Mickey Mantle’s First Home Run

Seventy-one years ago today, the New York Yankees squared off against the Chicago White Sox on a cool day in Comiskey Park. Yankee starter Vic Raschi was matched up against Chicago lefty Bob Cain. Nineteen-year-old Mickey Mantle was batting leadoff and playing right field. Jackie Jensen was in center field for the injured Joe DiMaggio.

The Yankees got off to an early 5-2 lead and Cain left for a pinch hitter. His replacement, the grizzled right hander Randy Gumpert, took over in the top of the sixth. With one out and Raschi on second after a double, Mantle stepped to the plate batting lefty. Gumpert had faced many sluggers in his day, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and he knew the expectations placed on the young Mickey Mantle. He realized the rookie was under intense pressure to perform and he thought he would be overanxious at the plate. So Gumbert served up a changeup. But the talented phenom wasn’t fooled and blasted the ball more than 400 feet into the center field bull pen.

It was Mickey Mantle’s first home run and according to the Mick his most memorable. Yankee backup catcher Charley Silvera was in the outfield bullpen where the ball landed and thoughtfully retrieved it. The Mick would inscribe the ball:

“My first home run in the majors May 1,1951 4:50 PM in Chicago 6th inning off Randy Gumpert.”

Mantle would later display the ball in his Holiday Inn in Joplin Missouri. The town of Joplin was significant to Mickey because it was there that he launched his career with a scorching .383 batting average in 1950 that caught the eyes of the Yankee brass. Mantle went on to hit 535 more home runs and 18 additional home runs in the World Series. When he hit his last home run in September 1968, he was number three on the all-time home run list behind only Babe Ruth at 714 and Willie Mays at 587.

In honor of Mickey Mantle’s first home run and his iconic #7, I will be giving away 7 copies of my novel Mickey Mantle’s Last Home Run. My book has been described by Kirkus Reviews as “an emotionally satisfying story of friendship and a well written sports tale with excellent, detailed scenes of characters observing and playing the game, and will appeal to fans of good sports writing.” 

Just contact me via email safalc6@gmail.com or the comment section and I’ll mail you the book postage free.



James P. Dawson THE NEW YORK TIMES Associated Press (1951, May 02).

“This Book is Exceptional”

I recently received this book review for my novel Mickey Mantle’s Last Home Run. This is from OlineBookClub.org and is currently posted on their website.

Mickey Mantle’s Last Home Run by Steven A. Falco deserves a 4 out of 4 stars. There are different positive aspects of this book to justify this rating. First, the book is a product of good research and personal experience of Steven. This inference is made from the brief profile of the author on the last page of the book, which reveals that Steven had played baseball while growing up. Also, this book is professionally edited; I could only spot one error in it.

The book is a story of a 15-years old boy popularly known as T.J. who has a near-obsession with baseball. This book contains subplots that teach lessons against racial prejudice and discrimination. T.J’s obsession for the Mick makes him frequent Yankee Stadium, sometimes alone, with Jonathan, Frankie, and Phil, or at other times, with his father and brother. However, he breaks this practice when he has to wait at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, together with Jonathan, Maggie, and her friend, to pay his last respects to the slain Robert Kennedy.

Meanwhile, Jonathan devices ways to ease the pain of other students during boring classes by creating school clubs for interested students. The strife between the Blacks and the Whites is heightened when T.J mistakenly hit a Black kid named Darrell during baseball practice and when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. T.J’s life is endangered as it seems that the Black kids would like to take revenge for both incidents on him. Will he survive this plan, or will he be assassinated like Robert Kennedy?

This book is exceptional, and it is recommended to young adults because there are lessons contained in the book that would be of help to them. Lovers of fictional books would also have a fantastic time reading this book.

Review of Mickey Mantle’s Last Home Run. – by Fine Brand – OnlineBookClub.org

Mickey Mantle’s Last Home Run: Falco, Steven A: 9781532052088: Amazon.com: Books

5 Star Rating for Mickey Mantle’s Last Home Run

Here’s a review I received this month written by Shey Saints and now published on her website, Shey Saints’ Book Reviews

“I enjoyed reading this book! And to think, I’m not American, nor a baseball fan! Nevertheless, I recognize the historical references, and the smooth flow of narrative allowed me to visualize the situations in 1968. It’s been a long while since I read a light and fun book! It was so entertaining, and at the same time, it taught me new things which were mainly about baseball, and refreshed me with some historical events, and even the parts of the cell!

This book brought back my younger days. Those times when you do silly things to make a boring biology class enjoyable, or that time when you experience your first non-adult-supervised trip with your friends. But what I love the most about this book is its casual tone. It suits the setting and coming-of-age genre, as the story is told through TJ’s eyes. The distinct personalities between TJ, Jonathan, as well as Phil, and Frankie, were manifested with such great characterization.

Overall, I’m giving this book 5 out of 5 stars. It’s a great story about baseball, friendship, family, different beliefs, and racial conflicts. I highly recommend this to all readers who love coming-of-age stories, regardless if you’re a baseball fan, or not.”

Mickey Mantle’s Last Home Run https://amzn.to/2EDRen5