Whitey Ford once pointed out to Mickey that during his career, he had struck out 1,710 times and had walked 1,734 times.  Whitey added those numbers and divided by 500 (the average number of at bats for a player in a season) and told Mickey that he had played almost 7 whole seasons where he didn't even touch the ball!

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Using Whitey's logic, we can further analyze the career stats of Mickey Mantle by determining how many entire seasons he singled, doubled, etc.   By dividing each stat by 500, we get the following results:

Single 2.93
Double 0.69
Triple 0.14
Home Run 1.07
Strike Out 3.42
Walk 3.47
Ground/Fly Out 8.07



During Mickey's career, he had 8,102 official at bats.   If we add his 1,734 walks, 47 sacrafices and 13 hit by the pitcher, we can determine that he stepped to the plate 9,896 times during his career.  From this, we can calculate the percentage of times that he hit a single, double, triple, etc.   Below is the result of this calculation.

Single 14.8%
Double 03.5%
Triple 00.7%
Home Run 05.4%
Strike Out 17.3%
Walk 17.5%
Ground/Fly Out 40.8%


This can be graphically shown as follows:

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The probability for Mickey Mantle to hit for the cycle in four plate appearances was .0000497 (1 in 20,121 games).  Assuming 162 games per year, statistically speaking, Mickey would only be expected to perform this feat once every 124 years!  But he did it during his 18 year career!