What was Mickey Mantle’s Net Worth?
Mickey Mantle was an American professional baseball player who had a net worth of $10 million at the time of his death. Mickey Mantle was born in Spavinaw, Oklahoma in October 1931 and passed away in August 1995. He was a center fielder who was a switch-hitter and threw right handed. Mantle played for the New York Yankees his entire Major League Baseball career from 1951 to 1968. He was a 20-time All-Star and seven-time World Series champion. Mantle won three American League MVP Awards and was a four time AL home run leader and one time AL RBI leader. He won the Triple Crown in 1956 and a Gold Globe Award in 1962.
Mickey Mantle’s #7 was retired by the New York Yankees and he was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. In 1974 Mantle was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot. Mickey Mantle passed away on August 13, 1995 at 63 years old.
Mantle’s first baseball contract in 1951 paid him $7500 (that’s the same as $70,000 after adjusting for inflation). His last contract paid him $100,000 per year (the same as $800,000 after adjusting for inflation). In total, Mickey earned $1,128,000 during his career. After adjusting for inflation, he earned around $9 million from his various contracts.
Mantle was born on October 20, 1931 in Spavinaw, Oklahoma to parents Lovell and Elvin “Mutt” Mantle. Mantle was named in honor of Mickey Cochrane, a Hall of Fame catcher in baseball. When Mantle was four years old, his family moved to Commerce, Oklahoma, where his father worked in lead and zinc mines. Mantle began attending school there and was an all-around athlete at Commerce High School. When he was a sophomore, he was kicked in the left shin during football practice which resulted in him developing osteomyelitis, an infectious disease. Due to his parents’ quick action in driving him to a hospital in Oklahoma City, his leg was saved from amputation.
Mantle began his professional career in baseball in Kansas with the semi-professional Baxter Springs Whiz Kids. In 1948, Yankees scout Tom Greenwade came to Baxter Springs to observe one of Mantle’s teammates. However, Mantle stole the show after hitting three home runs. After Mantle graduated from high school, Greenwade returned to sign Mantle to a minor league contract.
Mantle was assigned to the Yankees’ Class-D Independence Yankees of the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League, where he played shortstop. In 1950, Mantle was promoted to the Class-C Joplin Miners of the Western Association. He won the Western Association batting title and was then invited to the Yankees instructional camp before the 1951 season. After an impressive spring training, the Yankees manager decided to promote Mantle to the major league team as a right fielder. He was assigned the #6 uniform, which signified that he was expected to become the next star of the team, as Babe Ruth had worn #3, Lou Gehrig had worn #4, and Joe DiMaggio had worn #5.
Mantle began playing with the Kansas City Blues, the Yankees’ top farm team. After a brief slump, he began dominating games and was called up to the Yankees after 40 games with Kansas City. He hit 13 home runs in 96 games. However, during the second game of the 1951 World Series, he tripped over a drain pipe and severely injured his right night. This would be the first of many injuries that would plague Mantle’s 18-year long career.
Mantle moved to center field following the 1951 season and the retirement of Joe DiMaggio. In 1952, Mantle played his first complete World Series and became a hitting star for the team with an on-base percentage above .400 and a slugging percentage above .600. He continued to be a solid player for the Yankees over the next few years and had his breakout season in 1956. That year, he brought home both the Triple Crown and the first of three Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Awards. He was also honored with the Hickok Belt as the top American professional athlete of 1956.
In 1957, Mantle won his second consecutive MVP award. The following two seasons were more frustrating for Mantle, though he still played comparatively well and made the all-star team as a reserve player in 1959. In 1960, he Mantle hit was is still believed to be the longest home run in history. The hit is said to have traveled 643 feet. The following year, he became the highest-paid player in baseball by signing a $75,000 contract, which was incredibly high at the time. Three years later, he reached his peak salary of $100,000 and never asked for another raise again.
Mantle remained in the center field position full-time for the Yankees until 1965 when he was moved to left field. He spent his final two careers in the major leagues playing first base. His final few years in baseball involved many injuries, though he remained a solid player. During his final season in 1968, he still managed to hit 18 home runs. He announced his retirement at the age of 37 in 1969 and delivered a farewell speech in Yankees Stadium.
Mantle broke many records and made many accomplishments throughout his career. He held the all-time World Series records for home runs, runs scored, and runs batted. He remained the Yankees’ all-time leader in games played until Derek Jeter broke his record in 2011.
Personal Life and Death
On December 23 1951, Mantle married Merlyn Johnson in Picher, Oklahoma. The couple had four children together during the course of their marriage. Mantle disclosed later that he had not married Johnson out of love but rather because his father told him to. Mantle was not faithful to his wife during their marriage and even brought along a mistress to his retirement ceremony in 1969. In 1980, Mantle separated from his wife and the two lived apart for the rest of their lives and never got a divorce.
During the final years of his life, Mantle lived in a condo on Lake Oconee near Greensboro, Georgia. Throughout his life, Mantle had been a heavy drinker. He had his first drink at the age of 19. He sought treatment for alcoholism in 1994 when he checked in to the Betty Ford Clinic. His children also suffered from alcoholism and substance abuse problems. In 1995, doctors discovered that Mantle’s liver had been damaged by cirrhosis, hepatitis C, and liver cancer. He received a liver transplant soon afterward. However, Mantle still died on August 13, 1995 at Baylor University Medical Center.