Mickey Mantle’s Last Day

I will never forget this day 26 years ago when Mickey Mantle passed away. Growing up in New Jersey in the late fifties and early sixties Mantle was more than a star, more than an icon, he was a constant, like a force of nature binding together the scattered remnants of the big bang. If you were a kid who liked baseball Mantle was always there, the best slugger, the best smile, the best name, the best baseball player period. He was always there, and it seemed to never change. Summers were endless, playing ball was endless. I thought about all of this when Mantle passed away, but most of all I thought about how much he meant to my childhood. Mantle certainly had his flaws and late in life he tried to own up to them. Yet it still brought tears to my eyes as the hero of my youth would be left only to my memories.

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