His face adorned a Topps baseball card. But there would be no 1969 season for Mickey Mantle.
He had made his debut 18 seasons earlier, just as Joe DiMaggio’s career was coming to an end.
A young kid from Oklahoma then, Mickey Mantle had become a fading star by the time spring training camp opened in 1969. His body ached and his best years were in the rear view mirror. Painful as it was physically, Mantle couldn’t stand the idea of hanging on for one more season as a part-time player.
Sunday marked the 40th anniversary of Mantle’s retirement from the New York Yankees. The sports memorabilia hobby helped him make more money late in life than he had in some of those great seasons in the Bronx.
The Washington Times recalls Mantle’s career and his exit from the game.