New York Yankees Mickey Mantle
Meeting Mickey Mantle would be a dream comes true. A dream
realized for Dan on his 38th birthday, when his wife honored him
with a week long stay at the Yankee Fantasy Camp.
Dan played with some of the Yankee legends: Bobby Murcer, Mickey
Rivers, Ron Guidry, Moose Skowron and Catfish Hunter. The games
were great and being on the same field with some of the players
he had watched on TV or at Yankee Stadium was mesmerizing.
But what made the week particularly special was the friendship he
nurtured with his hero. The Mick even gave Dan a nickname -
“Nails” for the scrappy, Lenny Dykstra-way that Dan played. While
Mickey didn’t play in these games, he did spend a lot of time
with all the campers. Dan took this time to get to know Mickey.
He loved his down to earth quality. He loved his honesty. He
loved being around him.
“Getting to know Mickey Mantle was as much fun as playing with
the pros,” Dan told me later.
In one of the games that Mickey was umpiring, Dan strolled to the
plate with the bases loaded. His big chance was here and he
didn’t miss the opportunity as he walloped a long double into the
gap. He hit a rope, and as he glided into second base Mickey
yelled to him, “You hit the sh*^ out of that ball, Nails!”
This was like a call from God. Hearing his idol tell him how well
he hit the ball was more fulfilling than Dan could ever have
What could be better than meeting and then hanging out with
Mickey Mantle? How about being recognized as a ballplayer by your
It doesn’t get any better than that.
This story was contributed by Dan Markim. A long time Yankee fan.
Written by Aron Wallad
Aron Wallad has been a baseball lover for over 40 years. Writing
about his favorite subject, baseball, has been a blessing. You
will enjoy the tender stories, the unusual statistics and
inspiring quotes. But mostly you will love the heartwarming
stories that hit a home run to your heart.
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