I am in the middle of reading a second book on the life and career of Mickey Mantle. In one of the sections it talks about how unbelievable it was to grow up in New York during the time Mickey was playing. The early to mid 50’s were magical to be a baseball fan in New York.
During this time, there were 3 teams. The New York Yankees, the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the New York Giants. Thats not the reason it was special though. It was special because of the men who patroled centerfield. The Yankees had Mantle, the Dodgers had Duke Snider, and the Giants trotted out Willie Mays.
These 3 are not only 3 of the greatest centerfielders ever, but 3 of the greatest to ever walk between the lines. And walk between the lines of hallowed grounds Yankees Stadium, Ebbets Field, and the Polo Grounds. How special must it have been to be in New York during these years.
Snider’s MLB debut was in 1947 with Mays and Mantle beginning in 1951. The Dodgers and Giants left New York in 1957. From 1951 through 1957 these 3 guys combined for 6 World Series and 2 MVPS.
The Yankees won the World Series in 51,52, 53, and 56. Mantle was the AL MVP in 56 and 57 and hit for the triple crown in 56.
The Giants won the World Series in 54. Mays won the MVP in 1954.
The Dodgers won the World Series in 55.
What I would have done to be a kid on the streets in New York playing stickball, debating who is the best of the trio while listening to the games on the transistor. The only thing better might have been getting up reading the New York paper and doing it all again.