Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mike Trout: Mickey Mantle 1952?

Bowman Gum via
Wikimedia Commons
Mickey Mantle was my boyhood baseball hero but I did not become a fan until 1958 at age ten.  The Mick was a 19 year old rookie in 1951 and became a star in 1952.  Mantle's three most plate appearances (PA) in the Yankee batting order in 1952:

- 5th 241
- 3rd 192
- 1st 106

In the 1952 World Series Mantle batted third and played center field, having replaced the great Joe DiMaggio who retired after his worst season, 1951.  In game seven in Brooklyn Mantle went 2 for 5 including a home run as the Yankees won 4-2, their fourth of five consecutive World Series championships.  Mantle's OPS for the seven game series: 1.061.  He turned 21 October 20, 1952.

Mantle led AL with 111 SO and .924 OPS, something that was probably not known at the time.  Mantle was third in AL MVP voting behind pitchers Bobby Shantz (24-7) and teammate Allie Reynolds.  Mickey Mantle was the best player in the American League in 1952.

Mike Trout turned 21 yesterday.  Trout had 135 PA in 2011 and is considered a rookie in 2012.  Trout has a chance to pull a Fred Lynn: win both Rookie of the Year and MVP.  Trout leads AL in Runs, SB, OPS+, BA (.348).  Mike Trout may be the best player in the American Conference in 2012, 60 years after The Mick.

Trout and Mantle share a general physical resemblance: white, blond.  They exude Superman attributes: faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive.  Dynamic athletes who seem capable of anything on a baseball field.

So this is what it was like to see The Mick burst into greatness 60 years ago.  Cool.

1 comment:

Stephen Semola said...

Nice commentary. Micky mantle was my boyhood idol and being in LA and an Angel fan, I see Trout every night. Compact swing, patience, knowledge of the strike zone and knows what to do with the pitch given him...I guess that's how you become a life time .320, 30 hr or so lifetime hitter.