Like most red-blooded (Is there any other color?) American males from New York City, and between the ages of fifty and eighty, I (Evander) have a fascination with Yankees star Mickey Mantle—virtually to the point of (strictly baseball) fantasy.
Mantle always felt a certain unease with his final lifetime batting average of .298.
So, let’s fantasize.
I decided to replay the career stats by ending after the 1964 season, the last great one. Lifetime batting average: .309. Home runs: 454. Home-run percentage (one of the truest marks of the slugger) rises from 6.6 to a stratospheric 6.9, and slugging average comes in around .570. Runs scored: 1,473, a staggering number that speaks to Mantle’s unprecedented speed and early career batting closer to the top of the lineup. (As far as I know, Mantle is still the fastest runner from home plate to first base, sixty years later.)
In fact, such a fourteen-year offensive career starts to look a little more like Joe DiMaggio’s. Of course since the Yankees would not be in a World Series again for a dozen seasons, Mantle’s unbelievable total of 18 World Series round-trippers would not change.