Yankees Spring Training 1963

Mickey Mantle Bunting

The opening of the 2012 baseball season is only weeks away. It is a time to practice skills that may be needed during the regular season.

In this photograph from 1963, Mickey Mantle is attempting to bunt against the Cincinnati Reds in a spring training game. Mantle would bunt frequently during the early years of his career, many times to try and beat it out. But as his knees went through wear and tear, he would rarely attempt to bunt for hits in the 1960’s. So a spring training game was a good time to get in some bunting practice.

Here he appears to miss the drag bunt as Elston Howard watches from the on-deck circle.  The Yankees lost this game 4-2.

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One thought on “Yankees Spring Training 1963

  1. Carl Harvey

    I think Mickey was the greatest speciman of a ball player of all time. As Whitey Herzog said;,” nobody played baseball better than Mickey Mantle in 1956: “he was the fastest player, the strongest player in baseball.” The only switch hitter to win a triple crown and was also the fastest to first base…3.1 seconds, I believe. That was unbelievable for the best power hitter of his time. As Ted Williams said, not entirely serious, “If I could run like that sonovabitch I’d hit .400 everty year”. Great quote, Ted, one of the few hitters better than the Mick, joined by Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb and perhaps Foxx and Aaron. Maybe. Mays lasted longer but as Mickey said,” Willie may be better defensively but I think I was better offensively”. Adjust the careers by per games played and, as shown in Jane Leavy’s critical biography of Mantle, better in almost all offensive statistics.

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