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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mickey Mantle hit homer 500 against the shift.

Mickey Mantle 1967 - 500th Home Run as aired on WPIX-TV, 5/14/1967

I watched this live on TV but I recalled Joe Garagiola's call:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fDyPXn_dgI

Garagiola must have been on radio and I think the Yankees distributed a 45 RPM (revolutions per minute) record of Garagiola saying something like: payoff pitch Miller to Mantle, there she goes.

On this youtube video the announcer is former Yankee second baseman Jerry Coleman.  Watch for yourself.  My comments about the video are below but first let's set the scene.  The 1967 starting Yankees:

RkPosNameAgeGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSOPS+TBGDPHBPSHSFIBB
1CJake Gibbs*28116411374338771425762857.233.291.289.5807610884231
21BMickey Mantle#3514455344063108170225511107113.245.391.434.82514919191057
32BHorace Clarke#27143633588741601703292144264.272.321.316.6379318650302
4SSRuben Amaro311304704173193120117324349.223.297.259.55670108131904
53BCharley Smith2913546442538951539380232110.224.278.336.61485143141436
6LFTom Tresh#2813050944845982331453105086.219.301.377.678104169124330
7CFJoe Pepitone*26133544501451261831364133462.251.301.377.678104189163344
8RFSteve Whitaker*24122472441371071231150252389.243.283.358.6419315863232
The shortstop is the father of the current general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.  Long gone are Yogi Berra and Roger Maris.

Elston Howard, 1963 AL MVP:
Whitey Ford, 1961 CY winner, retired after pitching in seven games.  The final was one week after Mantle's 500th home run:

Sunday, May 21, 1967, Tiger Stadium
Tigers 9, Yankees 4


W: Earl Wilson (5-3)
L: Whitey Ford (2-4)
S: Fred Gladding (6)

HR: H Clarke (1, off E Wilson, 7th inn, 1 on, 1 out to RF); M Mantle (8, off E Wilson, 7th inn, 1 on, 1 out to RF).


PitchingIPHRERBBSOHRERABFGScIRISWPAaLIRE24
Whitey Ford, L (2-4)11111001.64546-0.0730.94-0.6
___________________________

Sunday, May 14, 1967, Yankee Stadium I
Attendance: 18,872, Time of Game: 2:38
Yankees (12-13) 6, Orioles (11-15) 5

HR: J Pepitone (1, off S Miller, 6th inn, 1 on, 2 outs to RF); M Mantle (4, off S Miller, 7th inn, 0 on, 2 outs to RF).


Stu Miller, the third of four Oriole pitchers, gave up Mantle's 500 home run.

1. Coleman mentions that the Yankees will play Cleveland at the Stadium in two days and that the game will start at 8:00 PM.  Can you imagine games starting that late today?

Tuesday, May 16, 1967, Yankee Stadium I
Attendance: 12,405, Time of Game: 3:13
Yankees 4, Indians 3 in 11 innings

Mantle did not homer

That game must have ended about 11:15 PM.

2. The video of Mantle's 500th homer starts with the count already two balls, one strike.

3. Coleman mentions that three Orioles infielders (Mark Belanger SS, Davey Johnson 2B, Boog Powell 1B), whom Coleman names, are on the right side of second and that it would be "hard to get a ground ball between them".  Coleman says that Brooks Robinson is the only infielder on the left side.  You cannot see any infielders up the middle.

4. You can see an outfielder in left center.  When Mantle homers and the camera follows the flight of the ball to right field you can briefly see the three infielders on the right side of second, the center fielder way over in right center and the right fielder, Frank Robinson, in straight away right and back near the warning track.

5. There is no one in left field behind Brooks Robinson.  Mantle could bunt a double through the shortstop hole.  In 1967 Mantle had only one plate appearance that ended with a bunt: single.  In 1966 Mantle was 2 for 7 and in 1968 1 for 10 bunting.  Mantle's bunting days were behind him.  Career: 87 for 165, .527 batting average bunting.  For details, click this link.

Real men bunt ... and hit homers. Monday, May 12, 2014

6. Mantle takes ball three: 3-1.  Mantle then takes an awkward swing and miss: 3-2.  Another awkward swing, foul ball: still 3-2.  Another awkward swing: home run.  Mantle seems to be limping as he runs out his 500th home run, only his fourth of the season.

Mantle does not homer in his next game but then hits one home run in each of his next four games, the last being the first game of a doubleheader in Detroit the following Sunday in Whitey Ford's final game.  In game two Mantle is 0 for 3, plus two walks; Yanks win 6-5.

Shift on Mickey Mantle. Saturday, May 10, 2014

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