American Icon Mickey Mantle takes a Stand for what is Right

JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,084
USA
Heard about this story from my Mom today and sure enough found it online. On this very Christmas eve decades ago....Mickey Mantle and his father pulled into a gas station in the mid 1960s in Dallas. There Mickey and his dad found a black man stranded with a flat and no spare tire. Mickey saw in the back of the black mans car a bunch of Christmas gifts that the black man wanted to get to his family. But unfortunately the black man when requesting assistance was ignored by the white service gas station employee. The black man was refused service until Mickey Mantle stepped in, putting up 300$( a huge sum in those days) and demanding that the gas station put two new tires on the black mans car so the black man could get home and get his presents to his family.

Mickey Mantle would go on to cite the inspiration of Jackie Robinson as one of the reasons that Mantle took a stand for civil rights in the USA.


Merry Christmas everyone.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,748
Las Vegas, NV USA
There was less prejudice in basebal by the 1960s although it still existed (Enos Slaughter). The Yankees in particular were overwhelmingly white. Obviously Mantle was a man of character who would help someone in distress regardless of race.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,702
In the 1960s-1970s, half of the top stars were black, but there were almost no black utility players or long relievers. There was sort of a quota.Now less of the top players are black, so this probably isn't needed. It is different from football and basketball which are majority black.
 

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,391
Kansas
In the 1960s-1970s, half of the top stars were black, but there were almost no black utility players or long relievers. There was sort of a quota.Now less of the top players are black, so this probably isn't needed. It is different from football and basketball which are majority black.
It would be interesting to break down MLB players by race or origin. It seems to me the Hispanic nations have a real flair for the sport, and the average clubhouse has more in common with the United Nations than baseball at times lol
 

JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,084
USA
There was less prejudice in basebal by the 1960s although it still existed (Enos Slaughter). The Yankees in particular were overwhelmingly white. Obviously Mantle was a man of character who would help someone in distress regardless of race.
Cap Anson like Slaughter was one baseball’s greatest but also like Slaughter was bigoted at one time in his career toward blacks
 

JoanOfArc007

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,084
USA
In the 1960s-1970s, half of the top stars were black, but there were almost no black utility players or long relievers. There was sort of a quota.Now less of the top players are black, so this probably isn't needed. It is different from football and basketball which are majority black.
It would be interesting to break down MLB players by race or origin. It seems to me the Hispanic nations have a real flair for the sport, and the average clubhouse has more in common with the United Nations than baseball at times lol
Well there has been a surge of Latino baseball players since Jackie Robinson joined the MLB in 1947. Btw decades before Robinson... African American brothers Moses Fleetwood Walker Weldy Walker played numerous games for the Toledo Blue Stockings in 1884. Robinson was not the first black ballplayer in Professional baseball. Though Robinson would be the first black superstar and in 1947 was the first black professional ballplayer to take the field since the Walker brothers did so for Toledo in 1884.

And while the # of African American baseball players have been lowering since there boom as you talk about in the 60s-70s....I can think of a time when the top 3 or 4 ballplayers of the 1990s included 3 blacks in Ken Griffey Jr, Frank Thomas and Barry Bonds. I would say had someone like Cap Anson or Slaughter witnessed the play of Griffey Jr(or even Ken Griffey Sr in the 1970s/1980s) they might change their views on having blacks in baseball.



American Whites are still the majority in baseball today. Though as the chart above shows since the 1990s we have seen a minor influx of Asians and a major influx of Latino players into baseball. Btw Masanori Murakami was credited with being MLBs first Japanese player in 1964. Though baseball has been greatly popular in Japan for some time(Babe Ruth Barnstormed in Japan just prior to WW2) and somewhat in Korea the MLB has never had a massive Asian population. Baseball has seen well known Asian Superstars in the 1990s and 2000s such as Ichiro and Hideki Matsui though. Most of the Asian baseball players in the MLB history have been Japanese. And to Japans credit and the Nippon Professional Baseball league , the Japanese players get paid good money, play in big stadiums and have a large fan base in Japan. Even American baseball players and coaches such as Bobby Valentine(coached the New York Mets in the 1990s) are attracted to work in Japan. I would like to see another Japanese superstar in the modern day MLB. In the modern times Shohei Ohtani has been projected to be the next Babe Ruth, a player whom can pitch and hit incredibly of which the league has not seen in ages....Ohtani has been dealing with injury issues though.