explains it better than I ever could.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa61H0FbtXA

Last edited by MVSNYC; 12-07-2018 at 02:54 PM.
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  #23  
Old 12-07-2018, 02:41 PM
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I've posted this before in response to the same question.

First and foremost perhaps, factoring in an unbelievable number of walks, he was even better than his counting stats suggest. Top 10 player in my opinion.

New York during the 1950s. See Ken Burns, The Capital of Baseball.

Yankees. All the World Series.

Sorry to say this, but white.

The mystique of playing in pain and even at his extremely high level falling short of his ability.

Switch hitter.

Combo of power and speed.

His charisma, the down to earth folk hero personality.

The big forearms.

There's probably more.
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Last edited by Peter_Spaeth; 12-07-2018 at 02:42 PM.
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  #24  
Old 12-07-2018, 02:47 PM
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Well obviously being on the Yankees and winning all those titles don't hurt.

But, going off the idea he was just a big strong guy that hit a lot of homers kind of misses the point.

One quick look at his statistics and he was also a sabermetricians dream player.

Considering he played hurt most of his career and was a shadow of himself by his age 33 season, he sure has quite an accumulation of peripheral stats we didn't even take into account 20+ years ago. An "accumulator" he was not.

Just one example is WPA (Win Probability Added). He's #5 All-Time in this accumulated stat. Only guys ahead of him are Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams. The only actual player with a comparable number of plate appearances on this list is Ted Williams. Everybody else around him has quite a few more.

It's up to everybody else to decide how much stock they put in this particular stat, but it's just one of many he rates very highly on.
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  #25  
Old 12-07-2018, 02:51 PM
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I also think the OP's question was fair. I've thought about it a lot, and certainly understand his immense popularity among Baby Boomers and those slightly older. Plus, it's just a classic and iconic Baseball Name... "Mickey Mantle". Perhaps second only to Babe Ruth, in terms of generating immediate name recognition, and having a certain "ring" to it.

But I do wonder how his values will hold up after the Baby Boom generation has passed. That will leave nobody who actually saw him play, or idolized/admired him in the ways described above. I think there may be a lesser premium placed on Mantle, with a decline starting around the year 2030 or so.

Just my humble opinion, and only time will tell.

Last edited by perezfan; 12-07-2018 at 02:53 PM.
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  #26  
Old 12-07-2018, 03:01 PM
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Ruth and Gehrig and Cobb have held up pretty well. I think Mantle will too. But who knows.
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  #27  
Old 12-07-2018, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AGuinness View Post
Just a quick look at some historical data and NYC had a population of nearly 8 million during the 1950s, more than twice the next biggest city in the US.
Also consider that the South in the 1950's and early 60's had nary a MLB team. The Yankees were America's team long before the Braves were. I know plenty of people my parents age from North and South Carolina who are huge Yankee fans because that is all they had growing up.
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  #28  
Old 12-07-2018, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyC View Post
This post quoted above is either world class trolling or world class ignorance.

If you care to engage in some research before taking a pot shot at the focus of many collectors— or even google some video documentaries— you’ll see the perfect storm/alchemy that resulted in Mantle’s enduring popularity. And that includes the flawed and thus very relatable humanity he displayed late in life. Add to all that how so many now 30-40-somethings grew up in an era where Mantle’s cards held great mystique and status. It’s a case of the sum being far greater than the parts. So while it is about so much more than stats, it’s still worth noting that Mantle at his peak was about as nasty as it got in his time. Lastly, Vintageclout and others’ citing of Nolan Ryan is apt when discussing Mantle— sheer popularity, the ability to capture imaginations, these are powerful forces, especially in collecting.
Well said. Amen.
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  #29  
Old 12-07-2018, 03:30 PM
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Mantle is gold. I don't know how rare the metal actually is, but like William Devane, I would stockpile it if I could. Mantle cards (seemingly) always go up in value, so whenever ebay puts out their 15% off coupons, the first things I look for are Micks. He played a bit before my time and as a New Yorker I've never understood the obsession with him, but the reality is he's at the apex of the collecting world and I don't see that ever changing.

This is a poll thread I started a while back, to try to see how many people around these parts actually saw Mantle play. It may help add a bit to the current discussion...
http://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=255158
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  #30  
Old 12-07-2018, 03:32 PM
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Default What’s the obsession with Mickey Mantle?

I don't have much to add to what Matty said, but would make one other point in regards to the mystique and the whole not equaling the sum of the parts. Over everything else I think you have to consider the timing - Mickey Mantle's timing was absolutely perfect in not one, but TWO regards:

1) The culimanation of time and place for baseball was the 1950's in New York City. I would argue the popularity for baseball in the timeframe even above and beyond the Ruth / Gehrig era of the 1920's and 30's. They established the popularity of the game. 25 years later it was absolutely boiling over... Then all of the WS appearances and you had Mantle as a household name by the mid 1950's. This then continued through 1964 on and off with Mickey being a prime-time TV star at a time when the medium was also growing exponentially. You had to be under a rock to not know who Mickey Mantle was, even if you didn't care about baseball.

2) The culmination of time and player for the explosion of the card hobby in the the late 1970's and early 1980's was again...you guessed it, Mickey Mantle. When hotel shows and card shops started springing up everywhere, whose cards and whose autograph did an overwhelming majority of collectors and nostalgia hounds want first?

Bottom line, he was the most popular player of his generation and then helped to usher in the baseball card era several decades later. It's one of those things that has some novelty to it yes - and a sheen that cannot be explained by his stats or comparison to other players alone.
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Last edited by jchcollins; 12-07-2018 at 06:41 PM.
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