Mickey Mantle

Mickey Mantle Day Speech
September 18, 1965



"Thank you very much Joe.  I think just to have the greatest baseball player I ever saw introduce me is tribute enough for me in one day.  Today’s game will be my 2000th game with the Yankees.  I’ve been very nervous on this ballpark many times in the last 15 years but never any more nervous than I am right now. 

To name everyone whose helped me through my career would be impossible.  So I’m gonna take this opportunity to say to them one and all, that I certainly appreciate everything they’ve done for me and hope that I’ve lived up to their expectations. 

To have any kind of success in life I think you have someone behind you to push you ahead and to share it with if you’re ever obtain it.  And I certainly have that in my wife Merlyn, little Mickey whose here, and I have three little boys at home that didn’t get to come but they’re watching on TV, David, Billy and Danny.  And also a wonderful mother who is here.   

As you all know, all the donations for this day are turned over to the Hodgkins Disease Fund at St. Bentons Hospital.  That was founded in the memory of my father who died of Hodgkins disease.  I wish he could have been here today.  I  know he would be just as proud and happy at what you all have done here as we are. 

There’s been a lot written in the last few years about the pain that I’ve played with.  But I want you to know that when one of you fans, whether it’s in New York or anywhere in the country, say “Hi Mick! How you feeling?” or “How’s your legs?”, it certainly makes it all worth it.  All the people in New York, since I’ve been here, have been tremendous with me.  Mr. Topping, all of my teammates, the press and the radio and the TV have just been wonderful.  I just wish I had 15 more years with you.  Thank you very much."