'Though revered for his slugging feats, Mickey Mantle was one of baseball's all-time, all-around performers. In addition to his 536 career homers, the Mick could hit for average, play center field and was one of the game's fastest runners. Installed in the Yankees outfield in 1951, the 19 year old Mantle inherited the retired Joe DiMaggio's star role the following year and for the next 16 seasons, in good times and bad, he was Mr. Yankee.
Mickey Mantle was the American League's MVP three times and its Triple Crown Champion in 1956, Mantle played his entire career in pain. He came to the majors with a bone problem (osteomyelitis) in his left leg and in his first World Series, in 1951, he damaged his right knee in an outfield accident. In the ensuing years, he needed constant medical attention, but he played on, a picture of courage and determination. And he was singularly known for his distance hitting, from either side of the plate. There was a 565-footer in Washington and many other eye-poppers into the distant bleachers at Yankee Stadium.
In 1956 he drove a ball off the rightfield facade, 10 feet short of the roof and missing by that much the chance to be the only one ever to hit a fair ball out of the Stadium. His career highs include a .365 batting average in 1957 and 54 home runs in 1961. He hit a record 18 homers in 12 World Series. Mickey Mantle was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1974.' From TOPPS Baseball Cards Book