Friday, July 1, 2016


For the month of July as we celebrate the League of Theselves in 2016, I thought a sports figure - specifically a baseball player since it is the time when the Boys of Summer hold sway - would be the perfect choice for the showcase.  And as hard as it is for a Red Sox fan to admit, the greatest candidate for a baseball player who played himself in Earth Prime-Time was a New York Yankee.  

That's right, we're giving a shout out to:


From Wikipedia:

Mickey Charles Mantle (October 20, 1931 – August 13, 1995), nicknamed "The Commerce Comet" or "The Mick", was an American professional baseball player. Mantle played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Yankees as a center fielder and first baseman, from 1951 through 1968. Mantle was one of the best players and sluggers, and is regarded by many as the greatest switch hitter in baseball history. Mantle was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974 and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999.

Mantle was arguably the greatest offensive threat of any center fielder in baseball history. He has the highest career OPS+ of any center fielder and he had the highest stolen base percentage in history at the time of his retirement. In addition, compared to the four other center fielders on the all-century team, he had the lowest career rate of grounding into double plays (by far) and he had the highest World Series on-base percentage and World Series slugging percentage. He also had an excellent 0.984 fielding percentage when playing center field. Mantle was noted for his ability to hit for both average and power, especially tape measure home runs. He hit 536 MLB career home runs, batted .300 or more ten times, and is the career leader (tied with Jim Thome) in walk-off home runs, with a combined thirteen, twelve in the regular season and one in the postseason.

Mantle won the Triple Crown in 1956, leading the major leagues in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in (RBI). He was an All-Star for 16 seasons, playing in 16 of the 20 All-Star Games that were played. He was an American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) three times and a Gold Glove winner once. Mantle appeared in 12 World Series including 7 championships, and holds World Series records for the most home runs (18), RBIs (40), extra-base hits (26), runs (42), walks (43), and total bases(123).

In 1980, Mantle had a cameo appearance in the 'The White Shadow', and in 1983, he had a cameo appearance in 'Remington Steele' with Whitey Ford.

In 1993 and 1996, Mantle is referenced multiple times in the sitcom 'Seinfeld', specifically the episodes "The Visa" (1993), where Kramer punches him while at a baseball fantasy camp, and "The Seven" (1996), where George Costanza wants to name his future baby 'Seven' based on Mickey Mantle's uniform number.

'The White Shadow'
- "Reunion: Part 2" (1980) 
The central theme of "Reunion" is the empty relationship between Coach Reeves and his father.  Apparently, Jake Reeves had an unemotional relationship with his father as well.  Unbeknownst to Reeves, his father has an inoperable brain tumor.  He refuses hospital care.  At the end of Part 1, he reveals the illness.  In a late-night conversation, barriers are broken and the corner is turned towards a more honest, productive, and fulfilling relationship.

The Reeves men paint New York City red the following night, clearing the air and allowing Coach Reeves to depart for Los Angeles with a clear conscience and a full heart.  During their male bonding night, they meet Mickey Mantle, who recognizes Ken Reeves as a former NBA player.  

'Mr. Belvedere' 
- "The Field" (1989) 
It's George's birthday. He's been pushing Wesley to excel at baseball and when Wesley decides to cheat, George is upset at him and Wesley say she did it for him. When they throw him a party, and help George relive some of life's greatest moments but only shows him at how he has done nothing he set out to do, like play baseball with some greats. So Belvedere decides to give George a different present. The next day at Wesley's game, he arranged for some great players like Hank Aaron, Willy Mays, Reggie Jackson, Johnny Bench, and Ernie Banks to be there. and along with George and Robert Goulet play Wesley's team.

'Remington Steele' 
- "Second Base Steele" (1984) 
A high school baseball team alumnus hires The Remington Steele Agency to find out who is responsible for a series accidents at a sports camp his old team is attending.

'The Jackie Gleason Show' 
- "Lucky Number"
While at a ballgame with Ed, Ralph wins a $1000 as part of a contest at the ball park.  Later when the bread company representative arrives to give him the prize they tell him they want pictures for advertising. Alice points out Ralph called in sick and will lose his job if the pictures are used. 

"The Visa"
Kramer meanwhile returns early from fantasy baseball camp. Kramer it seems tried to brush back Joe Pepitone leading to a bench clearing brawl where Kramer knocked Mickey Mantle unconscious.

"The Seven"
George meets Susan's cousin and her husband. She will soon have a baby but they have yet to choose a name. George tells them he knows exactly what his first child will be called : Seven, in honor of Yankees great Mickey Mantle. Susan hates the name but her cousin thinks it's great and decides to use it. George goes over the top in trying to convince them otherwise.

'Make Room For Daddy'
Charley had invited some of the Yankees of the day to the Copa which is where Rusty got his picture taken with Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. 

And in my place of employ, where a member of the TVXOHOF is inside a member of the TVXOHOF, the Mick - and his buddy Billy Martin - look down on me from their place in the lobby.  Apparently they liked to come there to hang out at the Rum House bar.

Makes it almost seem mythic.....

Welcome to yet another Hall of Fame, Mr. Mantle!

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