About Me

My photo

Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mickey Mantle bunted in the World Series, too.

Mickey Mantle holds the World Series record for most career home runs (HR): 18.  Mantle also bunted as he did in about 1.8% of his regular season plate appearances (PA).  See previous posts.  This link is for Mantle's WS game log.

I went through Mantle's WS games and searched for PA that concluded with bunts.  Findings are below and include some bunts by other noted batters.

Note: Updated July 5, 2017 because of a comment received June 9, 2017. Mantle had an additional WS PA that ended in a bunt that was not reflected in retrosheet.org but will "appear on the site (in) the next release, which is in the fall" according to David Smith. From there it will make its way into baseball-reference.com.

Mantle struck out by bunting foul in WS game 4 in 1960, so his WS bunting record is 7 for 9.

1. Friday, October 5, 1951, , Yankee Stadium I game 2 (Giants up 1-0)
Attendance: 66,018, Time of Game: 2:05
Yankees 3, New York Giants 1
Mantle batting leadoff.

This win tied the WS 1-1.  The first two Yankee batters bunted for hits against Larry Jansen: Mantle and SS Phil Rizzuto.  Mantle scored on a single by Gil McDougald but Joe DiMaggio grounded into a double play and Yogi Berra struck out.  Yanks led 1-0 after one.

With the Giants trailing 2-0 in the top of the 7th, no out and runners on first and second, Willie Mays failed in his sacrifice bunt attempt against Eddie Lopat, grounding into a force play; Giants scored their only run on a sacrifice fly.

2. Wednesday, October 1, 1952, , Ebbets Field game 1
Attendance: 34,861, Time of Game: 2:21
Brooklyn Dodgers 4, Yankees 2
Mantle batting third.

In the top of the 4th against Joe Black tied 1-1, Rizzuto led off with a single and Mantle followed with a bunt single.  Yanks did not score.

3. Thursday, October 2, 1952, , Ebbets Field game 2 (Dodgers up 1-0)
Attendance: 33,792, Time of Game: 2:47
Yankees 7, Brooklyn Dodgers 1
Mantle batting third.

In the 3rd tied 0-0, one out, one on, lefty Dodger slugger Duke Snider had a bunt single against Vic Raschi.  Snider bunted into a DP against lefty Eddie Lopat in game three at Yankee Stadium.

Yanks led 2-1 after 5.  Leading off the 6th against Carl Erskine, Mantle had a bunt single to 2B.  McDougald later in the inning also had a bunt single off Billy Loes followed by a Billy Martin HR.  Yanks scored 5.

4. Sunday, October 5, 1952, , Yankee Stadium I game 5 (2-2)
Attendance: 70,536, Time of Game: 3:00
Brooklyn Dodgers 6, Yankees 5 11 innings

Yanks trailed 1-0.  Mantle led off 4th against Erskine with a bunt single to 2B.  Yanks did not score.

5. Monday, October 6, 1952, , Ebbets Field game 6 (Dodgers up 3-2)
Attendance: 30,037, Time of Game: 2:56
Yankees 3, Brooklyn Dodgers 2
Mantle batting third.

Billy Loes about 1953 by Bowman Gum
 via Wikimedia Commons
Tied 0-0 Mantle led off 4th against Loes with a bunt pop out to 2B.  Yanks did not score.

In the 8th, Yanks leading 2-1, Mantle again led off against Loes and hit his first WS HR.  This is Mantle's only WS game with a home run and bunt attempt.  He had 39 such games in the regular season in his career.

The next day Yanks won game seven 4-2.  Mantle broke a 2-2 tie in 6th with a homer off Joe Black.  Mantle did not attempt a bunt.  However, trailing 1-0 against Lopat in the 4th Snider singled and then Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella had bunt singles to load the bases with no outs.  Yankee manager Casey Stengel replaced Lopat with Allie Reynolds.  Gil Hodges lined a SF to score the only run of the inning.  Gene Woodling immediately broke the tie leading off the 5th with a homer off Black.

6. Saturday, October 6, 1956, , Yankee Stadium I game 3 (Dodgers up 2-0)
Attendance: 73,977, Time of Game: 2:17
Yankees 5, Brooklyn Dodgers 3
Mantle batting third.

Tied 0-0, 2 out, first inning against Roger Craig: Mantle bunt single.  Berra grounded out.

7. Wednesday, October 2, 1957, , Yankee Stadium I game 1
Attendance: 69,476, Time of Game: 2:10
Yankees 3, Milwaukee Braves 1
Mantle batting third.

In the 8th inning with the Yankees leading 3-1, two Hall of Fame 500 home run sluggers led off with bunts: Eddie Mathews was out 3B-1B, Mantle had a bunt single to 2B.  Hall of Fame lefty Whitey Ford went all the way for the win and Hall of Fame lefty Warren Spahn pitched 5.33 and lost.

8. Sunday, October 9, 1960, Yankee Stadium I, game 4 (Yankees up 2-1)
Attendance: 67,812, Game Duration: 2:29
Pirates 3, Yankees 2
Mantle batting fourth

0-0 leading off the bottom of fourth inning against Vern Law Mantle bunted foul with two strikes for a strike out. That's how the radio announcer described it but this was not originally mentioned in the play description. This PA was added to this post 7/5/17. From my comment:


One hour into the radio broadcast Mantle is batting and shows bunt early in his PA and the announcer clearly states that Mantle bunts foul at the catcher's feet with two strikes for a strike out.

9. Saturday, October 5, 1963, , Dodger Stadium game 3 (Dodgers up 2-0)
Attendance: 55,912, Time of Game: 2:05
Los Angeles Dodgers 1, Yankees 0
Mantle batting fourth

Trailing 1-0 against Don Drysdale leading off the second inning Mantle had a bunt single.

Mickey Mantle: bunt single off Don Drysdale in 1959 All Star game.  Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Nine WS games in which Mickey Mantle attempted to bunt.  No sacrifices.  7 for 9.  .777 batting average bunting in the WS.

9 bunts in 273 WS PA: 3.3% of WS PA.  Regular season bunts: 1.8% of PA.  Mantle bunted more often in the WS.  And he set the WS record for homers: 18.


Derecho7 said...

Game 4 1960 World Series, 4th inning, Mantle bunted foul for a strikeout, see You Tube radio broadcast

Kenneth Matinale said...



The word bunt is mentioned twice but not for the Mantle SO in the 4th.


You are correct. One hour into the radio broadcast Mantle is batting and shows bunt early in his PA and the announcer clearly states that Mantle bunts foul at the catcher's feet with two strikes for a strike out. The play-by-play description is missing that in Baseball Refernce, which gets it from retrosheet.org.