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Thursday, September 11, 2014

MVP switch hitters: Mickey Mantle has unique status.

Mickey Mantle is the only non-pitcher switch hitter AL MVP and he is the only one in either league to win multiple times: 3.  Ironically, the first switch hitter MVP was Frankie Frisch, who I think inspired Mantle's father to teach his son to be a switch hitter at age five in 1936.  Vida Blue of Oakland is the only pitcher switch hitter MVP.


About 1953 Bowman Gum [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Mickey Mantle: suppose he only batted righty?  Saturday, April 27, 2013

If you are a Mickey Mantle fan you are about to enter the baseball Twilight Zone:

The premise is that we know Mantle's stats against lefty pitchers when he batted righted handed.  So the base is (vs LHP as RHB).  The percentage difference is for all MLB batters for seasons 1951-1968 are calculated from that base for plate appearances for all MLB batters for (vs RHP as RHB).  Here are the averages of the mainstream stats.

HR/AB BAbip BA         OBP  SLG          OPS
-8.65% -2.92% -8.07% -10.72% -9.29% -9.95%

I will apply the percent differences to Mantle's averages for each of his 18 seasons in future posts.

Mickey Mantle batting only righty: .323 BA; .400 twice.  Thursday, May 9, 2013

TZ (Twilight Zone) Mickey would had led in BA: 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957 (.411), 1958, 1961, 1964 (.419).  That would have deprived Kaline of his one BA lead in 1955 and Williams of his final two in 1957 and 1958.

Mickey Mantle: father knew best but for the wrong reason.  Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Here's the thing that Mutt Mantle did not and could not know: his son Mickey was one of the greatest right handed hitters of all time.  Except for the Yankee Stadium factor, which was an accident, Mickey did not need to switch hit...

Mickey Mantle would have performed comparably well batting only right handed, especially if he had played his home games in a ball park more neutral to righty/lefty batting.

Frankie Mantle?  Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Frankie Frisch, the old Fordham (University) Flash, may have been the model for Elvin Charles "Mutt" Mantle (1912-1952) in teaching his son Mickey to hit both his natural righty and also lefty, to switch hit...

In addition to Mickey Cochrane impressing Mutt enough to name his son after him, Frisch must have influenced Mutt even more.  Frisch was the best switch hitter before Mickey Mantle.  Mutt modeled his son's baseball career, not on Cochrane, but on Frisch.  Mickey Mantle became a middle infielder (shortstop) and switch hitter like Frisch, not a catcher and opportunist lefty batter like Cochrane...

Mutt could have named his son Frankie.  Maybe Cochrane impressed him more than Frisch.  Maybe Mutt Mantle just liked the alliteration of Mickey Mantle.

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