Yankees: All-Time Top Runs Producers in Franchise History

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
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#3 Mickey Mantle

When you consider that Mickey Mantle played almost his entire career on one leg, due to an injury he suffered when his cleats caught in a drain pipe during a World Series game, on a ball that most say Joe DiMaggion should have snared easily, the numbers he put up become even more remarkable.

Those numbers, which we’ll get to in a minute, reflect only an insignificant portion of what Mantle represented to the Yankees and the City of New York. Mickey Mantle was Joe Namath even before Namath could think of becoming Broadway Joe. Throughout the entire decade of the fifties and well into the sixties, Mantle owned New York.

Together with his pals, Whitey Ford and Billy Martin, they formed a clique of fun loving friends (and teammates) that roamed the streets of the city until all hours of the night. Which was much to the consternation of their manager, Casey Stengel, who more often than not, didn’t have the heart to fine them for missing curfew (Yes, they had a curfew in those days).

Fueled by alcohol, the trio would descend on Manhattan like they owned it. Which, in many respects, they did, as it was hard to find an owner of a bar or restaurant who wouldn’t welcome them with open arms and a nod to the waitress to send their check his way.

In later years, of course, the high living would catch up to them, causing multiple divorces, terminal illnesses, or as in the case of Billy Martin, a deadly automobile crash that would end his life in Binghamton, New York. Whitey Ford, however, managed to escape and remains a guest of the Yankees at the annual Old Timers Day celebration, coming into the Bronx from his quiet home on Long Island.

If I’d a known I was gonna live this long, I’d a taken better care of myself (Mickey Mantle)

Mickey Mantle finished third in the ranking of the Yankees All-Time Top Run Producers with sixteen points. He finished his career fourth among all Yankees in runs, hits, and RBI while ending up third in on-base percentage.

Just 5’11’ and 195 lbs, he was lithe and strong. He could, as the saying goes, run like a deer and was once clocked at 3.1 seconds from home to first, according to the Baseball Historian. He hit mammoth home runs too, once smashing a fastball from Washington Senators pitcher Chuck Stobbs, a guesstimated distance of 565 ft. from home plate.

Often, he appeared to be lunging at the ball causing his legs out of the power producing equation. But, the sheer strength of his upper body which carried the ball to the opposite field as a right-handed hitter well into the bleachers at the Old Yankees Stadium. From the left side, he was equally as dangerous, once just missing hitting a ball completely out of the Stadium, a feat that no one ever did achieve.

Just for kicks, let’s take a minute to list a few of Mickey Mantle’s perhaps lesser known stats:

***Mantle led the American League in runs scored five times.

***He led the league in base on balls five times, while playing in the same league as Ted Williams, who probably still claims he never swung at a ball.

***He led his league in OPS six times, and in OPS+ a remarkable eight times

***Mantle is also one of just 17 players to have won a Triple Crown, accomplishing the feat in 1956. The most recent winner was in 2012, by Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera’s was the first since 1967 when Carl Yastrzemski accomplished the feat.

Mickey Mantle is one of those larger than life players, who captures the spirit of Yankees baseball and the imagination of fans. One can begin to surmise the feats he might have accomplished if not for one drainage ditch in right center field at Yankee Stadium, one October afternoon.